International travel firm in breach of advertising promise
23 Apr, 2012
SLATER HEELIS PROVE STA TRAVEL IN BREACH OF ADVERTISING PROMISE
International travel firm fails to live up to famous Price Match Guarantee and pays out to claimant for first time
Operating from 92 countries and one of the two largest travel firms for students and young people, STA Travel is famous for its price guarantee, which pledges to match any lower fare that travellers can find or give them their next flight for free.
But Manchester law firm Slater Heelis and a 27 year old post graduate student studying a Masters in Enterprise have just won a milestone case against the travel giant for failing to uphold their famous pricing guarantee.
When Andrew Jervis from the Isle of Man found a lower price flight to Hong Kong on lastminute.com he soon found that STA were far from willing to live up to their advertising claims. When he told STA that he had found a cheaper flight and asked them to match it, Andrew was told that he should instead take up the cheaper flight and that STA couldn’t help and would not give him his next flight for free as advertised. In the time it took for STA to respond about the deal, the lastminute.com deal had gone up in price, leaving Andrew with no flight to Hong Kong and STA were refusing to provide a free flight as advertised in the press and on their website.
Manchester law firm Slater Heelis’ Litigation Team worked with Andrew on a pro bono basis in order to prove that the travel giant were guilty of false advertising. Mark Heptinstall, a Partner at Slater Heelis, comments: “STA’s Price Match Guarantee is an integral part of their marketing across the globe and people have come to rely on it to mean they will be getting the lowest possible fares. But this case proves that their prices can be beaten and that they are failing to live up to the terms of their advertising.”
Andrew Jervis comments “I asked STA how many times they had honoured the guarantee previously and I was told they had never done so before.”
The case has also been referred to the Office for Fair Trading, which has informed Andrew that STA’s Price Beat Guarantee Advertising is in breach of The Consumer Protection from Fair Trading Regulations and they will be passing the case to Trading Standards for further investigation.
After extensive correspondence with STA Travel, Andrew and Slater Heelis took them to court. STA Travel failed to submit a defence and the court found in favour of Andrew and has ordered STA Travel to pay the equivalent price of a flight as compensation together with interest and costs.
Slater Heelis is a respected and long-established full service law firm based in South Manchester. Founded in 1773, Slater Heelis now employs over 70 people who offer in-depth legal expertise to commercial and private clients across the fields of property, corporate and commercial, litigation, employment, family, conveyancing and wills and trusts. Slater Heelis works with a diverse client base that ranges from sports personalities and entrepreneurs, to national PLC’s, local government and not-for profit organizations.