Ad description

Holiday listings appearing on Jet2holidays own website, www.jet2holidays.com, seen on 1 June 2021:

a. A listing for the “Sol Katmandu Park and Resort”, following a search for a holiday for two adults and three children (aged eight, nine and ten) for seven nights, stated “Holiday price from £3,140” and “Price per person £628”. Towards the bottom of the page the listing stated “Child age Up to 11 years”.

b. A listing for the “Sol Katmandu Park and Resort”, following a search for the same holiday as in ad (a), except with children aged four, five and six, stated “Holiday price from £2,945” and “Price per person £589”. Towards the bottom of the page the listing stated “Child age Up to 11 years”.

c. A listing for the “Bahia Principe Fantasia Tenerife”, following a search for a holiday for two adults and three children (aged seven, twelve and thirteen) for seven nights, was £3,264 and the “Price per person” as £816. Towards the bottom of the page the listing stated “Child age Up to 17 years”.

d. A listing for the “Bahia Principe Fantasia Tenerife”, returned following a search for the same holiday as in ad (c), except with children aged four, five and seven, was £3,092 and the “Price per person” as £773. Towards the bottom of the page the listing stated “Child age Up to 17 years”.

Issue

The complainant, who understood the cost of the holiday for children under the stated “Child age” in each ad varied according to their age, challenged whether the claim “Child age Up to 11 years” in ads (a) and (b) and the claim “Child age Up to 17 years” in ads (c) and (d) were misleading.

Response

Jet2Holidays Ltd responded that the prices in all four examples were “from” prices, that were indicative of what a consumer was likely to obtain once they had input their details, including the number of travellers, their ages and dates that they planned to travel. There were many factors which could determine the price. They said that the price that given was only displayed after that information had been entered by consumers, and therefore consumers would not be misled by the prices or their presentation.

Jet2Holidays stated that they used the phrase “Child age” to clarify what age constituted a child for the purposes of each hotel, but they did not indicate that all child places would have the same cost. They said that when consumers submitted an initial search, they would indicate whether they wanted children to be on the holiday, and provide their ages. They did confirm that not all children would necessarily cost the same and that some hotels may set a “Child A” price, which was usually for younger children and then a higher “Child B” price for older children. They said it was for that reason, when some searches were performed, where the child age was changed between the searches as per the examples in each of the four ads, the “from” price of the holiday may increase.

Jet2Holidays also stated that they had monitored competitor websites and that other travel companies used the same method to present prices. They said that they could, if necessary, include information in the terms and conditions, highlighting that some resorts may have a range of pricing depending on a child’s age.

Assessment

Not upheld

The ASA considered that consumers would understand from all four ads that if they booked the listed holiday using the combination of travellers and ages that they had entered, they would be able to purchase a holiday for the “from” price, expressed as “Holiday price from [£X]”. In the context of that presentation of the total price, we considered they would understand that the “Price per person [£X]” represented the total price divided between the total number of people going on the holiday, irrespective of age. (In the case of ads (c) and (d) this was based on dividing the total price between four rather than five people, because as stated in the ads, the holiday included one free child place.) We further considered that consumers would understand the claim “Child age” to mean the age at which people going on the holiday were considered children by the resort. We considered that consumers would expect that, where resorts differentiated between child and adult prices, that the children would be likely to be cheaper.

We understood that different resorts had different definitions of a “child”, and that within that definition, some resorts may have a range of prices for children, depending on age. However, we considered that because consumers would understand that generally children would be cheaper than adults and that the price in the ads was generated by entering the age of children when a search was carried out, the price was determined based on the information that they put in. We therefore considered that the omission from the ad of the variance in child prices did not mislead as to the child age for each resort. Jet2Holidays were a package holiday provider, and we considered that consumers would understand that there were a range of reasons that could factor into the price that they were provided with and that different resorts may have different pricing for children of different ages. We further considered that consumers would understand that the price that they were provided with after putting their details, including the age of each child, into the website was not a static price. The price could fluctuate based on availability, demand and other factors and was therefore a price that had been generated for their prospective booking, rather than a fixed price for the number of travellers and mixture of adults and children.

We acknowledged that some consumers may be interested to know whether hotels had different pricing categories for children of different ages. For example, in the situation suggested by the complainant where two families made a simultaneous booking, but their children were of different ages, the total cost of the holiday differed between them. However, we considered that the omission of that information did not make the “child age” or “from [£X]” price misleading, because the price that was generated was for the individual who was making the booking based on the information that they had input and was therefore accurate for their purposes.

We therefore concluded that the ads were not misleading.

We investigated the ads under CAP Code (Edition 12) rules  3.1 3.1 Marketing communications must not materially mislead or be likely to do so.  and  3.3 3.3 Marketing communications must not mislead the consumer by omitting material information. They must not mislead by hiding material information or presenting it in an unclear, unintelligible, ambiguous or untimely manner.
Material information is information that the consumer needs to make informed decisions in relation to a product. Whether the omission or presentation of material information is likely to mislead the consumer depends on the context, the  medium and, if the medium of the marketing communication is constrained by time or space, the measures that the marketer takes to make that information available to the consumer by other means.
 (Misleading advertising),  3.9 3.9 Marketing communications must state significant limitations and qualifications. Qualifications may clarify but must not contradict the claims that they qualify.  and  3.10 3.10 Qualifications must be presented clearly.
CAP has published Advertising Guidance on Misleading advertising: use of qualifications.
 (Qualification) and  3.17 3.17 Price statements must not mislead by omission, undue emphasis or distortion. They must relate to the product featured in the marketing communication.  (Prices), but did not find them in breach.

Action

No further action necessary

CAP Code (Edition 12)

3.1     3.3     3.17     3.10     3.9    


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