Ryanair has once again accused online travel agency “pirates” of overcharging customers and using “fake fares”.
The low-cost airline is embroiled in a long-running dispute with online travel agencies (OTAs), not only complaining that they charge customers too much for Ryanair flights but that they have been selling its flights without permission.
In its latest salvo, Ryanair has claimed that On The Beach is “the number one pirate, overcharging its customers by a predatory 117 per cent (£125) for a flight change fee that costs just £45 on Ryanair.” com”.
Opodo was also singled out in the report for “charging a service fee of €60 (£51)” for what was described as “a non-existent service”. While eSky charges a cancellation fee of 33 euros (£28) “for flights that cannot be cancelled”, the low-cost airline added.
In its study, Ryanair repeated calls for the UK and Irish governments and EU consumer agencies to “take action to stop OTA piracy and consumer scams” as part of its campaign to tourists “are protected from overpricing and improper sales.”
Ryanair has once again accused online travel agency ‘pirates’ of overcharging customers and using ‘fake fares’
|On the beach
|On the beach
Ryanair’s Dara Brady said: “Our February survey continues to expose scams and overcharging by OTA pirates, with On The Beach highlighted as February’s number one pirate for its appalling 117 per cent overcharge of £125 per a £45 flight change fee on Ryanair..com.
While Opodo charges a “service” fee of 60 euros for a non-existent service and eSky charges a “cancellation” fee of 33 euros for flights that cannot be canceled.
‘These are just the latest examples of hundreds of OTA hackers who are illegally ripping off Ryanair.com to overcharge, deceive and scam unsuspecting consumers in exchange for Ryanair products and services.
‘It is unacceptable that the UK and Irish governments and EU consumer agencies continue to ignore this rampant digital piracy and mis-selling against consumers.
“Ryanair will continue to campaign against these OTA pirates, exposing their digital piracy and overcharging scams, and will continue to call for these OTA pirates to be banned and their scams to end.”
Ryanair analysis highlighted the price of adding a 20kg bag to a Ryanair flight when booking with On The Beach (£34.99)
Ryanair is not the only one warning about OTA fees. Last year, travelers were warned by Which? take the seemingly “deal” flight fares offered by some OTAs “with a pinch of salt”, and research by the consumer advocate reveals their deals can be more than £100 more expensive than booking direct with airlines due to “exorbitant” fees for extras such as luggage and seat selection.
Meanwhile, in January, Ryanair warned of the impact of a number of OTAs’ decision to remove the Irish airline from their websites.
The airline said that since the beginning of December, many of the larger sites such as Booking.com, Kiwi and Kayak have removed Ryanair from their sites.
He said the sudden removal of what he claimed were “pirates” from OTAs was “welcome”, but added that it would hit their so-called load factor – a key measure of how well airlines fill their planes – by one or two percent. hundred. cent during December and January.
Ryanair claims online travel agencies (OTAs) are charging “fake fares”. The airline highlighted this in red pen in Opodo’s terms and conditions, which stipulate “a service fee of up to 60 euros.”
However, the Irish airline doesn’t dislike all OTAs: it recently signed a deal with loveholidays to offer its flights as part of package holidays.
Responding to Ryanair’s latest analysis, an Opodo spokesperson said: “The accusation of ‘made-up rates’ is completely unfounded. In reality, travelers pay less for their holiday with us – Ryanair simply objects to this because we help travelers to access your competition.
‘This baseless claim is hypocritical on Ryanair’s part, considering it is known as the Fare King, imposing up to 28 different service charges on consumers, charging for anything imaginable. We compare and combine flights from 700 airlines to offer travelers cheaper and more convenient routes than Ryanair’s limited options.’
In its analysis, Ryanair circled what it called “false fees” charged by eSky, including a cancellation fee of 33 euros, “for flights that cannot be cancelled.”
Deniz Rymkiewicz, spokesperson for the eSky Group, said: ‘Once again, Ryanair, which is in conflict with the OTAs, is trying to present the OTAs as the “bad guys” in the industry. We believe that the report published on February 9 should not be treated as such due to basic inaccuracies in the methodology.
“First and foremost, comparing luggage prices without providing broader context is misleading. It is standard practice for airlines, including Ryanair, to dynamically adjust flight and baggage prices based on various factors such as destination and booking window.
‘As for cancellation fees, I would like to point out that they are taken out of context and apply to any airline, not just Ryanair. This fee covers services provided in processing flight cancellations, including communicating with the airline to verify cancellation terms and possible refund options.
Ryanair highlighted that eSky (price circled on the left) charges more than Ryanair.com (price circled on the right) for priority boarding.
“Ryanair flights are non-refundable, so this fee applies to airlines that allow cancellation with a partial or full refund, depending on their policies.”
A spokesperson for On The Beach said Ryanair “is comparing flight booking amendments to ATOL-protected holiday packages only”, which is “like comparing a single apple to an entire basket of fruit”.
They added: ‘Our holidays include flights, accommodation, transfers and any activities or excursions, as well as flexible payment plans to best meet our customers’ needs – something that cannot be offered when booking flights alone.
“The flight is only one part of a trip and therefore comparing the modifications of a package trip and all its components is not a fair or true comparison.”