Ad description

A claim on the Crystal Travel website which appeared on 21 September 2011, for a flight from Bradford to Manila for departure on 23 December 2011 and return on 13 January 2012 stated "Price per Adult: GBP 839.52 Including Tax and Fees".


The complainant challenged whether flights were available at the advertised price.


Crystal Travel said they had not advertised the fare but rather   their website displayed the airline fares which had been provided to them through the Global Distribution System.  They explained that they were an IATA travel agent which meant they were authorised to re-sell those fares.

Crystal Travel said that the complainant's booking was made online through their website and that the booking request was processed by Worldspan, their Reservation System provider. They explained that Worldspan provided a booking itinerary and that booking confirmation was dependent on the passenger confirming they wanted the flight found by the system.  They explained that by the time the booking was confirmed by the complainant, the advertised price was unavailable. They said they then offered an alternative fare price to secure the booking.



The ASA noted Crystal Travel's belief that they had not advertised the fare. However, we also noted that the fare appeared on their website and that the booking was made via that website, using their reservation system.  We therefore considered that Crystal Travel had advertised the fare and were responsible for ensuring it was accurate and available.

We explained to Crystal Travel that we considered that they had advertised the fare and asked them to provide evidence that flights were available at the advertised price, but they did not do so.  We considered that consumers visiting their website were likely to understand that the flight was available to buy at the advertised price and we, therefore, expected Crystal Travel to hold evidence that that was the case.  

We also noted from the complainant that they visited the same website the next day (22 September) and noted that the fare was still advertised.  Because we understood that the advertised fare was no longer available on 21 September, we considered that Crystal Travel should have taken steps to remove the fare price, or update their website once the fare became unavailable.  Because we had not seen any evidence that flights were available at £839.50, we concluded that the claim was misleading.

The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules  3.1 3.1 Marketing communications must not materially mislead or be likely to do so.  (Misleading advertising),  3.7 3.7 Before distributing or submitting a marketing communication for publication, marketers must hold documentary evidence to prove claims that consumers are likely to regard as objective and that are capable of objective substantiation. The ASA may regard claims as misleading in the absence of adequate substantiation.  (Substantiation) 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).


The ad must not appear again in its current form.  We told Crystal Travel not to advertise flight prices as available to buy unless they held evidence to substantiate that price.

CAP Code (Edition 12)

3.1     3.17     3.7    

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