Megabus Told to Stop Advertising the One Cheap Seat it Does

By Gary Cutlack on at

Megabus, the city-linking transport business that everyone has a horror story about, has been told off for running adverts that substantially overestimate the number of rock-bottom priced seats it offers.

The Advertising Standards Authority found that on some routes the advertised £1 golden tickets were only available to cover one traveller in one seat, with other buyers likely to end up paying something nearer the standard price for their bookings. Hence the ads everywhere that offer £1 dream tickets to escape to somewhere else are going to disappear, or at least have a massive asterisk next to them and some small print explaining that, actually, only one person in one seat is going to be feeling very smug about bagging it for £1.

The problem concerns Megabus ads that used the classic twisty-turny weasley word "from" in the pricing, with the claims of "from £1" tickets from London to Bath triggering complaints from travellers who thought the price was a lie. Which it wasn't, as there was one seat available on each run at that price, as proven by screenshots taken from Megabus's internal ticketing systems.

Still, the ASA says that's mega out of order, and has asked for either substantially more £1 tickets to be made available on routes or for the ads to stop boasting about the one technically achievable cheap ticket. [ASA via BBC]

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