Ryanair wins clash against online travel agency in French court


The Paris Court of Appeal this week ordered an immediate halt to the “illegal sale of Ryanair flights in France by Lastminute punishable by a daily fine of €1,000”. Ryanair has since shared that it welcomes the court’s decision.


Lastminute.com is an online travel and leisure retail powerhouse, famous for its offerings since the company was founded 23 years ago. This week’s court ruling concerns the firm’s French department.

The court said Lastminute had to pay Ryanair €50,000 for free travel without the company’s consent on its website. The court also ordered the company to pay €10,000 for the Irish carrier’s legal costs as well as €10,000 for the operator’s costs at first instance.


Ryanair stresses that this ruling is part of a wider battle facing the low-cost carrier. In particular, it is struggling with “screen-scraping” sites that take fares from its own site and resell them to travellers, often with a margin.

The court’s decision will become enforceable next month. Photo: Getty Images

A word from the airline

Overall, the carrier is happy with this update. However, he will continue his fight in this field through the aeronautical industry.

Ryanair’s Director of Marketing, Communications and Digital, Dara Brady, shared the following in a statement:

“We welcome this decision by the Paris court confirming Ryanair’s right to determine its own distribution model, which is guaranteed by the constitutional freedom of commerce and industry in France. Ryanair’s direct-to-customer distribution model gives our customers the best choice, the best care and the lowest fares while allowing us to ensure flight safety, security and public health protocols are adhered to. We again urge consumers to book directly on the Ryanair website, the only place to find the lowest Ryanair fares. We will continue our campaign against screen scrapers, many of whose business models depend on mis-selling Ryanair fares at inflated prices (or with hidden mark-ups) to unsuspecting consumers.

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Ongoing issues

Ryanair has been fighting against screenscraping for several years. Notably, in early 2020, he won a case against flight comparison company Skyscanner in a German court over the fare markup.

Later that year, as the pandemic escalated, 90% of the airline’s flights were canceled, but when it emailed vouchers, fake email addresses provided by various sites screenshots resulted in customers never receiving their vouchers. Additionally, when passengers contacted Ryanair, they were unable to complete the verification process due to fake payment and fake contact details. Therefore, the airline has strengthened its position against such incidents.

It is therefore understandable that Ryanair wants to take over third-party sales. The carrier undoubtedly wants more control over the booking process, as this not only benefits the business, but also provides the customer with better results.

What do you think of Ryanair’s victory in this lawsuit against Lastminute? What do you think of the overall situation and the challenges airlines are facing with screenscraping? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.


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