Flight Centre penalised $252,000

Flight Centre has paid $252,000 in penalties after the ACCC issued two infringement notices for alleged misleading advertisements.

The ads promoted holiday vouchers during the 2018 Christmas and 2019 Easter festive breaks.

Flight Centre advertised promotions in store and in print newspapers offering $250 vouchers to consumers who spent $1500 on a holiday package with Flight Centre. The vouchers were redeemable on their next holiday booked through Flight Centre.

The ACCC believed because the voucher offer was subject to consumers booking a second holiday worth more than $5000 the advertisements were liable to mislead consumers and breached the Australian Consumer Law.

The ACCC was also concerned about the limited time frame offered for consumers to redeem the voucher, which was not properly disclosed to consumers.

“We are concerned that consumers were enticed to purchase their holiday through Flight Centre to obtain a voucher they were not able to use without spending another $5000, when this was not adequately disclosed,” ACCC Commissioner Sarah Court said.

Over 35,000 consumers received cash vouchers as part of these promotions.

Flight Centre’s advertisements appeared in print newspapers and on digital screens across about 700 stores for the Christmas promotion and 800 stores for the Easter promotion.

“Businesses are warned that the terms and conditions of any deal or promotion must be prominent, so that consumers understand what is involved in redeeming the offer,” Court said.

Flight Centre has now waived the $5000 minimum spend condition and extended the redemption period for vouchers provided as part of the 2018 Christmas promotion from 30 June 2019 until 31 December 2019. Vouchers provided as part of the 2019 Easter promotion are also able to be used until 31 December 2019.