Ryanair cancels Momondo deal after ‘breach of contract’

Ryanair has revoked a licencing agreement with Momondo following a breach of contract and urged customers to book directly on the Ryanair.com website.

Ryanair had granted a non-exclusive licence to Momondo to display Ryanair’s fares for price comparison purposes, one of a number of travel websites including SkyScanner, Hipmunk and Dohop licenced to do so.

However, Ryanair says it revoked its licence after Momondo displayed links to unauthorised “screenscraper” websites including Opodo and CheapOair, which unlawfully mis-sell Ryanair’s low fares, in clear breach of the licence agreement.

Responding to Ryanair’s decision, Momondo’s managing director, Pia Vemmelund, said the company had not breached the terms of its contract with the airline.

“We can confirm that we no longer have a license agreement with Ryanair, but we cannot confirm a breach of contract or that we agreed to exclusively show Ryanair prices through Ryanair’s website only,” she said.

“Our primary purpose has always been to show the lowest available price to provide our users with transparency. Therefore, we won’t compromise on that transparency by taking out specific travel agencies from our search results just because an airline like Ryanair tells us to. That would be against our principles.

“So, we continue to show Ryanair flights when these are sold through travel agencies, and we’re happy to continue to show our users the lowest prices and offer transparency.”

Ryanair has been engaged in several legal cases across Europe against screenscraper websites such as Opodo and eDreams to prevent consumers from being subjected to extra charges and to ensure Ryanair has what it says is appropriate contact details to communicate with its customers.

Ryanair claimed many of these websites continue to cause problems for the airline’s customers and/or fail/refuse to pass on vital information to both customers and Ryanair regarding issues such as flight changes, web check-in, special needs assistance and contact details, which has resulted in missed flights and repeated problems for customers.

Ryanair has commenced legal proceedings in the Irish High Court against both Google and eDreams to stop them misleading consumers by advertising non-existent Ryanair fares via the eDreams website and Google search adverts, practices which are prohibited by Irish consumer legislation.

In March, the UK Advertising Standards Authority found that eDreams’ and Opodo’s advertising on Google was “misleading” consumers and breached the CAP code, while the UK CAA this month forced eDreams and Opodo to change their Google adwords practices, website appearance and headline prices, following submissions by Ryanair.

Ryanair said it has no issue with OTAs who display Ryanair’s fares in a transparent manner, and urged all customers to book directly on the Ryanair.com website for the lowest fares and best customer care.

Ryanair’s Robin Kiely said: “As Momondo was in clear breach of the terms of our contract by actively linking to screenscraper websites, we have revoked its licence in an effort to prevent any more customers being misled. It’s important to note that Ryanair has no commercial agreement whatsover with Opodo or CheapOair, who continue to engage in unauthorised screenscraping and sell on Ryanair’s low fares. We again urge customers to book directly on the Ryanair.com website.”

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