Ryanair continues war on screenscraping despite legal defeat

Ryanair has promised to continue its battle against screenscraper websites, despite losing a legal ruling to Spanish website Atrapalo last week. It said it would launch an appeal against the decision, and any further rulings in favour of screenscraping/ticket-tout websites.
The low-cost carrier argues that these rulings breach Ryanair’s terms and conditions, are anti-consumer and allow screenscrapers to continue unauthorised access of Ryanair’s website and the sale of Ryanair seats.

The airline said screenscraping is on a par with pirate downloads of internet music, video or other services and it has called on the courts to protect consumers against the hidden fare increases and handling charges of third party ‘add-ons’ websites such as E-Dreams who can double the cost of airfares without customers knowledge.

Ryanair’s Chief Executive Michael O’Leary said: “We have provided the courts with documentary evidence of this unauthorised, ticket-tout scam being perpetrated on consumers by these screenscraper websites. We do not believe that a court should put the interests of these unauthorised sites ahead of the interests of the consumers who have been exposed to hidden mark ups and over-charged by these screenscraper/ticket-tout websites.

He added: “We hope that the decision of the court today will prevent the mis-selling of Ryanair’s tickets and the unauthorised sales of Ryanair’s seats by E-dreams.  Our case has successfully been put before the EU and we will appeal any Spanish court decision which fails to stop the unauthorised activities of these overcharging ticket-tout sites.”