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A prize promotion on the Cathay Pacific website, was seen on 4 June 2023. Text stated “We have 3,260 tickets to give away! Successful entries will be awarded one return Economy ticket from London Heathrow or Manchester to Hong Kong* […] *All taxes and surcharges are excluded, and are at the cost of the traveller".


The complainant, who understood taxes and surcharges had to be paid in order to redeem the ticket, challenged whether the promotion breached the Code.


Cathay Pacific said that it would be clear to consumers after they had registered, correctly answered quiz questions, and received a ticket offer with redemption code, that successful entrants would need to pay all taxes and surcharges associated with the prize of a flight ticket. They stressed that was repeatedly and prominently made clear to consumers even before participants took part in the promotion. They highlighted that the complainant understood that taxes and surcharges would have to be paid, and therefore they believed that there was no false implication to the contrary.



The CAP Code stated that promoters must not falsely claim or imply that the consumer, on doing a particular act, would win a prize (or other equivalent benefit) if the consumer incurred a cost to claim the prize.

The ASA understood that participants had to complete several quiz questions, and in the event that the answers to those questions were correct, the 3,260 prizes would be awarded to participants on a first-come first-serve basis. Successful participants would be awarded a return flight from the UK to Hong Kong, and they would be responsible for all taxes and surcharges that were applicable to the ticket.

Whilst we acknowledged the ad made that condition clear from the outset, the Code nevertheless prohibited promotions where consumers incurred a cost to claim a prize. Because the only way to claim the prize was to pay the taxes and surcharges on the return flight, we concluded the promotion breached the Code.

The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) 8.21.1 (Prize Promotions).


The promotion must not appear again in the form complained of. We told Cathay Pacific to ensure their future promotions did not imply that consumers would win a prize if they were required to incur a cost to claim the prize.



CAP Code (Edition 12)


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