Ryanair has called on 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.
This bogus 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.
Ryanair director of marketing, Dara Brady, said: “This latest online travel agents scam is yet another reason why passengers should always book direct.
“In response, we launched 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.”
Customers who mistakenly booked through an online travel agents can now also check whether they have been overcharged by using a price checker tool which was launched in April.
This tool has been used by more than 50,000 customers to date and allows customers to compare how much they paid to an 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.