Ryanair ditches travel search engine Momondo after breach of contract

 
Rebecca Smith
Ryanair has not been impressed with screenscraper sites of late
Ryanair has not been impressed with screenscraper sites of late (Source: Getty)

Ryanair has revoked a licencing agreement with travel search engine Momondo following a breach of contract.

The company "urged customers to book directly on the Ryanair.com website".

It had previously granted a non-exclusive licence to Momondo to display Ryanair's fares for price comparison purposes, one of a number of travel websites including Hipmunk, Dohop and Skyscanner (which has just been acquired by China's Ctrip for a cool £1.4bn).

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But the low-cost carrier said it had revoked the licence after Momondo "displayed links to unauthorised screenscraper websites including Opodo and CheapOair which unlawfully mis-sell Ryanair's low fares", saying it was in clear breach of the licence agreement.

Ryanair revoked a similar agreement with Kayak in 2013.

It has been plagued with trouble from so-called screenscraper sites, notably eDreams, with the airline concerned over alleged issues with ticket sales and the failure to pass on accurate information to customers. And today, a German court ruled against eDreams, preventing unlawful and anti-consumer practices while mis-selling Ryanair flights.

It ordered the site to display the final price of flights at the beginning of the booking process and include all surcharges as levied by eDreams. That marks the fifth Hamburg Court ruling against the German site in the last three years.

It's not the only legal case Ryanair has been embroiled in either. Proceedings are continuing in the Irish High Court against Google and eDreams, to stop consumers being misled by the advertising of non-existent Ryanair fares on the eDreams website and Google search adverts.

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Ryanair's head of comms Robin Kiely said:

As Momondo was in clear breach of the terms of our contract by actively linking to screenscraper websites, we have revoked its licence in an effort to prevent any more customers being misled.

It’s important to note that Ryanair has no commercial agreement whatsover with Opodo or CheapOair, who continue to engage in unauthorised screenscraping and sell on Ryanair’s low fares.

Momondo's managing director Pia Vemmelund, said: "We can confirm that we no longer have a licence agreement with Ryanair, but we cannot confirm a breach of contract or that we agreed to exclusively show Ryanair prices through Ryanair’s website only."

She added that the travel site will "continue to show Ryanair flights when these are sold through travel agencies, and we’re happy to continue to show our users the lowest prices and offer transparency".

A spokesperson for eDreams accused Ryanair of "bullying behaviour".

"Ryanair are trying desperately, but failing, to stand in the way of the millions of people using online travel agent sites like ours, to get the best deal and the most convenient combination of flights possible," they said.

"This bullying behaviour - trying to force sites to remove the best deals possible - is risking consumers losing out. We offer customers all the information needed to book their flight and make sure they know of any changes to their travel or check-in, through our free mobile app – it is misleading to suggest otherwise."

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