In the latest round of the ongoing argument between Ryanair and Irish travel agents, the airline has responded to yesterday’s (February 2) accusations by the Irish Travel Agents Association (ITAA) that it was disingenuous in asserting that it hasn’t dealt with travel agents in 20 years with a new statement accusing the ITAA of ‘misleading’ consumers about their refund entitlements.
The bullish statement by the low fares airline accuses agents of “charging unsuspecting consumers up to €50 per booking” and that it “owes no money to any travel agent, because it does not deal with any travel agent.”
“Ryanair notes the false claims made by the ITAA and individual travel agents on RTE yesterday. These false claims were made by travel agents (such as Galligan Travel) who happily charge their customers up to €50 in fees for booking a €9.99 air fare on the Ryanair.com website. These agents are well aware that such 3rd party bookings on the Ryanair.com website are in breach of Ryanair’s terms and conditions, since we want to ensure that our lowest fares are always made available to consumers and not to unauthorised 3rd party agents.
The latest statement by Ryanair comes on the back of the appearance of a number of agents on RTE’s Liveline programme (listen here) outlining the difficulties they had in getting refunds from Ryanair on behalf of clients. Ryanair dismissed their claims as “false” and accused agents of engaging in “anti-consumer activity.” It then declared that if “any Irish travel agent was truly concerned about their customer refunds, then all they need do is advise their customers to complete Ryanair’s Customer Verification Form, and the requested flight refund will be issued immediately to the consumer, but not to, or via, these unauthorised, overcharging travel agents.”
There is little doubt that this fight will continue.