Lastminute.com refuses to do business with Ryanair

Lastminute.com has stopped selling Ryanair flights on its website following an Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) adjudication banning Ryanair from running an advertising campaign claiming the online ticket agent was ripping off its customers.

Lastminute.com complained to the ASA after the low-cost carrier ran ads in the national press with the strapline: “Robbed by lastminute.com?” with an illustration of a burglar. It maintained the ticket agent charged 100% more for Ryanair tickets than the airline itself (MW last week).

The ASA upheld the complaint and ruled that Ryanair had “unfairly discredited” the agent and that the airline’s advertising was misleading. Lastminute.com has now ceased to sell Ryanair flight tickets, saying it made the decision following Ryanair’s ad and its complaint to the ASA.

Ryanair head of communications Peter Sherrard says the airline stands by its original claim and has a duty to protect its consumers’ rights by keeping its prices as low as possible. He says: “This type of middleman takes our flights and sell them to third parties with additional charges. We feel strongly that this should not happen.”

He adds: “We pay absolutely no attention to anything the ASA says. It won’t stop us from exposing any red tape which is holding us back from maintaining low prices for our customers.”

ASA spokesman Matt Wilson says the regulating body will not take any further action against Ryanair and that its ruling is proportionate to the misdemeanor. He adds: “Even if Ryanair does not care what we say, it still has to adhere to the ruling.”

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