6 years ago

Ryanair screen scraping issue turns into a daily farce

UPDATE: Ryanair says it will now modify its Captcha security initiative after ‘Bravofly and eDreams ‘recommenced unauthorised display and sale of  its low fares’.

The airline says it had welcomed the decision of the intermediaries to cease but believes this latest move:

‘proves that while Ryanair has not been adversely affected by the blocking on unauthorized sites/agents, these sites/agents clearly can’t survive without access to Ryanair’s low fares.’

The airline says it will continue to find ways to block screen-scrapers.

A statement from Ryanair on Friday claimed a victory over Spain’s Bravofly and eDreams in the ongoing screen-scraping battle.

The airline said its new website captcha security measure had forced the companies to stop screen-scraping the site for pricing and availability information.

This morning would appear to tell a different story as a quick trawl of both sites brings back Ryanair flights.

Despite Ryanair’s anti-agent stance, it would seem companies are already finding a way around its latest initiative – unless, of course, some agreement has been reached in the interim.

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About the Writer :: Linda Fox

Linda Fox is managing editor for Tnooz. For the past decade years she has worked as a freelance journalist across a range of B2B titles including Travolution, ABTA Magazine, Travelmole and the Business Travel Magazine.

In this time she has also undertaken corporate projects for a number of high profile travel technology, travel management and research companies.

Prior to her freelance career she covered hotels and technology news for Travel Trade Gazette for seven years. Linda joined TTG from Caterer & Hotelkeeper where she worked on the features desk for more than five years.



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  1. Screen-scrapers scrambling to regain access to Ryanair’s website « AirObserver's Blog

    […] were no longer listed on popular screen-scaping websites eDreams and Bravofly. However, in a sadly comic turn of event, it only took a few hours for the websites to find a new way into the airline’s […]

  2. Highly Frustrated

    In the meantime, a few thousand honest customers (like me) are deeply frustrated by the now sheer unusability ot the Ryanair website. Seriously, I found this page when trying to find out what on earth was wrong with my browser. How dare I, trying to book a flight to France?! But hey, loyal frequent customers must be the next to to last in terms of priorities for the airline.

    • Timothy O'Neil-Dunne

      Now that is a whole other issue. Usability on travel websites are particularly bad, but airlines seem to have turned this into an art form.

      It is a fine line between usability and merchandising but the current state of the art of the latter is pretty poor. Sadly


  3. Timothy O'Neil-Dunne

    In the end all screen scraping carries risk for the consumer. This is higher than the normal forms of risk involved in online booking which we have pointed out before are not zero..

    Whether one like’s FR’s practice or not – it remains their inventory and they, like any airline can (or correctly should be allowed to) distribute as they please. With load factors as high as they are – its a sellers market – we should not forget tis fact.

    Until there is a definitive way to tell if the fare you are seeing is truly the lowest purchasable fare with an appropriate guarantee – the cost to the industry and the time lost in needless searching will add up to real cost for the consumer.

    There are many parties who have less than innocent hands.


  4. Barry Coleman

    I don’t seem to be able to book a flight from Porto to Dublin on Ryanair via edreams anymore. 🙁 But it soes work on ryanair.com (April 2012).

  5. Allplane

    I am surprised that so many people out there are still booking Ryanair flights via agents…


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