Woman ‘misled’ by Ryanair ad promoting family discount

ASAI rules the airline’s advertisement should not be used in current format


A customer of Ryanair was “misled” by an advertisement promoting a family discount as the offer was not available to people booking through the airline’s mobile app”, the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland has found.

The watchdog received a complaint from a woman who was availing of the airline’s “family extra - discount offer”.

Advertising on Ryanair’s website said it was offering 50 per cent off checked bags (15kg only) and travel insurance for children under 16 when the accompanying adult(s) in the same booking, purchased a fully priced service.

The complainant said she booked five flights (for two adults and three children) from Knock to Faro using the Ryanair app.

She said as part of her booking she had selected a 15kg bag for each adult and a 15kg bag each for two of the children.

While she had been able to avail of the travel insurance discount, the discount for the two children’s bags had not been applied.

She contacted Ryanair to have the discount applied to her booked baggage but was informed that this had to be applied during the course of the original booking and they were unable to apply it once the booking process had been completed.

“The complainant considered that she had been misled by the advertising,” the ASAI said.

The authority ruled the advertisement should not be used in its current format again and that Ryanair should amend its website “to reference the fact that the children’s baggage cannot be applied when booking flights through their mobile app”.

Ryanair said due to the limitations with its app, it was currently not possible to avail of the discounted family baggage offer when booking through this platform.

They told the ASAI they were working to resolve the issue.

Ryanair also pointed out that the discount in question was currently available when booking through desktop and mobile web, and was only advertised on Ryanair.com where it was available.

A Ryanair spokesman said on Thursday it had now upgraded the product to a “family plus” bundle, “offering families discounted bags, priority boarding and free seats for children, which is available both on the website and Ryanair app”.

The ASAI released 20 case reports on complaints recently investigated on Thursday morning. It ruled that a cinema ad from Nissan should also not appear in its current form again.

The “No More Nice Car” ad shows a young boy being bullied and as a result his sister takes up martial arts.

The boy is confronted by the same bully again when he is older and his sister successfully comes to defend him. The three young people all transform into cars, including the new Nissan Micra.

Complaints received by the ASAI included objection to it being shown before a 12A rated movie along with the portrayal of bullying and how it implied that the only way to deal with it was through more violence.

Orla Twomey, chief executive of the ASAI, said: “The latest complaints bulletin from the ASAI highlights the ASAI’s commitment to protecting consumers and holding advertisers to account when their advertising is not compliant with the requirements of the ASAI Code.

“The ASAI approach is to work with all advertisers, rather than against them, to ultimately ensure that all marketing communications are legal, truthful, decent and honest.”