Ryanair flexes muscles over screen-scrapers

Amsterdam-based Bravofly.com is the latest screenscraping web site to face legal action by Ryanair.

The airline filed an action in the Dublin Commercial Court against Bravofly, acccording to the reports, after requests for it to stop scraping the Ryanair site were ignored.

The news comes at the same time as the airline won an injunction in Germany against another aggregator site, Vtours, preventing it from selling Ryanair seats.

Ryanair’s deputy chief executive Michael Cawley said of the decision by the Hamburg Regional Court: “We believe that this groundbreaking Court ruling in Germany will be the first of a series of such pro-consumer decisions across Europe”.

The airline takes around 98% of its bookings direct, and has always insisted that it is not interested in the third party distribution, even via authorised partnerships.

It has previously complained to heavy hitters such as Expedia and lastminute.com about unauthorised scraping, although it has shied away from court action.

EasyJet has a different approach to third party distribution – it does have a mechanism for third parties and has linked up with Galileo and Amadeus to allow business travel agents to book its seats, at a cost.

A similar set up for leisure agents via Multicom or Comtec is expected to go live shortly. However, it has also threatened legal action against any sites which continue to sell its seats after being told to stop.

However, Travolution recently revealed the development by easyJet of a dedicated feed for online travel agencies.

Ryanair did not return calls at the time of publication.

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