Ryanair claims Spanish victory in screen scraping scrap

By Travolution
By Travolution
November 25, 2011 03:51 PM GMT

Ryanair has hailed the success of its reCAPTCHA anti-screen scraping security measure claiming two Spanish sites have stopped displaying its prices.

The low-cost airline included the additional security measure from last week, prompting some in the trade to claim it was putting at risk one million of sales, a claim denied by Ryanair.

In the last few moments the carrier issued a statement hailing the move and saying both Edreams and Bravofly had stopped scraping its site for inventory.

Ryanair said it “urges all Spanish consumers, if they want the lowest fares to or from Spain, to book their flights only on the Ryanair.com website, where they will have no difficulty complying with the reCAPTCHA security feature”.

The Irish airline, Europe’s largest by passenger numbers, said the move would improve the response times of the site and “genuine consumers”.

It added it “welcomed the decision by Edreams and Bravofly to no long display Ryanair’s fares and seats and hopes they will continue to desist from unauthorised screen scraping”.

Ryanair spokesman Stephen McNamara said: “Ryanair is delighted that our new reCAPTCHA security feature has finally persuaded Edreams and Bravofly to stop displaying Ryanair’s prices and seats. 

“These websites no longer display the lowest fares in Spain. Ryanair will continue to implement measures to get rid of unauthorised screenscrapers and travel agents from our website, so that we can maximise consumer access and continue to improve the response times for ordinary passengers who want to book Europe’s lowest air fares without doing it through unauthorised screenscrapers or middle men such as Edreams and Bravofly. 

“We hope now that Bravofly and Edreams have finally stopped their unauthorised screenscraping of the Ryanair.com website, that passengers in Spain will now realise that the only website where they can be guaranteed the lowest air fares is the Ryanair.com website, where they won’t pay any hidden handling fees or be misquoted higher air fares, as has been the case with many unauthorised screenscrapers to date.”

Ryanair went on to claim that contrary to travel trade rumours bookings this week have increased as a result of the new reCAPTCHA security attributing this improvement to faster response times. 

The renewed attack on screenscrapers is a major issue for dynamic packaging travel agents in the UK for whom Ryanair is the biggest source of flights with some estimated to include them in 60% of what they sell.

However, since the measure first appeared last week, some have claimed to have found ways round reCAPTCHA. Ryanair told agents it simply wanted them to stop selling their flights, even though many in the trade believe it will not be able to capture this business direct.

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