TUI Travel has been brought to task by the Advertising Standards Authority following a row over legroom on one of its flights.


A customer who had paid the £15 surcharge for extra legroom, advertised in a First Choice Holidays brochure, had complained to the authority after being allocated a seat behind the bulkhead separating business class from economy class.


The complainant challenged whether the bulkhead seats had more legspace than those of standard economy.


First Choice defended its claim saying according to the Civil Aviation Authority measurement specifications, which require seat measurements to be made from the base of the back of the chair to the one in front, there was 43 inches of seat pitch space.


According to this method only 33 inches would be available between standard economy seats on the same flight.


First Choice’s own measurements from the top of the chair to the one in front also showed there was 48 inches of seat pitch space.


However, while the ASA accepted the seat pitch argument, it said customers understood legroom as including the space under the seat in front and it was this that the customer did not get to enjoy thanks to the bulkhead.


Therefore although the operator’s claims were technically correct, they did not correspond with the claim in the advert which boasted “extra legroom…ideal if you’ve got long legs or fancy stretching out”.


ASA ruled First Choice had breached CAP Code clause 7.1 (Truthfulness) and ordered the operator’s owner TUI Travel not to advertise bulkhead seats as offering extra legroom.