EWN flying high as Flybe now makes a wrong right

Image of a grey parrot. Credit: Wikipedia - By L.Miguel Bugallo Sánchez (http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Lmbuga) - self made, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:Ave_070910_008.jpg, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5635030

A BRITISH airline that misled potential passengers on various flights, including those from Malaga and Alicante, has now amended its flight booking website thanks to the Euro Weekly News (EWN).

Flybe, the Southampton based budget airline that annually flies thousands of holidaymakers to various European destinations, ignored all requests by EWN in November to comment – in advance of publication – on an article headlined 3Stress free attempt at air travel fails.

But now – two months on and following action by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) in the UK – the airline has admitted as indicated in the original EWN article that it failed to include certain essential passenger information on some promotional material.

As pointed out by the article, this was unfair to passengers, and a result this misleading situation has now been corrected by Flybe. In the original article EWN highlighted that Flybe had re-branded its upper grade Business Class to Economy Plus advertising it as “a truly stress-free airport experience” and listing benefits including

*Dedicated priority check-in

*Fast-track security

*Executive lounge facilities.

However Flybe did not state that out of 70 airports in 13 European countries, only three included the above services.

The ASA has now advised EWN that Flybe admitting that certain information should have been included in a dedicated asterisk marked link of exclusions, but this had been missed.

The offending web-site information has now been amended. “On the basis of the advertiser’s written assurance, and willingness to make the changes we suggested, we have decided to close our file informally rather than conduct a formal investigation,” ASA Complaints Executive Emma Smith stated.

Amsterdam, Isle of Man and Paris, are the only three airports outside the UK that support the full ‘Economy Plus’ package.

However, even though Malaga and Alicante airports are not included, Flybe still charge the full up-grade fare regardless of a reduction in benefits.

This point was also included in our report to the ASA who said they could not comment, ‘as this is a commercial decision beyond the scope of our Code.’

Victory for the consumer – but not it seems any retrospective justice.

Photo credit: Daniel Blok
By Benny Davis

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