Ryanair blocks flight search engine

Deep linking dispute

Fledgling flight comparison Website -Openjet.com - has accused Ryanair of blocking access to its airline schedules.

Cork-based Openjet.com enables users to search, compare and book flights with different low cost airlines.

But in an email received by Openjet.com's host, Hosting365, Ryanair confirmed it had blocked access because: "...one of your [Hosting365] servers/services openjet.com is abusing ryanair.com by scanning our site and presenting and selling our seats as their [openjet] own".

This claim is rejected by Openjet.com director Eamon Curtin. "At no point do we purport to be anything but a Web site which allows travellers to search and book flights from a number of low cost airlines."

He csays Openjet.com is, in effect, a "specialised search engine" that charges a fee of €10 for a service that enables travellers to search the flight schedules of multiple airlines.

Openjet.com is still providing a search service for three other airlines - easyJet, bmibaby and MyTravelLite - and plans to add four more airlines before the end of the year.

In a statement Openjet.com MD Pat O'Shea said: "This flies in the face of everything that Ryanair purports to stand for. How can this increase consumer choice, create new markets or develop inward tourism? Ryanair’s stance on this means that Ireland loses out."

No one at Ryanair was available for comment at the time of writing. ®

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