German court rules Ryanair ‘screenscraping’ unlawful

22 Jan 2010

A court in Germany today ruled that ‘screenscraping’ Ryanair’s website by resellers is unlawful and banned a German website, Vtours, from using this practice to resell Ryanair flights.

Ryanair said today’s ruling by the Higher Regional Court of Hamburg cemented a previous Hamburg court ruling handed down in May 2009, which also ruled that the scraping of to resell Ryanair tickets is unlawful. 

Screenscraping involves online resellers gaining unauthorised access to Ryanair’s website, taking its flight information and selling the airline’s flights with high additional charges that are not made clear to the consumer. 

Ryanair has taken a number of cases against screenscrapers throughout Europe as part of a long-running campaign.

A victory for German consumers

“Ryanair celebrates today’s victory for German consumers as it once again confirms that European courts support Ryanair’s fight to protect consumers against overcharging screenscraping ticket-touts,” said Ryanair’s Stephen McNamara.

“Ryanair will continue its fight against screenscrapers in the interests of passengers until this practice of misleading consumers has been outlawed across Europe. Today’s result is a milestone achievement in that fight.

“All price-comparison websites can enter into a licence agreement with Ryanair to allow them to legally provide consumers with genuine price comparisons and guarantee that passengers are not subjected to additional charges. If Vtours is interested in genuinely providing an honest comparison for consumers in Germany it is welcome to sign up to this licence,” McNamara added.

Photo: Ryanair’s website

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