Ryanair has cancelled over 5,000 tickets as a result of its policy to punish third party websites which ‘scrape’ fares from the no-frills carrier’s own website.
The airline’s controversial action was expected by many to subside within a week following its high profile introduction in mid-August, but Travolution understands the decision to scrap tickets bought via some third party websites will remain in place for the foreseeable future.
A source close to the issue said the airline wants to see a “significant reduction in the number of tickets being bought on other sites” before it will alter its current course of action.
The policy has attracted heavy criticism from the travel trade despite passengers being told on the terms and conditions that their tickets are invalid if bought on any site apart from Ryanair.com.
The Office of Fair Trading was contacted by industry body Abta after news emerged of the move by Ryanair. However, it is believed the UK consumer watchdog would not have sufficient enough grounds to punish Ryanair due to the warning given on tickets.
It is also still unclear as to where the bulk of the cancelled tickets were bought and for what particular routes they were intended.
The lack of any major, negative coverage in the UK mainstream media has led some to speculate that only low-volume third party sites in smaller countries have been on the receiving end of the policy so far.