Web touts overcharging air ticket buyers – Ryanair

26 Aug 2008

Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary has accused online travel sites of illegal access to the Ryanair.com website and overcharging consumers by up to 370pc for tickets.

Last week Ryanair instigated a policy of banning bookings made on unauthorised ‘screenscraper’ websites.

The company said these sites are consistently overcharging consumers with hidden mark-ups on Ryanair ticket prices.

This morning Ryanair revealed documented examples of hidden overcharging on these sites.

An example of a Ryanair flight on a Bravofly.com price works out at €60.93, up €40.95 or 205pc. A €106.87 Ryanair flight works out at €385.97 on Edreams.com, up 260pc or €279.10. A €10 Ryanair flight cost €37 on Weglo.com, up 370pc or €27.

Ryanair has pointed out to the European Commission that “the illegal and unauthorised activities of these screenscraper/ticket-tout websites” have in recent weeks caused dramatic slowdowns and outages on the Ryanair.com website.

This has resulted in bona fide consumers being unable to access Ryanair’s timetables, prices or make bookings on Ryanair.com.

The company also told the European Commission that its lowest price guarantee becomes invalid if ticket tout websites can overcharge consumers by 200pc to 300pc in hidden mark-ups.

“We have responded to the European Commission’s enquiries by providing them with documentary evidence of this unauthorised, illegal ticket-tout scam being perpetrated on consumers by these screenscraper websites,” O’Leary said.

“It is remarkable, but unsurprising, that a number of European Government agencies and the European Commission has sought to blame Ryanair for blocking the illegal activities of these screenscrapers, instead of tackling the real consumer scandal which is the hidden 200pc or 300pc mark ups being levied and overcharged on innocent consumers by these illegal screenscraper/ticket-tout websites,” O’Leary explained.

By John Kennedy

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