Ryanair sues Budget Travel over screenscraping

Ryanair sues Budget Travel over screenscraping

Ryanair has launched a High Court case against Budget Travel, for breach of its terms of use and intellectual property rights.

The low-cost carrier has asked the court to prohibit Budget Travel from unauthorised screenscraping and reselling of Ryanair seats at inflated prices to consumers.

Budget Travel has rejected Ryanair’s request to stop this unauthorised reselling of Ryanair flights, which continues to “inconvenience and overcharge unsuspecting consumers” the carrier said in a statement.

Ryanair argues flights have been sold with mark-ups of €18 or more.

Budget Travel is also accused of failing to provide consumers with a breakdown of flight prices, while simultaneously failing to pass on contact, payment and other information to Ryanair.

In the interests of consumers and price transparency Ryanair allows and encourages “price comparison only” websites to access its timetable and pricing information.

The carrier asks for an annual charitable donation of just €100 for the service.

Ryanair’s licence agreement is open to all genuine “price comparison only” websites and already many (such as Skyscanner.net) have signed up whereas Budget Travel has refused.

Ryanair’s Stephen McNamara said: “Budget Travel has no permission or agreement with Ryanair and we have been forced to take legal action to insist that they immediately desist from unlawfully scraping and selling Ryanair’s low fare flights often at inflated prices to unsuspecting consumers.”

He added: “Ryanair allows third party websites to display our lowest fares, for price comparison purposes only, if they sign a licence agreement and make an annual charitable donation of €100.

“Budget Travel has no such licence and is scrapping and reselling Ryanair seats in contravention of our policies, with mark-up charges and without providing passengers with our terms and conditions or Ryanair with passenger contact details.”