Ryanair has accused the Czech-based online travel agent Kiwi.com of issuing passengers with fake boarding passes. The low-cost carrier’s director of marketing Dara Brady warned that Ryanair will turn passengers away at the boarding gate if they try to fly with a Kiwi.com boarding pass after agents became aware of the issue just over a week ago.
Brady says Kiwi.com doesn’t have the authorisation to sell Ryanair flights let alone issue boarding passes on behalf of Ryanair. The airline has waged a war on third-party booking websites or ‘screen scrapers’ like Kiwi.com because they access Ryanair’s flights posing as a fake customer to then sell the ticket on, sometimes at a significant markup.
Ryanair has already obtained a court order which requires Kiwi.com not to replace genuine customer email addresses with fake addresses preventing Ryanair from communicating directly with passengers that have booked a ticket through Kiwi.com
Brady claims Kiwi.com is yet to comply with that court order.
“We became aware of these fake boarding passes when a small number of passengers who booked their flights through Kiwi.com arrived at the boarding gate without official Ryanair Boarding Passes last week,” Brady explained.\
“It is an obligation under EU regulations that an airline informs passengers directly of all safety and security policies regarding their flight,” he continued, saying that Kiwi.com was circumventing these important aviation safety regulations.
Unfortunately, passengers who have booked a Ryanair through Kiwi.com might not be able to check-in via Ryanair’s official website because Kiwi.com withholds the correct booking reference and email address that the booking was made under.
Kiwi.com is already facing another lawsuit in the United States after Southwest Airlines sued the travel agency alleging it was selling tickets without Southwest’s permission. A federal court ruled last week that Southwest could pursue the claim in a Texas court.
Southwest claims Kiwi.com screenscraped its website for flight and pricing information and then resold the tickets to more than 170,000 customers.
Another lawsuit is being pursued against website Skiplagged for selling so-called ‘hidden city’ ticketing. Skiplagged and Kiwi.com are accused of working in concert to deceive the public.
Photo: Reinholds Nulle / Shutterstock.com
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.