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Misleading advertising on Ryanair.com – who can stop it?

Irish News of the World

Sunday May 24th, 2009

Diarmuid MacShane

Question:

I was on the Ryanair website recently where I saw flights advertised to Poland for €22.79, but when I went through the process to book, the final price was €54.99, plus taxes of €22.79. I couldn’t find any flights at the €22.79. Is there something I can do about this because I’m sick of Ryanair misleading people.

Answer:

The standard response to queries such as this is that when originally offered, there were some flights available at the special offer price, and then depending on demand, the prices went up.

Normally, complaints about misleading advertising can be sent to the statutory Broadcasting Complaints Commission (BCC), or as is most common at the moment, to the self-regulating Advertising Standards Authority of Ireland (ASAI).

Both these organisations can do little once an advert is broadcast apart from giving a slap on the wrist and maybe in the case of the BCC, requesting that the advertiser provide a clarification or correction.

In this particular example however, as the information you read was on the companies own website, neither the BCC nor the ASAI have any jurisdiction.

The EU are trying to enforce airline pricing regulations for websites at the moment but this focus on how prices are structured as you’re buying your flight, rather than on advertising on the sites themselves.

So, while you would hope that companies would provide accurate information about their products and prices on their website, there’s actually nothing that we can do if they don’t – apart from highlighting it to others and avoiding using them if we feel strongly about what they’re doing.

2 comments On Misleading advertising on Ryanair.com – who can stop it?

  • Funny you mentioned this. I was checking Ryanair last night and checked out their car hire as well.

    Big thing I noticed there was that they’re taking your credit card details, but the site doesn’t appear to be secure – there’s no sign of the gold locky thing anywhere.

  • @declan – many thanks for your comment. In researching the more recent Ryanair and Hertz post, I did notice that as well.

    It’s unfortunate as the offers are quite competitive on price, but hardly worth the risk when it comes to your credit card details.

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