The press ad for the airline promoted a flight to Malmö for £14.99 one way including a footnote stating that the fare excluded optional fees and charges.
A complaint was lodged with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) that the price was misleading because customers paying using a non-Ryanair credit or debit card would be charged a fee. The only way to avoid the additional fee is to buy a Ryanair payment card.
The ASA ruled that Ryanair was making misleading price claims because customers wanting to take advantage of the fare would have to first purchase and await delivery of the Ryanair payment card, which could mean that the offer was unobtainable.
Customers are also required to pre-load the cash card with £150 minimum, which was not outlined in the ad.
The watchdog ruled that the ad breached the advertising code because the surcharge was not avoidable at the point of purchase and because the ad did not make clear the “significant conditions” that applied to the promotional payment.
It is the latest in a long line of complaints and ad bans over budget airlines’ tactics regarding additional surcharges for flights.
A recent ruling by the Office of Fair Trading forced 12 budget airlines, including Ryanair and easyJet, to include debit card charges in headline fair prices. Its cash payment card was launched as a way for customers to avoid these additional fees.