Russia’s second-largest airline, S7 Airlines (JSC Siberia Airlines), lost a lawsuit against the Federal Antimonopoly Service for a fine for providing false information about discounts on airline tickets.
In April 2019, a client of S7 Airlines complained to the regional office of the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS). The applicant received an email with an advertisement offering a 50% discount between March 22 and 25 for all S7 Airlines flights by the end of the year bought with an S7-Tinkoff bankcard.
The client especially for it applied a Tinkoff Bank card to participate in sale and purchased four tickets on the morning of March 22. However, after this, the airline company sent a letter stating that on March 22 the sale was to begin only at 15:30.
The antimonopoly service considered this situation a violation of the law on advertising and decided to recover a fine of 100,000 rubles (approximately $1.5 thousand) from the airline.
S7 Airlines appealed to the Arbitration Court of the Novosibirsk Region to challenge this decision.
The court upheld the arguments of the FAS, stressing that neither the advertising letter nor the rules of the action indicated a specific time for the start of the promotion.
At the same time, references to other sources of advertising in a letter (for example website address) cannot be considered as providing all the necessary and reliable information. Therefore, the airline misled the consumer regarding the start of the promotion campaign and its conditions, as it indicated less attractive details in a different font, more difficult to read.