JANUARY 14TH, 2016
Ryanair Welcomes Caa Investigation Into eDreams & Opodo
Ryanair, Europe’s favourite airline, today (14 Jan) welcomed the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) investigation into screenscraping websites, eDreams and Opodo, which continue to mislead consumers by advertising non-existent Ryanair fares via the eDreams and Opodo websites and Google paid search adverts.
Screenscraper website eDreams has been allowed by Google to use the misleading subdomain “www.Ryanair.eDreams.com”, and a copycat website with identical Ryanair branding, in order to deceive consumers into visiting the eDreams website, and booking with eDreams at inflated fares.
Ryanair launched High Court proceedings against both eDreams and Google last December, in an effort to stop them misleading consumers by advertising false Ryanair fares. Similarly Opodo, which is owned by eDreams Odigeo, is now using the same Google adverts and misleading subdomain – “www.Ryanair.Opodo.co.uk” – to deceive customers who wish to book Ryanair’s low fares.
The CAA is currently investigating the “website and pricing practices” of eDreams and Opodo in relation to a number of issues “concerning price transparency” and said it would continue to monitor such websites “to ensure that consumers are not misled and have access to comparable information on prices”.
The UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has also published a ruling upholding a complaint against Opodo relating to misleading advertising and pricing and asked for this decision to be extended to cover the eDreams website.
Ryanair has no issue with online travel agents who display Ryanair’s low fares in a transparent manner, and already has a number of licencing agreements in place with sites such as SkyScanner, Trip Advisor, Momomdo and Dohop. Similarly, Ryanair has no issue with Google selling ad space, provided it is done so in an honest and transparent manner.
Ryanair’s Chief Marketing Officer, Kenny Jacobs said:
“We are continuing to receive complaints from customers on daily basis who have mistakenly booked with eDreams, as well as with Opodo, as both websites continue to engage in anti-consumer practices, and we welcome this CAA investigation into the pricing and practices of these screenscraper websites.
Ryanair has no commercial agreement with eDreams or Opodo, who continue to advertise false fares and unlawfully mis-sell Ryanair fares with hidden handling fees. Our repeated calls for greater Google advert transparency, or for Google to comply with their own code of conduct, have been ignored, and we have been left with no choice but to issue High Court proceedings in order to prevent more ordinary consumers being deceived by this false and unlawful advertising scam.
The German courts have already outlawed this eDreams false advertising, and it’s high time the Irish and UK courts did the same to protect consumers. We urge consumers to only book Europe’s lowest fares on the Ryanair.com website and we will continue to challenge these misleading practises on their behalf.”