Budget airline easyJet.co.uk has warned Expedia.co.uk to stop selling its flights via its website or face the possibility of legal action. An easyJet spokeswoman told The Register yesterday that the UK arm of Expedia, whose parent company is US-based Expedia Inc, has "no business relationship whatsoever" with the holiday e-tail …
I'd be tempted
To filter out traffic from Expedia's IP address.
Would there be any legal reason why they wouldn't be allowed to do that?
Not a good start....
Using "but" to start a sentence! This seems like a bit of a Daily Mail article. Companies are always reselling stuff and adding taking a cut, it's hardly shocking news. If your reader was too stupid to find a better price or preferred the convenience of using their site then that's his choice.
I don't complain about Dell because I can get the parts cheaper.
Easyjet may have grounds for complaint but personally I'd tell them to get stuffed too!
If people are stupid enough to pay it?
Who's next Ryanair? Seems a bit weird with no trading relationship, maybe if they don't need one they could sell stuff for us off ebay at overinflated prices?
I'll get my coat......
I had an absolute nightmare with Expedia-booked flights last year, and vowed never to use them for flight booking again.
It's a false convenience. Now I use Kayak to search then book directly with the carrier.
It loks like just another example of a company which makes its money by ripping people off. I could name a few others but will refrain as I refuse to comment anonymously. Suffice to say that companies that buy tickets for events and then sell them at sometimes double the price (look at tickets for the Reading festival for example) are part of that problem. They do nothing other than pay people to bulk-buy event tickets for anything they think will sell out, and then flog them on at higher prices.
Of course, if they didn't bulk-buy them in the first place, most people would probably have been able to get a ticket at the normal price.
Be alert when booking ferries too.
There are a number of websites selling ferry tickets between the UK and other European destinations. They have an authorised agent relationship with the operators, but while their advance pricing can be good, they do tend to ramp up the prices in the last few days before a sailing. It can be well worth comparing their offers with buying direct from the operators' websites, as they sometimes price late sales at a discount to fill the space.
Go for competition
I suggest skyscanner.net. It's awesome, it gives you graph of all days in the month so if you're quite flexible you can save a lot. It works mostly in Europe but covers almost all budget and standard airlines.
Or if you're in UK just go to Flight Centre and book there. They have good prices also. Sometimes they're cheaper than internet, especially for long haul flights.
Ryanair already try to block this
When I recently tried to book a ryanair flight I discovered that the prices aren't loaded straight away when you search for a flight - instead it first displays the flight times and then after a delay of 15 to 20 seconds the price loads.
Incredibly frustrating if you are flexible about dates and want to skip back or forwards a few days to see if there are cheaper tickets available. At the time I thought it was a customer hostile policy to dissuade people from searching for the cheapest flight. Now I think that's just a side effect and the main purpose is to prevent efficient use of screen scrapers.
In any case I gave up and booked my flight on expedia.....
You should always check prices for booking direct.
It's called capitalism
Doesn't really matter what the business model is, buying something to sell it at a profit is how our economy works. There can be all kinds of restrictions, particularly with plane tickets because of the "security" considerations but the grey market is the place to sell extra capacity. I can't believe that Easyjet is connected to Amadeus, et al. Of course, relations between direct sellers and channel can get a bit tense. Selling via screenscaping probably does count as a breach of the T&C's and can probably be referred to the Office of Fair Trading (or whatever it's now called). I'm sure they'd be interested.
The End of the Road.... Beginning of the Rains
I'd be tempted ...To filter out traffic from Expedia's IP address.
Would there be any legal reason why they wouldn't be allowed to do that?" ... By Adrian Jones Posted Wednesday 25th June 2008 08:44 GMT
Maybe they can't do any of that stuff that they say they can do and are just Phishing and Flashing for those who Can and Do?.
Easyjet already sells through resellers!
Bit strange, since Easyjet already sell via travel agents, our corporate agent can book me on Easyjet
from their site
easyJet is now also available for bookings through business travel agents using Amadeus and Galileo global distribution systems (GDS). Please contact your travel agency or GDS account manager for further details. "
It looks like Expedia is using the consumer portal to book ticket (presumably cheaper) and upsetting easyjet :)
How do they pay?
Do Expedia have a really big corporate credit card that they pay for all the flights with? If so it would be easy to spot. Easyjet could block those credit card(s), as well as the IP address(es).
So 3% of their customer complaints are not resolved within a month? That's a frankly worrying statistic - I'm not going to book with them, on the off chance that I have a problem and find I have around a one in 33 chance that they won't have sorted it out by the time I get to the airport!
Easy jet direct sales only.
It is not entirely true that Easyjet rely on direct sales only.....i regularly book flights on lastminute.com with the airline stipulated as "no frills airline" which turns out to be Easyjet.
Same thing booking car hire through Expedia ...
