Airline Plans To Cancel All Flights Booked Through 3rd Party Websites

from the piss-off-your-customers-much? dept

And people wonder why airlines have so much trouble staying in business? We were already confused enough by American Airlines' desire not to be listed on the sites where people search for airfare, and easyJet's plan to sue the sites that send it customers, but Irish-based airline Ryanair is taking this all to a new level. Beyond just being upset about those 3rd party sites (i.e., sites that send it business!), it's planning to cancel the flights for everyone who booked through one of those services (thanks to Sean for the link).

Yes, we understand that these airlines prefer people to purchase flights from the airlines directly, but it still seems bizarre to try to cut off a great promotional channel. People already know to go look at 3rd party sites for airfare, so actively working against having your flights promoted doesn't make much sense. Then actively pissing off a bunch of your customers who booked through those sites by canceling their flights is even more braindead, as you've just formed a huge group of customers who will complain about your airline and spread the word about how you canceled their legitimately purchased flight for no reason other than spite and a confusion over business models. When Ryanair started promoting how some of its seats might come with sexual gratification, I'd bet many passengers didn't realize it would end with them getting screwed.

Filed Under: aggregation, airlines, cancel, global distribution services, scraping, ticket prices
Companies: ryanair


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  1. identicon
    fail., 8 Aug 2008 @ 9:05pm

    Ryanair is essentially preventing theft

    This Ryanair bit has been covered by several sites up until now for the past few months. The company is getting disgusted by these screen-scraping websites that are overcharging for the already discounted flights. Ryanair is a discount carrier and I've also seen it be mentioned that from these screen scraping sites they are not getting adequate information about the people they have boarding, (i.e. the middleman is not passing along proper names and identification information), or providing adequate service when Ryanair really has no idea what hey are talking about.

    I actually side with Ryanair on this one, and also, Ryanair is a European-only airline so comparing it to the US airline subsidies is not really a fair comparison. The main reason I side with Ryanair is in other businesses this lack of communication between middlemen and the end customer costs money, time and customer loyalty. Think of it this way: a businessman rents a car from Company A, and then in turn rents it out to another person at a higher rate. The businessman makes a wad of cash, and Company A doesn't have a clue that the information they have is invalid, nor is the person they loaned the car to driving the vehicle. This is not really a consumer vs. business situation, it's a business vs. business. They've already sued and won:

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/07/11/ryanair_screen_scraping_victory/

    So please, this is not US failing airline problems. It's illegal behavior that Ryanair is trying to stop.

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