Aer Lingus In Breach Of Advertising Law, As It Misleads Irish Consumers
Ryanair today (2 Sept) accused Aer Lingus of misleading Irish consumers, and being in breach of EU advertising law by quoting seat sale fares in Ireland which exclude Aer Lingus’ non-optional €7 admin fee. This means that Aer Lingus’ sale fares to Britain “from €27.99” should include a non-optional €7 admin fee and be advertised at €34.99 and Aer Lingus’ sale fares to Europe “from €39.99” in fact start at a lowest inclusive fare of €46.99.
Aer Lingus’s failure to include these unavoidable admin fees and its misleading advertising in Ireland is not mirrored in its UK advertising. In the UK Aer Lingus’ lowest sale fares (on exactly the same routes) include a £7 admin fee, as Aer Lingus is required to under EU & UK OFT rules. Accordingly Aer Lingus’ lowest fare to Ireland from Britain start “from £29.99” and to Europe “from £49.99”.
Aer Lingus are clearly in breach of these EU & NCA regulations by advertising sale fares in Ireland which are not in fact available because they exclude this unavoidable €7 admin fee. Aer Lingus are therefore in breach of the advertising code and are misleading Irish consumers.
Ryanair’s Robin Kiely said:
“This is a blatant case of misleading advertising. On the one hand Aer Lingus advertise “admin fee inclusive” sale fares to their customers in the UK, but here in Ireland they are advertising sale fares which exclude this non-optional €7 admin fee. Aer Lingus are therefore engaged in misleading advertising.
“Perhaps it’s time the National Consumer Agency of Ireland did something useful for once and required Aer Lingus to comply with EU regulations and include their unavoidable admin fees in their advertising, as well as requiring Aer Lingus to refund these air fares to pax who were duped into booking them by Aer Lingus’ false advertising.
“Regardless of whether Aer Lingus’ advertised sales fares include this admin fee or exclude it, they are still more than double Ryanair’s autumn seat sale prices which start to Britain from €14.99 and to Europe from €19.99.
“Our message to consumers is simple. Don’t waste time with Aer Lingus’ high fares (or their more frequently delayed flights). Book Ryanair for the lowest fares and the most on-time flights.”