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#Ryanair Takes Aim at #Affiliates for Misdirecting #Customers

The Times

One shoddy airline isn't as happy as the above image would have you believe. Europe's most popular (really?), Ryanair, has released a press statement urging Google to allow for more transparent advertising in a bid to reduce the amount of misled customers. However, Google is not the main target for the airline's frustration; it is the online intermediaries, in particular eDreams, that Ryanair chooses to condemn.

So-called 'screenscraper' websites, such as that mentioned above, extract information from various sources in order to minimise human time and effort spent scouring the net for comparisons, such as the best deals and prices for flights. With this, they promise to decrease costs to the customer whilst providing them the utmost convenience. All sounds well and dandy, doesn't it?

Well, as Ryanair will hastily tell you, it isn't. Disgruntled customers, who seemingly believe to be purchasing their flights directly from the company, have been expressing their misplaced disdain to the Irish budget airline. And, by the looks of it, Ryanair has had enough. In a somewhat scathing attack on eDreams specifically, the airline denounces these third-party sites for numerous reasons while claiming to have begun legal proceedings with several in order to combat the issue. An excerpt of the press release detailing the apparent ineptitude of the 'screenscraper' sites is shown below:-

Many of these websites continue to cause problems for Ryanair customers and/or fail/refuse to pass on vital information to both customers and Ryanair regarding issues such as flight changes, web check-in, special needs assistance and contact details, which has resulted in missed flights and repeated problems for Ryanair customers. Indeed, the Court of Hamburg recently ruled that eDreams has been using an unlawful subdomain and was misleading customers into thinking that it had an official partnership with Ryanair.

Bad eDreams (virtual slap on the wrist). Judging by a screen grab from the search engine, you've got to admit they have a point. From the image below its clear to see how customer's could quite easily be confused:-

 
The eDreams advert, to me at least, looks more like the legitimate primary source for Ryanair flights, due to the positioning in the search results and the inclusion of the airline's title in their domain name.The high ranking in the search results is due to the vast amount that eDreams pays in advertising to Google, thus giving it the #1 spot. According to the airline, this confusion leads to miscommunication errors between the customer and themselves such as flight changes, special needs assistance and the suchlike. It seems that Ryanair have a pretty strong case for their annoyance, as one German court had already ruled that eDreams had been using an illegal subdomain and misleading customers into thinking it had an official partnership with the aviation company.

So it looks like the lesson to take away from this is to book directly from source, or else run the risk of your eDream becoming an eNightmare.



SMF rookie, fresh out of academia, looking forward to more creative ventures. With a love of current affairs, green tea and an ever insatiable wanderlust, Katie is ready to have her voice heard. Follow her @KatieAtSMF


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#Ryanair Takes Aim at #Affiliates for Misdirecting #Customers Reviewed by Katie Gascoyne on Sunday, October 11, 2015 Rating: 5

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