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
    Jake, 8 Aug 2008 @ 11:57am

    As I recall it turned out that easyJet was suing off one such reseller for adding usurious surcharges, using a crude and badly-designed system that frequently failed to transmit booking information to them correctly, and pocketing the fare and not telling the customer when it fouled up. I would respectfully submit that having your company name used to defraud your would-be customers is probably not a very good promotional channel.
    Mind you, neither is refusing to honour the bookings made in good faith by the victims of said fraud, and nor is making the fraudsters themselves responsible for refunding the money paid in the vain hope of making their lives difficult. easyJet seem to have been motivated by a genuine wish to protect their clients and the company's reputation from an outright scam; damned if I can figure out Ryanair's objective, though wangling of a cut of the surcharges is one possibility that springs to mind.

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