The airline’s website advertised a November weekend sale featuring fares at “20% off”. A complaint was received from a customer who said some fares had not decreased by this amount, while others had actually increased.
The airline responded that seats were subject to availability and that passengers were “encouraged to start searching early” for the best fares. The carrier acknowledged that there were some blackout periods.
The ASA ruled that consumers were likely to expect from the claim “24-27 November Black Friday Sale … Fly to Asia and Oceania … 20% off” that all flights to destinations in Asia and Oceania purchased during the promotional period would be discounted by 20% and that they would achieve a genuine saving against the prices prior to the promotion.
The ASA noted that Air China’s banner ad did not indicate that terms and conditions applied.
It added: “Because Air China had not provided evidence to demonstrate that consumers would achieve genuine and meaningful savings of 20% for all flights to Asia and Oceania purchased during the Black Friday Sale, and that significant conditions of the offer, such as excluded travel dates, had not been made sufficiently clear, we concluded that the ad was misleading.”