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Fake websites advertise ‘discounted’ flights; Ryanair urges customers to book directly with airline

DUBLIN: Ryanair has warned customers about fake scam websites that offer ‘discounted’ flights and has advised travellers to always book directly on the Ryanair website or app to avoid being scammed.

The Irish low-cost carrier has issued a warning that certain fraudulent websites are selling tickets at lower costs in exchange for customer data.  It says the fraudsters’ aim is to get passengers’ personal details for fraudulent use at a later period.

Customers who book through these online travel agencies (OTAs) may also pay up to 40% more than if they booked directly, Ryanair said.

In light of these fraudulent activities, the Ryanair launched a Price Checker tool in April, allowing customers to compare how much they paid to an OTA to what company received for the booking.

Ryanair advises customers who have booked through an OTA by mistake to check whether they have been overcharged and to always book directly.

Earlier this year, the company introduced the ‘Verified Seal’ on its website and app to ensure customers that they are booking directly with them.

“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’s Director of Marketing, Dara Brady, said.

“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 on the Ryanair.com website / app to access the lowest fares and direct Customer Care,” he added.

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