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Ryanair has welcomed an EU Court of Justice ruling restricting access to its database by Dutch screenscraper website PR Aviation.
The Court of Justice, in a referral from the Dutch Supreme Court, was asked to determine whether owners of an online database such as Ryanair’s can use contractual restrictions to prevent the copying or use of their databases.
The European Commission supported Ryanair’s argument that it is entitled to post terms and conditions on its website that prevent PR Aviation, which runs FlyLowCost.com from screenscraping its database and using it for commercial purposes.
Ryanair has been involved in several legal cases against screenscraper websites across Europe to prevent its customers from being subjected to extra charges and to ensure the airline has appropriate contact details to communicate with its customers.
“Many of these websites continue to cause problems for Ryanair customers and/or fail/refuse to pass on vital information to both passengers and Ryanair regarding issues such as flight changes, web check-in, special needs assistance and contact details, which has resulted in missed flights and repeated problems for customers,” the airline said.
A spokesman said: “Ryanair welcomes the EU Court of Justice ruling which confirms that Ryanair can prevent PR Aviation from screenscraping the Ryanair database and using this information for commercial purposes.
“Ryanair will continue to pursue screenscraper websites such as PR Aviation to prevent Europe’s consumers from being misled over price and booking conditions.
“We would again urge customers to book directly on the Ryanair.com website to guarantee the lowest fares and best customer service.”