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Another readers question about Ryanair website advertising

Irish News of the World

May, 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.

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