Photo: Jonathan Hordle / Rex Features
Ryanair has launched a price comparison website, RyanairHotels.com, in partnership with HotelsCombined.
The website will search 300,000 hotels across Europe, ranging from small independent hotels to five star resorts, and provide guest reviews.
Announcing the move at a press conference today, Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary admitted the site would use screen-scraping methods to find the cheapest deals, a method which Ryanair has challenged agents for using in the past.
The airline lost an application for a High Court injunction against a Dublin agent last month, who it accused of screen-scraping data from its website. It also added an extra security step to its booking process last year in an effort to prevent agents from scraping its fares.
O’Leary said: “Ryanair welcomes and encourages screen scrapers. The screen scrapers we have a problem with are unauthorised screen scrapers, misguiding the public.”
He insisted Ryanair would now be able to help customers save money on accommodation as well as flights, but admitted RyanairHotels.com would probably not turn a profit in the first year.
“RyanairHotels.com will guarantee the lowest hotel prices to ensure that Ryanair passengers save even more every time they fly with us,” he said. “The site offers the best price guarantee and if customers can find a better price we will refund the difference.”