Just booked car hire through Expedia. For my first choice of vehicle, they effectively said "requires 48 hours confirmation of availability, have you considered these alternative vehicles". So I clicked on the nearest alternative vehicle type. The same format of product page was presented, but this time without the "requires 48 hours confirmation" spiel. So I booked the (more expensive) vehicle and was presented with a confirmation page. Nowhere on that page did it say the booking was provisional based on availability, nor did it on the product page or submission form. However, when I received Expedia's email, lo and behold, it was subject to 48 hours confirmation. 72 hours later and I'm still waiting, and having read this article I suspect they screen scrape car hire websites as well as airlines.
I just use Skyscanner.net, they give the actual prices from the airlines sites and then take you to the airline site to make the booking. That way there's no middleman and you get to accurately compare all the flights.
Expedia is just a travel agent, and in my experience anything suffixed with the word 'agent' (try recruitment, estate, ticket) adds absolutely no value.
Am I the only one
to use Expedia to search out the cheapest fare across airlines, then go straight to that airline's site to book? I've often wondered how Expedia (and the like) survived because I just assumed everyone did this.
Agent or pimp?
Rather than just say that agents add absolutely no value, they do provide a marketplace you can check for availability of the product. Just keep in mind that (for the VAST majority) their only motivation, their ONLY motivation, is their commission cheque*. Or in shorthand, whenever considering their role, change the name from 'agent' to 'pimp'.
* apologies to the extremely rare examples of individual agents who actually seem to derive a simple pleasure from doing a good job. I've come across maybe two in my entire life.
Aren't Expedia the company that promise to let you know if the hotel you've booked through them is undergoing renovations before you get there?
Of course, it makes no difference - you still go to the shame shithole hotel, you just happen to know 3 hours in advance that your holiday is ruined rather than being blissfully ignorant of it until you hear the drills start.
The only use for these comparison sites is to get an idea of who the cheapest operators are, then actually go and do the booking yourself. Takes more time, I guess, but much more reliable.
I don't have any experience with Expedia, but...
I know a bit about EasyJet...
And one thing I know is that swindlers use EasyJet to drain stolen creditcards.
My bank told me that whenever there's an EasyJet transaction, they ALWAYS call the customer to verify before letting it through.
(They also said that it's a very rare event that the transaction is OK.)
My guess is that it's easy to get cash refunds if you show up at the airport and cancel your ticket there...
(They should NEVER allow cash refunds on tickets bought with a card)
I mean really...
"However, his experience of the whole debacle has left him with concerns that other customers will be hood-winked by what he described as “a very confusing system.”"
How confusing can it be? If you buy something from a retailer and they do not deliver then you get your money back. If you purchase flights online and do not get an airline confirmation then assume they have not been booked. Sites like expedia are OK for getting a comparison but to actually make the purchase you should go direct to the airline.
Normally I'm all for the capitalist trying to make a buck
and telling the whining fool who didn't look around for a better price to sod off, but I'm even more of a stickler for rules. And in this case the rules favor sasyJet. Airline my last airline ticket clearly indicated that it is non-transferable. Therefore Expedia cannot transfer the ticket absent some other agreement (usually called a contract) with easyJet which outlines the terms under which Expedia may act as its representative.
Just my plug nickel because I doubt I'd ever have cause to book a flight on easyJet anyway.
Expedia are cheaper than BA though
Hmm, I always book with Expedia for my regular business flights because they are about £10 cheaper than buying it directly from the airline - BA in my case.
On the otherhand I just found out that flights booked through Expedia don't automatically get added to the BA Miles and more program even if you provide them the your club number. Maybe it's worth paying that extra 10 quid!
I used Expedia once
... never again!
My first and last use of Expedia
Got to the airport to check in and found that they what they had sold me as a confirmed reservation was actually a standby ticket.
... never again!
"...in my experience anything suffixed with the word 'agent' (try recruitment, estate, ticket) adds absolutely no value."
Ha! How about "secret"?
Hotels through them are a bad idea to
I used them to book a string of hotel stops as part of a holiday, two of the three hotels have never heard of me when I arrived, despite confirmation letters from Expedia; I managed to get a room at one as they were quite, but Moscow during the summer it is impossible to get a room without booking well in advance unless you pay through the nose. Expedia left me stuck in Moscow with no room for a week.
The first Hotelier told me he had several people EVERY MONTH who had booked and paid through Expedia, but their booking requests had never been passed to him.
No explanations or refunds from Expedia; they are now on my Shite List.
No icon, there does not seem to be one that expresses what huge w@nkers they are.
"...in my experience anything suffixed with the word 'agent' (try recruitment, estate, ticket) adds absolutely no value.
Ha! How about "secret"?"
Secrets don't leak themselves.
I think it's worth pointing out that once-upon-a-time Expedia used to be known as Microsoft® Expedia.
Just because I like causing trouble.
There are IP laws that govern against screen scraping. This was explained to me by the very nice (and I mean that genuinely) Robbie Cowling, founder of Jobserve when I was trying to create a job portal that screen scraped all the main jobsites a few years ago. I phoned him to ask him nicely if I could include his jobsite. He told me that I couldn't. I replied that because his website was in the public domain, surely it had no "copyright" or similar and therefore he couldn't stop me. He pointed me in the direction of a number of legal documents online.
I shut up and promised not to screenscrape his site. Then went and hid - just in case...
