Watchdog raps Aer Lingus for misinformation on pets

File photo

Aer Lingus has been rapped by the advertising watchdog over an advertised price for bringing pets on a flight.

The complaint was made to the Advertising Standards Authority of Ireland (ASAI) by a woman who had booked tickets for a European flight with the airline and had intended to bring her pet with her.

She pointed out that pet travel on flights on Aer Lingus regional flights cost €40 and on transatlantic flights cost €160, and created a range for the consumer that costs for pet travel within Europe would be between those two figures.

However, on contacting a number of freight forwarders, she was quoted prices of circa €1,000 per flight.

The complainant also took issue with the fact the advertisement was linked to a named cargo company who went on to advise the complainant that it only carried pets from London. No such information was available on the Aer Lingus website.

She also pointed out that four freight forwarders she contacted advised her Aer Lingus did not carry pets on weekends and that it also did not fly pets to her requested destination.

The advertisers said that the website was clear that anyone wishing to book their pet on a flight within Europe needed to contact a freight forwarder via the online form and they would then be contacted with the process and requirements to transfer their pet to the preferred destination.

They said that prices for pets travelling within Europe varied depending on the destination along with any restrictions. They said that each case was dealt with on an individual basis and that was clearly stated on the website.

In response, Aer Lingus said its website was clear in pointing out that anyone wishing to book a pet on a flight within Europe needed to contact a freight forwarder via the online form and they would then be contacted with the process and requirements to transfer their pet to the preferred destination.

It also said that prices for pets travelling within Europe varied depending on the destination along with any restrictions and that each case was dealt with on an individual basis.

The ASAI upheld the complaint and said the advertisement must not reappear in its current form.

The complaint was one of 13 dealt with by the ASAI - 11 of which were upheld.

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