An email from Bristol Airport, sent on 6 April 2019, stated "Browse fantastic deals from Bristol to North America with Aer Lingus, from just £227 each way as part of a return trip*". There followed a number of destinations (including New York) each with an associated "from" price, with each price also asterisked to text at the foot of the email which read "*Aer Lingus Lead Prices... Lead prices correct as of 05.04.19. Prices based on each way, as part of a return trip. Valid for travel from 01April-13June and Saturday night stay is required ...".
The complainant, who was unable to find return flights to New York for £227 each way, challenged whether the ad was misleading.
Bristol Airport provided figures which showed the percentage of seats available at the “from” price on 6 April for each of the destinations listed in the ad. They also provided percentage figures for the overall availability on 6 April of seats at the “from” price, not broken down by destination, for each of the months April, May and June 2019 respectively. They believed the information demonstrated that there was a significant proportion of seats at the “from” price for each of the destinations listed in the ad when the email was sent out on 6 April.
Stobart Air UC trading as Stobart Air (Stobart Air) provided figures which showed the proportion of seats available from Bristol to New York and from New York to Bristol at £227 for each day for which the offer was available after the email was sent out on 6 April until the offer ended on 13 June, for the New York airports JFK and Newark respectively.
The ASA considered recipients of the email would expect to have a reasonable chance of obtaining seats on both outward and return flights at the advertised price for each of the destinations listed for the travel period stated, as long as they included a Saturday night stay. The figures provided by Bristol Airport and Stobart Air showed there had been availability of seats at the advertised price to all the destinations listed in the ad for each month in which the offer ran.
For New York, the destination the complainant wanted to travel to and from and for which Bristol Airport and Stobart Air had supplied availability figures for each day throughout the offer period, there had been availability to and from one or both of the New York airports every day apart from one, which we noted was the Saturday of a bank holiday weekend and the beginning of the half-term holidays for many schools. On the other days, availability varied depending on the date of travel and the airport (JFK or Newark), but there was always some availability. We considered consumers were likely to expect availability to be more limited for particularly popular days and flight times.
We considered however that Bristol Airport and Stobart Air had supplied evidence that showed reasonable quantities of fares at the advertised price, fairly evenly distributed over the offer period, meaning consumers had a reasonable chance of obtaining seats at the advertised price. We concluded that the ad was therefore unlikely to mislead.
We investigated the ad under CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 and 3.3 (Misleading advertising), 3.7 (Substantiation) and 3.22 (Pricing), but did not find it in breach.
No further action necessary.