Misleading Advertising: Flights & Holidays UK Ltd breaks UK advertising rules for making misleading price claims for flights on the www.click2book.co.uk and www.click2book.us websites.
The ASA investigated a complaint about the advertising of a return flight from London to Orlando for "£464.5" [sic] on the www.click2book.co.uk website. The complainant, who found that the flight was not available at the advertised price, challenged whether the ad was misleading.
Although Flights & Holidays UK Ltd said flights on their website were bookable at the prices shown and maintained that had the payment been made, they would have honoured the advertised price, they did not provide any evidence that the flight was available at the advertised price at the time the complainant viewed the ad. The ASA understood that flight prices available through third parties were liable to fluctuate and advertisers were unlikely to be able to monitor real-time availability, meaning that flights might not be available at the advertised price by the time consumers attempted to make a purchase. The ASA also noted that the price was not presented as a "from" price, and there was no indication within the ad that the price was subject to change.
The ASA told Flights & Holidays UK Ltd: to ensure they held adequate substantiation to show that their quoted prices were based on genuine prices available to consumers, to describe prices that were subject to change as "from"; clearly state that these had limited availability if that was the case; state when prices were last updated; and ensure they had processes in place to update prices frequently. These changes do not appear to have been made on the www.click2book.co.uk website.
The CAP Compliance team contacted Flights & Holidays UK Ltd but, in the absence of an assurance to amend their website price claims and procedures to comply with the ruling, took the decision on 25 January 2021 to place their company details on this section of the ASA website. These details shall remain in place until such time as Flights & Holidays UK Ltd has appropriately amended www.click2book.co.uk to comply with the CAP Code.
The ASA received a further complaint referring to a materially similar issue on the USA version of the advertiser's website (www.click2book.us) in May 2021. The CAP Compliance team added details about this case to this section of the website on 1 June 2021.