Legal ‘screenscraper’ cases taken by Ryanair will now be heard in Irish courts under a new ruling from the Irish Supreme Court.
The carrier has raised several cases in Europe to stop the screenscraping process, which sees online travel agents bypass the Ryanair website and sometimes increase the cost of flights for passengers.
Ryanair named Billigfluege, On the Beach, eDreams and Ticketpoint as OTAs that use the process and claimed passengers have missed flights or had problems if changes have not been notified to the airline.
The OTAs also inflate prices, with the carrier finding flights from Dublin to Stansted for sale at EUR44.69 on eDreams, compared to EUR19.99 on Ryanair’s site.
“We welcome this ruling of the Irish Supreme Court which confirms that Ryanair’s legal cases against screenscraper websites must be heard in Ireland. The ruling will have no impact on the authorised websites we work with today, over a dozen, who are supplied with Ryanair’s product inventory, so as to allow customers to compare airfares,” said Ryanair’s Kenny Jacobs. “However, many screenscraper sites continue to artificially inflate Ryanair’s fares and give a bad experience to customers, particularly those that want to change an element of their booking. We are calling on the EU to intervene and prohibit these practices in the interest of consumers.”
Its announcement came as the airline announced it expects to fly more than 3.5 million people on flights during the festive period. The number of those on Ryanair flights from 20 December to 6 January has increased 500,000 compared to the same period in 2013. Flights to Poland and Scotland are popular as well as the Algarve, Canaries, Cologne and Prague.