Ryanair lost its application for a High Court injunction against a Dublin travel agent on Friday after the judge described the carrier’s claims as “fanciful”.
The Irish High Court refused an injunction against Budget Travel, accused by Ryanair of screen-scraping data from its website in breach of its terms and intellectual property rights.
Ryanair implemented an extra verification step in their booking process last November, in an effort to “block [agents] from the site completely”. Budget Travel denied the accusations and said its clients contract with Ryanair when they book a flight.
However, the Dublin-based agency remains the subject of a claim for damages for selling Ryanair flights without the carrier’s agreement. Ryanair sought the injunction pending the outcome of its full claim.
High Court Justice Brian McGovern dismissed Ryanair’s claim that Budget Travel’s activities could cause “unquantifiable damage” to the airline’s business and reputation as “somewhat unreal and fanciful”.
McGovern said ordering the agency to cease its activity ahead of a full hearing would cause “hardship and inconvenience”.
Ryanair accuses Budget Travel of “mis-selling Ryanair flights with mark-ups of €18 (£15) or more”, failing to provide consumers with a breakdown of flight prices, charging “€75 and more” for returning refunds issued by Ryanair and failing to notify passengers of Ryanair’s terms and conditions.
It also accuses the agency of “failing to provide Ryanair with passenger contact details”, “failing to provide Ryanair with passenger credit card details”, and “failing to offer Ryanair ancillary services”.
A Ryanair spokesman said: “Budget Travel has no permission or agreement with Ryanair and we have been forced to take legal action to insist they immediately desist from unlawfully scraping and selling Ryanair’s flights.
“Ryanair allows third party websites to display our lowest fares, for price comparison purposes only, if they sign a licence agreement.”