The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned an advert by Kulula airways, as it advertises prices which exclude airport taxes, and does not state what the airport taxes are. Shortly after this advert was emailed out on the 9th July, we voiced our dissapointment at Kulula airways' decision to exclude airport taxes - which we see as an attempt to pull the wool over consumers eyes. Asata (the Association of SA Travel Agents) were also quick off the mark, lodging a complaint against the advert with ASA.
Asata said that airport charges must be specified, as the charges were specific and it is therefore practicable to do so. Kulula airlines replied by saying that the e-mail was sent to subscribers who were familiar with the type of email and had given their permission to be contacted. Kulula also said that each airports had its own tax rate and it was not possible to list all of these.
The Advertising Standards Authority ruled that the Kulula advertisement must be withdrawn (although this is a case of the horse has already bolted, as how does one withdraw an email).
1time airline has been having a field day pointing out that Kulula.com is excluding airport taxes from its headline flight prices. Firstly 1time airline put this notice on its website:
Then in September 2007 1time airline decided that the above wasn't clear enough that they were pointing fingers at Kulula, and changed their note to the following:
Also in the rogues gallery are South African Airways and Interlink, which exclude airport taxes from their headline prices. Mango airlines is as quiet as a mouse about the airport taxes issue because its parent-company is South African Airways. We're surprised that Nationwide haven't been more vocal about it.
The following is the contents of the Kulula email advert, which was emailed out on the 9th July 2007 and banned in September 2007. The ad ends by stating that you wont see one of Kulula's new superjets as it's in a camouflage design...seems the costs of its flights are also being camouflaged these days.
Category : Kulula Airlines