***UPDATE: 01/16/20 @ 17:04 UTC – added statement from Skyscanner***
Skyscanner has lost a court case against Ryanair. As a result, the Irish low-cost carrier has been granted an injunction against the flight comparison website. The ruling was delivered by a court in Hamburg.
Flight comparison websites can be like Marmite. You either love them, or you hate them. I personally love using one specific site for all of my flight booking needs. However, it seems as though Ryanair has taken a disliking to comparison site Skyscanner, specifically the German iteration of the website. The website was found to be unlawfully marking up Ryanair’s fares.
What is Skyscanner?
Much like Kayak and Google Flights, Skyscanner is a website which allows passengers to compare the cost of different flights with relative ease. For example, let’s look at if a passenger wanted to fly from London to Frankfurt.
They could log onto each airlines website such as Lufthansa, British Airways, Ryanair, and SAS. This would allow them to see the price offered by the airline directly. However, it is relatively labour intensive.
On the other hand, a website like Skyscanner cuts the effort involved by doing the work and displaying the costs side by side. They’d simply type in London to Frankfurt and the relevant dates, and the website does the rest of the work.
For example, looking for one way flights between the two destinations tomorrow, the website says that the cheapest option is a connecting flight with Air Europa at £51, and Ryanair’s cheapest direct flight is £89. Meanwhile, British Airways starts at £114, and Lufthansa at £144.
So what has the court ruled?
The court in Hamburg has ruled that Ryanair should be granted an interim injunction against the website Skyscanner. The court reached this decision for four reasons.
It was determined that Skyscanner was displaying Ryanair flights for more money than the airline was offering them for. This was ruled to be unlawful. The website was ruled to have been displaying flight costs without showing its fees, indicating that checked baggage costs more than it should have. Finally, the website has been banned for providing Ryanair with false email addresses.
Speaking of the ruling, Ryanair’s Kenny Jacobs, who thinks the airline could receive 10 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in time for summer, said,
“We welcome the Hamburg Court injunctions which will help protect our customers from misleading hidden mark-ups on Skyscanner.de, ensuring our customers get the lowest fares, which can only be found on Ryanair.com.
“We have been engaged in various legal cases across Europe to prevent our customers from being subjected to excessive unnecessary additional charges from unauthorized screenscraper websites and to ensure Ryanair has appropriate contact details to ensure customers get correct information regarding their flight.”
Skyscanner also pitched in, telling Simple Flying,
Skyscanner does not comment on any ongoing disputes. However, we do not charge travellers any fees or markups and we will continue to work in their best interests, as we strive to provide them with the greatest possible choice.
Have you booked Ryanair flights though Skyscanner? What are your thoughts on the ruling? Let us know in the comments!