How are airlines getting around unfair advertising complaints?

I don’t hold much faith in the self-regulating Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland (ASAI), and I don’t believe that our 2 major airlines pay much attention to their decisions, but I suppose if the Broadcasting Complaints Commission (BCC) ever got any teeth, they might be more concerned with providing accurate advertising.

The last findings from the ASAI contain two complaints that were upheld against Aer Lingus and Ryanair where people went to search for sites on the basis of advertising, but found no flights at the prices advertised.

And how are airlines getting around the potential issue raised by these complaints – they’re now changing their advertising to showing “% off” rather than giving an actual price.

Do you know what the standard price of a flight to London is with Ryanair or Aer Lingus – particularly given the huge variety of prices offered given previous special offers, demand and the times of departure.

With that in mind, how could you ever expect to know what to pay if Ryanair are offering 66% off, or Aer Lingus are offering 20% off flights to the US, or Aer Arann are offering 25% off all flights.

This is just one more way in which airlines are muddying the waters when it comes to pricing flights and subverting guidelines instituted to try to make this pricing clearer for consumers.

By moving away from showing absolute prices to these “% off”, these companies have once more found their way around those useless organisations (national and EU) that are supposed to be looking after our interests.

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