Bristol airport has escaped censure over a complaint about cheap return fares to New York.
The advertising watchdog today dismissed a challenge from a consumer who was unable to find return transatlantic flights at the £227 each-way price promoted by the airport in April.
The rates were based on an email promoting flights to North America via Dublin using a local connection to and from Ireland provided by Aer Lingus Regional, which is operated by Stobart Air.
Stobart Air provided figures to the Advertising Standards Authority which showed the proportion of seats available from Bristol to New York and from New York to Bristol at £227 for each day for which the offer was available.
Bristol airport told the ASA it believed the information demonstrated that there was a significant proportion of seats at the “from” price for each of the destinations listed in the ad when the email was sent out on April 6.
Rejecting the complaint after an investigation, the ASA said recipients of the email would expect to have a reasonable chance of obtaining seats on both outward and return flights at the advertised price for each of the destinations listed for the travel period stated, as long as they included a Saturday night stay.
“The figures provided by Bristol airport and Stobart Air showed there had been availability of seats at the advertised price to all the destinations listed in the ad for each month in which the offer ran,” the authority added.
“For New York, the destination the complainant wanted to travel to and from and for which Bristol airport and Stobart Air had supplied availability figures for each day throughout the offer period, there had been availability to and from one or both of the New York airports every day apart from one, which we noted was the Saturday of a bank holiday weekend and the beginning of the half-term holidays for many schools.
“On the other days, availability varied depending on the date of travel and the airport (JFK or Newark), but there was always some availability. We considered consumers were likely to expect availability to be more limited for particularly popular days and flight times.
“We considered, however, that Bristol airport and Stobart Air had supplied evidence that showed reasonable quantities of fares at the advertised price, fairly evenly distributed over the offer period, meaning consumers had a reasonable chance of obtaining seats at the advertised price.
“We concluded that the ad was therefore unlikely to mislead.”
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