Shopping website Kelkoo has been forced to apologise to the British Airports Authority (BAA), after a survey sponsored by the retailer was found to contain inaccuracies.
The report, which appears to have been removed from Kelkoo’s website, was conducted an independent company, the Centre for Retail Research (CRR).
Kelkoo’s survey focussed on the difference in price between high-street retailers, online stores and ‘tax-free shops’ at Europe’s airports.
The findings placed Lyon St. Exupery Airport at the top of the discount league, closely followed by French comrade Charles de Gaulle; both hubs offered a 12% reduction on luxury items and electronics. Berlin’s Schönefeld Airport came third with a miserable 4.6% discount, whilst poor old Heathrow Airport came last with 3.1%, or 3p in every pound.
However, BAA, which owns the London airport, was not happy with Kelkoo, and issued a press release condemning the survey.
The aviation firm claimed that its prices were not only better than those offered by online retailers such as Amazon and Comet, especially with regard to technology items, but that the discount available was closer to 15%, making it the cheapest airport in Europe.
BAA went on to express its “extreme disappointment” with the survey, with a news item on Heathrow’s website explaining that it was "perplexed as to how Kelkoo reached these conclusions,” adding that “their data is based on inaccurate prices, and includes products Heathrow does not sell.”
Kelkoo has claimed ignorance, and blamed the CRR for all “inaccurate statements” found in the report.
The retailer noted that as the research firm is an independent entity, and the survey was conducted without the supervision of Kelkoo, the shopping website had “no way of knowing” that the CRR’s report was unfairly biased against Heathrow Airport.
The BAA has accepted Kelkoo’s apology.