The National Advertising Division (NAD) recently recommended modifications to advertising by Momentum Ventures d/b/a Momentum Travel Group (Momentum) on its JustFly.com and FlightHub.com websites regarding its cancellation policy for purchased flights. The challenger argued that Momentum’s “Free Cancellations” claim failed to clearly convey that the free cancellation period is limited to four hours from the time of booking. Momentum initially offered to modify this claim to “Free 4H Cancellations,” but NAD determined that use of the abbreviated term “4H” would be insufficient given that the phrase “4 hour” could easily be incorporated into the underlying claim while making the claim more transparent.
The challenger also noted that a Department of Transportation (DOT) customer service rule actually requires “covered carriers” to allow free cancellations for 24 hours after a reservation is made, while Momentum’s “Extended Cancellation Policy” charged consumers $19.99 to extend their cancellation period up to 24 hours. Without opining on Momentum’s compliance with DOT rules and regulations, NAD called for Momentum to clearly and conspicuously disclose the consequences for consumers who elect not to purchase the Extended Cancellation Policy.
TIP: This decision serves as a reminder that material terms and conditions of an advertised program must be clearly and conspicuously communicated within the four corners of the advertising in which that claim appears.