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Ryanair rapped over 'misleading' ad

Ryanair has once again been reprimanded for misleading customers with low fare offers, a watchdog has reported.

Two national press adverts for the budget airline offered £10 one-way fares to Gothenburg and Dusseldorf, with small print explaining that the offer was subject to availability and excluded optional fees and charges.

Rival EasyJet challenged the availability of the fares and queried if they included taxes, charges and check-in fees or were misleading because the advert did not state the relevant travel dates.

Defending the advert, Ryanair said more than 10,000 seats were available to Gothenburg and more than 22,000 seats were on offer to Dusseldorf.

More than half the seats sold to Gothenburg and more than 40% of seats sold to Dusseldorf during the four-day sale were booked at a lower £5 promotional fare, and the fares in the adverts included all taxes, charges and non-discretionary fees.

The airline added that there was no requirement for advertisers to include the specific travel dates for offers, but said the campaign was for flights between January 1 to February 28 this year.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said readers were likely to believe that the £10 deal was a fixed price.

The ASA said: "Because we considered that consumers would understand "£10 one way" to mean that all flights to Gothenburg and Dusseldorf-Weeze were available at £10, and because we had not seen evidence to support that claim, we concluded that the ads were likely to mislead."

It told Ryanair to ensure that all seats were available at the quoted fare or to state prominently that seats were available "from" a particular price.

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