Ryanair warns of "bogus" scam offering "discounted" flights to customers 1 month ago

Ryanair warns of "bogus" scam offering "discounted" flights to customers

The airline is encouraging passengers to book directly to avoid being scammed.

Ryanair has warned of a bogus scam offering "discounted" flights to customers and is encouraging passengers to always book directly to avoid getting caught out.

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On Tuesday, the airline called on customers to always book directly on the Ryanair website or app following what it claimed is further evidence of anti-consumer practices by certain Online Travel Agents (OTAs) who have no affiliation to Ryanair.

According to the airline, these OTAs use the customer’s payment details to secure their flight booking, before storing the customer’s payment details for "fraudulent use at a later date".

The OTAs work, Ryanair claims, by applying mark-ups to flights booked online, meaning customers may pay up to 40% more than if they booked directly.

Customers who mistakenly booked through an OTA can now also check whether they have been overcharged by using Ryanair’s Price Checker tool, which allows customers to compare how much they paid to an OTA to what Ryanair received for the booking.

"Ryanair advises customers to always book directly on the Ryanair website or app," the airline said in a statement.

"In addition to overcharging customers, OTAs may also block Ryanair from receiving essential customer contact and payment details by providing Ryanair with fake email addresses and virtual credit cards to complete bookings."

Earlier this year, Ryanair introduced the 'Verified Seal' to guarantee customers that they are booking directly with Ryanair, which is displayed as a branded tick on the Ryanair website and app exclusively.

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“This latest OTA scam is yet another reason why passengers should always book direct," Ryanair’s Director of Marketing Dara Brady said on Tuesday.

"Online travel agents are selling our flights but have no commercial agreements with us to do so, and any screen scraping of our website is in breach of the terms of use.

"Ryanair will continue to raise awareness around the issues associated with OTAs to protect customers from these unlawful practices and we call on consumers to be wary of fake offers of discounted Ryanair flights and to always book directly."