The airline put in a reCAPTCHA page – where letters or numbers need to be entered to proceed further – at the point after a user enters their initial search query and before fares and availability and timetables are displayed.
Ryanair calls this a “security feature”.
But if this is the case then those very same screenscrapers have had a chance to break security at the low cost carrier this week after it removed the feature.
Inevitably not disclosed last week, when Ryanair announced its website would be taken offline for just over 24 hours for technical maintenance, but the page was removed allowing users to breeze straight through to the results pages without having to complete the reCAPTCHA.
The unbridled joy for so-called screenscraper will apparently be short-lived, according to Ryanair.
An official says the move was only temporary as part of the upgrade.¬†The rhetoric returns:
“The facility improves consumer protection against unauthorised screenscraper websites and ensures customers can find the guaranteed lowest fares only at Ryanair.”
The website upgrade has been completed and the reCAPTCHA will be reinstated shortly.
Until then, scrapers, time to turn on the juice again…