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Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Ryanair takes on Dutch screenscraper

Fresh from The Post, via the smiling Deirdre Kilroy, comes the exciting story that cut-price (or is it cut-throat) economy airline Ryanair has commenced copyright infringement proceedings against Bravofly before the Commercial Court, Dublin, to prevent it from using Ryanair’s booking engine to sell flights online. Bravofly, a Dutch-based business with offices in Dublin, Switzerland and Italy, is allegedly practising the subtle skill of screenscraping, contrary to the published terms for the website's use.

Right: now passengers can save money by flying in the bus that takes them to their airport.

Ryanair’s website offers the ability to make flight bookings on its website to individual passengers only and opposes the practice of others piggybacking off its booking infrastructure in order to offer flights to customers without going on to its own website directly. By screenscraping Bravofly helps users of its own website compare prices and flight times for routes operated by a number of airlines. For this benefit Bravofly adds an administrative fee of up to €10 to the price charged by the airlines chosen by its web-users. Customers who use Bravofly's services miss the chance to read the ads and choose the offers on Ryanair's site.

The IPKat says this action raises serious issues for cut-price airlines in a recessionary economy, whose profit-margins may be squeezed by higher overheads and lower volume: a decline in click-throughs can make all the difference. Merpel demurs: what's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander, she says. If screenscraping is so profitable, why doesn't Ryanair do it back to Bravofly?

Screenscraping here
Windscreen wiping here
Fly on the Windscreen here

1 comment:

BRAVOFLY said...

The main reason why customers choose Bravofly is because of its ease of use and its ability to compare various offers from airline operators.

Following Ryanair’s statements accusing Bravofly of conducting illegal sales of Ryanair flights, Bravofly explains the complete legitimacy of its activity, which guaranties users the possibility to compare flight offers and to choose the best option for them.

July 28th, 2008 – Ryanair has accused Bravofly, the leading online search engine in Europe that allows users to compare and to buy flights offered by the most important airline companies, of committing illegal acts due to the way in which Bravofly presents Ryanair’s flight information on its website and because it allows users to buy tickets directly on Bravofly’s website.

These accusations have no foundation.

Bravofly provides a wide array of services and gives its users the possibility to:

1) find information and available flights for required routes (flight time, direct flights or with stopovers)
2) compare the prices being offered by various airline companies
3) search for the best prices for flexible dates.

Once the user has found the flight that best suits his needs, he can purchase the ticket directly, with no need for a new connection to the flight provider’s website.

Bravofly offers all these services, as well as its pricing process, with a high level of market transparency. In fact, users can clearly see on Bravofly’s websites (volagratis.it; bravofly.com; bravofly.fr; bravofly.es, bravofly.de, bravofly.co.uk) the price of the flight (that is strictly determined by the airline company), and the service costs added by Bravofly.

Moreover, users are informed of the travel rules and regulations imposed by the airline company, including information about online booking for checked-in luggage. Also, in order to provide users with a simpler more direct means of communication, Bravofly offers complete assistance thanks to its customer service – Bravofly supplies users with information and support whenever there are any changes to a flight.

Every airline company’s best offers are displayed on Bravofly’s website so that the user can choose the most convenient solution, while using Bravofly’s custom developed advanced search tools (such as the table showing the best prices for the week, timetable filters, departure and arrival airport options, and many more). Once the user has chosen a flight, he can decide to process his purchase request using the web application provided by Bravofly – it is easy to use and is the same for all airline companies.

These services allow users to save time, to deal with the same quality and the same personalisation when booking their flights (even if booking with different airline companies) and furthermore, they can use a familiar centralised system. Therefore, Internet users are willing to pay a little more for these additional useful services.

It is entirely to the user’s discretion to use any or all of Bravofly’s aforementioned services.

Some users prefer to use Bravofly’s websites uniquely to obtain information about available flights – they may then decide to purchase their flight directly from the airline company’s website. Bravofly encourages all users to use its websites offering the best service for searching, comparing, booking flights, as well as offering the best assistance before and after the flight purchase. It is thanks to its ability to compare several offers, to the ease of use of its booking system, to the quality of its customer service and assistance, both on the internet and in their call centers and to all its additional services that over 3000 people choose Bravofly’s websites every day in order to book their airline ticket, instead of making a new connection to the homepage of the airline companies.

A choice that is made in complete respect with European regulations; so much so that Bravofly has already requested that the competent tribunals address the legitimacy of Bravofly’s offered services and Ryanair’s unfounded position.

Ryanair’s position against Bravofly is part of its general tendency to take legal recourse against the most important websites that offer flight price comparisons and airline ticket purchases. This clearly demonstrates that Ryanair aims to prevent travellers from having access to precise information about the best prices.

In November 2007, the Tribunal of Commerce in Paris declared that Ryanair’s demands against other operators was unfounded.

In order to stop this negative campaign initiated by Ryanair, Bravofly has mandated its lawyers to protect the good name and the correct operation of Bravofly from Ryanair’s libelous and offending declarations, in all Bravofly offices as necessary.

PRESS OFFICE BRAVOFLY
Contact: Rosangela Leone
E-mail: rosangela.leone@bravofly.com

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