Norwegian has been ordered to ensure that bargain fares are available “in reasonable quantities” at the price advertised.
The advertising watchdog ruled that a banner advert on a flight comparison website promoting London-Helsinki flights from £29.90 was misleading.
The Advertising Standards Authority upheld a complaint against the airline from a consumer who could not find any fares at the advertised price in May.
The ASA ruled: “The ad must not appear again in its current form.
“We told Norwegian Air Shuttle to ensure that they held adequate evidence to demonstrate that ‘from’ prices were available to consumers in reasonable quantities.
“We also told them to make clear the date on which ‘from’ prices were accurate and, where relevant, that they were subject to change and that there was limited availability.”
The airline told the ASA that the advert generated a dynamic feed directly from its own website displaying the lowest fare available within the next nine months.
Norwegian said that there were no IT issues on the day the advert was seen and that the flights were available at the advertised price.
However, the ASA, upholding the complaint, said: The ASA considered that consumers would interpret the claim ‘From/one way incl. taxes £29.90’ to mean that a reasonable quantity of flights would be available at £29.90 at the time the ad appeared.
“We therefore expected Norwegian Air to be able to demonstrate that the price in question was available to consumers at the time the ad appeared, and in reasonable quantities.
“We also expected them to make clear the date on which the ‘from’ price was accurate and, where relevant, that it was subject to change and that there was limited availability.
“We acknowledged Norwegian Air’s response that flights were available at the advertised price on the day the ad was seen.
“However, we had not seen any evidence to demonstrate that this was the case, and that a reasonable quantity of flights was available at the advertised ‘from’ price.
“The ad also did not make clear the date on which the ‘from’ price was accurate, nor clarify that the price was subject to change or include any information about how limited the availability of tickets was.
“For those reasons, we concluded that the price claim in the ad was misleading.”
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