Ryanair, an Ireland-based low cost airline, is urging its passengers to buy their tickets from the company’s own website, rather than from on-line travel agents.
The airline claims to have received around 300 complaints from passengers that have booked their air tickets with travel booking website, ‘On The Beach’ an online travel agent (or screenscraper) that the company is now taking legal action against. The passengers complained of being overcharged by such websites, as well as not having been provided with basic services, including the confirmation of special assistance arrangements, advice regarding flight changes, or the provision of a copy of the terms and conditions of travel. This has lead to the travellers encountering problems when they arrive at the airport to take their flight.
The company head of communications, Stephen McNamara, said, ‘Online travel agents or ‘screenscraper’ websites continue to cause problems for passengers with their non-existent or inadequate after-sale service.
Many of these sites fail to pass on vital information to both passengers 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 their misguided customers. Our message to passengers is simple: book directly on www.ryanair.com for the guaranteed lowest fares and best customer care.’
The airline has reported that in some cases passengers have been compelled to pay around €60 or £60 as a boarding card reissue fee at the check-in desk, as no boarding card was ever issued by the high-cost intermediaries, an expense that could have been avoided by buying airfares directly from the airline website.