Lufthansa rapped by ASA over ‘unfair’ ad for seat sale

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned a Deutsche Lufthansa sale advert after a complaint that the promotional price only became available on the last day of the sale.

The ad, which featured on Lufthansa’s website, offered a return flight to Hong Kong from £3,399. When clicking through to the booking page consumers were led to a separate page that stated “book before 19 November 2013 for travel between 13 January 2014 - 31 March 2014.”

A complainant challenged whether the promotion had been carried out fairly, because the sale price only became available on the last day of the promo period.

Lufthansa showed the ASA a screenshot from its ‘fare filing system’ which it said demonstrated that the advertised fares were loaded for the first day of the promotion. The airline explained that “fare filings were not checked on a daily basis, but only at the start of the promotion”.

Lufthansa also acknowledged that during the promotion the fares became unavailable due to a technical error which they became aware of on 18 November and corrected “immediately”.

The ASA noted that although Lufthansa had taken steps to remedy the error, the advert was still in breach of the CAP code. It stated in its ruling: “The Code required promoters to avoid causing unnecessary disappointment. We were therefore concerned that the advertised fares were unavailable for a significant proportion of the promotional period”.

The ad must not appear again in its current form.

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