ASA to investigate Skytrax over airline reviews
Airline rating site Skytrax is under investigation by the Advertising Standards Authority over the authenticity of some of its reviews.
The ASA has launched a formal investigation which will ask Skytrax to prove that some of its reviews, from which it gives airlines a star rating, are genuine.
The probe follows a survey of review sites by online reputation company KwikChex, which claims Skytrax accepted reviews “without even the author receiving a verification email”. KwikChex also claims Skytrax does not provide proper ownership information and that it has failed to register some business names at Companies House.
KwikChex co-founder Chris Emmins said all attempts to contact Skytrax have proved fruitless.
Among other sites that KwikChex examined, Google was found to have the greatest evidence of fraud and of poorest detection of bogus reviews. None of the sites Kwikchex examined were rated five star by it. One, Flipkey, was given four stars and HolidayLettings three stars.
CruiseCritic and Holiday Watchdog only warranted one star.
Emmins said more verification of reviews was needed to get a five star rating.
“If they put in a simple system with a tick box saying I have proof of purchase that would count for a lot,” he said. “The problem at the moment is that the business model is just plain shoddy. It hides behind the freedom of speech argument in order to avoid cost.”
TTG was unable to contact Skytrax.