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Ryanair Decides To Attack The Price Comparison Sites

News that Ryanair, the troubled Irish budget airline, has threatened to cancel all ticket purchases made through price comparison websites has stunned the industry. The company claims that these sales, which see sites comparing ticket prices on behalf of customers, are against their rules and regulations and as such all passengers using this method will be removed from flight lists. So why wait until now to act?

The fact that these so called 'screenscraping' websites have been booking flights on behalf of clients for years suggests that Ryanair wants to ensure that customers visit their site directly, allowing them the opportunity to add more and more passengers to their mailing lists. The group has taken on the mantle of the consumers champion, claiming that customers are charged commissions by the comparison websites on top of basic ticket prices. But surely this is traditional business etiquette?

It does not take a genius to see what Ryanair is up to at a time when the company is really feeling the pinch. Passenger numbers down, profits reduced to losses and a short term business plan which seems very high risk are all adding to the potentially difficult background for the next 12 months.

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