Ryanair claims victory in war on internet ticket touts

14 Aug 2009

Low cost airline Ryanair confirmed this morning that four more German screenscraper ticket-tout websites have signed legally binding declarations to stop scraping and selling Ryanair flights at inflated prices.

The four sites – travelgreen.de, titanic.de, flycall.de and art24.de – are the latest screenscraper sites to cease and desist after Ryanair launched a High Court action against other screenscraper sites.

The proceedings in the High Court are to go ahead against sites like traveltopia, airline direct and billigflug who Ryanair says are blatantly ignoring consumer rights.

Screenscraping involves gaining unauthorised access to Ryanair’s website and mis-selling flights to consumers with exorbitant charges and mark-ups.

In May 2009 a court in Hamburg ruled that screenscraping to sell Ryanair flights was unlawful.

“These legal commitments by screenscraping websites are the latest positive development in Ryanair’s relentless pro-consumer campaign against internet ticket-touts,” said Ryanair’s Stephen McNamara.

He said that genuine price comparison websites can enter into a licence agreement with Ryanair for a charitable donation of €100, which will allow them to provide consumers with legitimate price comparison.

“However, Ryanair will not allow consumers to be subjected to sneaky hidden charges by unauthorised screenscraping ticket-touts.

“We are confident that through Ryanair’s sustained pressure and with the assistance of European consumer agencies, unauthorised screenscraping and overcharging of consumers will eventually be outlawed throughout Europe, to the benefit of consumers and legitimate businesses,” McNamara said.

By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years