Surely EasyJet et al could apply the same laws?
@Trygve Henriksen - slight tangent
"My guess is that it's easy to get cash refunds if you show up at the airport and cancel your ticket there...
(They should NEVER allow cash refunds on tickets bought with a card)"
When I worked in retail, Rule No1 was that you never refunded to anything other than the originating payment type/account - simple as.
I expect there would be exceptional circumstances - but they would be the sort of circumstances that would require several phone calls to head office, the payment type issuer, and seeing evidence of, say, a closed credit account, before even considering refunding a credit card, for example, as cash.
I don't recall ever seeing it happen myself anyway, although I could be wrong, of course. I'm sure it is possible.
have used expedia plenty
is cheaper than booking direct from many airlines, eg BA Turkish. It's also easier to find the cheaper flights
@The End of the Road.... Beginning of the Rains
"Maybe they can't do any of that stuff that they say they can do and are just Phishing and Flashing for those who Can and Do?."
---> End of public postings.
How can Easyjet stop that?
I'm clueless about this, but I'm a bit surprised that Easyjet can actually stop that... I thought that in a capitalistic country, you were allowed to buy cheap and sell expensive. I wasn't aware you have to ask permission first. I mean, what's the legal basis for that?
If I buy a car and I find somebody to sell to at a higher price, why shouldn't I?
I used to work for easyJet and screenscrapers are pretty common. eJ don't like them though as large amounts of money are made selling ancillary products (hotels, speedy boarding, car hire etc) and if you book through a screenscraping site then you don't buy these from easyJet!
They did open up a GDS system for travel agents so that eJ flights appear on travel agent booking systems but this is only for business customers who wouldn't have booked hotels etc through the eJ site anyway.
With respect to the stolen credit cards it is a big issue - but not because we gave cash refunds at the airports or anything (eJ tickets are all non-refundable); it was mainly because eJ is a big e-tailer with widespread use across Europe so an eJ ticket wasn't likely to be questioned by banks - you can therefore check, from the comfort of your local internet cafe, if the card has been blocked before you start draining the account!
Expedia have a long history.
Expedia have a long history of dodgy business practice. They were fined several times by the Advertising Standadards Authority severl times caliming to offer "the cheapest prices" -- which was patently false as it always the airlines/car hire/hotel companies price plus 10%.
After about five fines the American Parent company finally accepted that it really was illegal to baltently lie in UK advertising. The US adverts still claim to be "cheapest anywhere" but thats OK 'cause the president lies as well.
Incidently the whole shebang was founded by Microsoft but was sold off after a couple of years because -- and this is true -- "Microsoft was uncomfortable with the negative publicity".
Just avoid the company alogether along with thier other 10% for nothing websites :--
Hotels.com and TripAdvisor.com
So what about when you pay for BA flights through expedia then get bumped down to easy jet. as this is what has happened to my ssis in law for her hol in august
will she wind up with no flight
Easy jet where quick enough to accept the changes. surely this will go against any court case they wish to pursure talk about cake and eat it
It says on the Expedia site that they are an ATOL member so what are they doing screen-scraping then
Another vore for skyscanner
Used this for first time when booking flights to Portugal this year ... think I stumbled on it via google and its great ... especially as it both alerted me to a cheap flight from Coventry Airport when I'd previously didn't even know there was an airport there (actually, its more like two hangars named "departures" and "arrivals" but it does the job!) and as mentioned it displays flight prices for a specific route over a month as a bar chart so I was able to spot that a 12 day holiday sat->thur was much cheaper than tue->sat that we'd originally thought of. And then at end the link takes you to the airline website to do the actual booking direct.
How can Easyjet stop that?
Posted Thursday 26th June 2008 02:30 GMT
I'm clueless about this, but I'm a bit surprised that Easyjet can actually stop that...
If I buy a car and I find somebody to sell to at a higher price, why shouldn't I?
If? you will then be the OWNER and can do anything to or with your own property.As I read the story they (Expedia)DO NOT own the Airline tickets to sell they are attempting to sell something intangible.
ps. works 7 by Microshaft links to Expedia by default.
Screen scraping? Old news.
"72 hours later and I'm still waiting, and having read this article I suspect they screen scrape car hire websites as well as airlines."
Of course they do. Expedia are not the first people to develop their business by screen-scraping others, and definitely not alone even now, just amongst the most famous. Aggregators have been around for a long, long time, in the travel trade, since the before earliest days of retail web operations when the principal means of selling was the High Street, and the main business channel for travel agents was viewdata. Screen-scraping was often used to cherry-pick information (often from the opposition) either for reformatting for republishing or for importing into proprietary business systems.
These days most major operators (both operators and retailers) will co-operate using rather more efficient methods of interaction. But not always, and the rebuffed aggregator will often resort to screen scraping (sometimes bearing a strong resemblance to a DDoS) because the significantly greater resource cost is borne largely by the operator. The retailer still gets their product at the same price, and sells it for the same profit margin. It's a bully tactic to try to force suppliers to "behave" and enter into the commission-selling relationship the retailer wants.