Ryanair warns customers about online scam

Published on : Thursday, July 29, 2021

Ryanair has urged its customers to always book directly through its website or app following further evidence of what the low-cost carrier calls “anti-consumer practices” by online travel agents. The airline said it had been notified by customers of a bogus “discount” scam, where customers purchase “discounted” flights through a scam agent, which has no affiliation to Ryanair.

Customers who mistakenly booked through online travel agents can now also check whether they have been overcharged by using a price checker tool which was launched in April. The tool has been used by more than 50,000 customers to date and allows customers to compare how much they paid to online travel agents against what Ryanair received for the booking.

The online travel agents’ business model operates by applying mark-ups to flights and flight products, which means that customers can pay up to 40 per cent more for the same offerings, than if they had booked directly on the Ryanair website or app. The scam agent uses the customer’s payment details to secure their flight booking, before storing the customer’s payment details for fraudulent use at a later date. 

Dara Brady, Director of Marketing, Ryanair said in a statement that the latest online travel agents scam is yet another reason why passengers should always book direct. He mentioned that online travel agents are selling flights but have no commercial agreements with the carrier, and any screen scraping of the website is in breach of the terms of use.

He mentioned that the Verified Seal on the Ryanair website and app earlier this year to help customers avoid the pitfalls of booking with online travel agents, who often overcharge, and may provide incorrect customer information which prevents Ryanair from dealing directly with its passengers.

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