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ASA slaps bmi's wrist over Double Status/Destination Miles promo

ASA slaps bmi's wrist over Double Status/Destination Miles promo

Old Jul 5, 11, 8:10 am
  #1  
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Join Date: Oct 2008
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ASA slaps bmi's wrist over Double Status/Destination Miles promo

So perhaps a FTer brought a claim against bmi through the ASA:

Ad
A loyalty scheme promotion, appearing on the advertiser's own website, stated "Earn double destinations and status miles. Double destinations and status miles when you fly between London Heathrow and Berlin or Vienna. Fly between London Heathrow and Berlin or Vienna before 30 November 2010, and receive double Diamond Club destination miles plus double status miles ...".

The ad listed a number of economy and business class fares for departures from London Heathrow to Berlin and Vienna, as well as the flight numbers and schedules for departures from London Heathrow to Berlin and Vienna, and the return routes. Terms and conditions at the bottom of the promotion included "This offer is valid from 1 September until 30 November 2010 when you fly with bmi between London Heathrow and Berlin Tegel or Vienna in any class excluding m, h, q, v, g, o, w, t, n and e".

Issue
The complainant challenged whether:

1. the promotion misleadingly implied that the economy class fares listed in the ad were included in the promotion, and

2. the promotion misleadingly implied that all of the listed scheduled flights between London Heathrow and Berlin and Vienna were included in the promotion, because they understood that some flights were operated by the advertiser's code share partner, Austrian Airlines.

CAP Code (Edition 11)
8.17.7
CAP Code (Edition 12)
3.13.73.93.10
Response
1. bmi explained that it was possible that the from fare prices stated in the promotion for flights to Berlin may not have been eligible to accrue double miles. They said that as a result of the ASA contacting them, they had taken action to amend the promotion and had decided to remove fare price information. They added that Diamond Club members would now book their flights through bmis standard booking route.

2. bmi confirmed that some of their flights from London Heathrow to Vienna were operated by their code share partner, Austrian Airlines. They also confirmed that those flights were eligible to collect the promotional destination and status miles, provided the fare was not in any of the stated, excluded classes. bmi explained, however, that once notified of the complaint they became aware that the excluded classes stated in the ad related to bmi operated flights only, and that the different exclusions that applied to Austrian Airlines flights had not been included in the ad. bmi explained that all flights between London Heathrow and Berlin were operated by bmi.

Assessment
1. Upheld

The ASA understood that ineligible fares may have been featured in the promotion. We considered that most customers seeing the promotion would have expected the advertised fares to be included in the promotion, with the exception of those in the stated, excluded classes. Whilst we welcomed bmis actions to amend the promotional website, we considered that greater care should have been taken to ensure that non-qualifying fares were not included in the promotion. Because the promotion included fares which may have been ineligible, we concluded that it was misleading on this point.

On this point, the promotion breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1, 3.3 (Misleading advertising), 3.7 (Substantiation) and 3.9, 3.10 (Qualification).

2. Upheld

We noted the complainants concern that flights operated by Austrian Airlines were ineligible for the promotion. We understood that Diamond Club members could collect destination and status miles on Austrian Airlines code share flights, and that those flights were included in the promotion. However, we also understood that certain fare classes on flights operated by Austrian Airlines were excluded from the promotion, and that those excluded classes had not been stated in the ad. We considered that the exclusion of certain fare classes was a significant condition likely to affect consumers understanding of the promotion and should therefore have been made clear in the ad. Because it was not we concluded that the promotion was misleading.

On this point, the promotion breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1, 3.3 (Misleading advertising), 3.7 (Substantiation), 3.9, 3.10 (Qualification) and 8.17.7 (Significant conditions for promotions).

Action
The promotion must not appear again in its current form. We advised bmi to take greater care when including pricing information in similar, future promotions.
hugolover is offline  
Old Jul 5, 11, 8:14 am
  #2  
Moderator: British Airways Executive Club, Marriott Bonvoy
 
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< FTer gets slapped wrist for posting very old news. >

Oxon Flyer is offline  
Old Jul 5, 11, 8:34 am
  #3  
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Join Date: Oct 2008
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Whoops! Delete!
hugolover is offline  
Old Jul 5, 11, 11:12 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
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LOL... they could do with another one for the Promos since then
DELLAS is offline  

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