06 Oct 2015 | 04.40 pm
eDreams Gives Ryanair Nightmares
Airline complains Edreams is misleading customers
06 Oct 2015 | 04.40 pm
Ryanair is unhappy with eDreams as the online travel agent is paying to appear above Ryanair in Google search results. The site’s title tag and url features the word Ryanair, making it appear to be a Ryanair site.
While someone familiar with Google ads may not find this confusing (Google ads are denoted by a yellow square with the word ‘ad’ next to them), once a customer visits the Edreams site, it looks similar to the Ryanair site, using the same colour scheme and similar lettering.
When the Aer Lingus page is accessed, it uses the same eDreams colour scheme and features Aer Lingus branding too.
Ryanair has released a video explaining its issue with the Spanish site, claiming customers are booking flights through eDreams and in some cases their contact details aren’t being passed on to Ryanair.
eDreams also fails to include baggage allowance charges, meaning customers arrive to check-in convinced their baggage fee has already been included in the price, only to find they still have to pay to check bags in. Here, Ryanair’s marketing boss Kenny Jacobs explains why the eDreams charging system isn’t as good value as it looks at first glance:
Ryanair won a case against eDreams in Germany earlier this year. Edreams were told to stop using the Ryanair.edreams.de subdomain and to stop using it in their ads.
It appears Ryanair’s complaints may have been listened to, as now when Ryanair is Googled, no ads come up, as pictured below.
To compare, when Qantas is Googled, it shows an advertisement before the official website, although this is paid for by Qantas. This was where the Edreams advertisement that looked like a link to Ryanair was featured earlier.
Who is eDreams?
eDreams is a Spanish online travel agent. Created in 2010, eDreams merged with Go Voyages to acquire Opodo and Travellink to found Odigeo group.
In January 2015, Dana Dunne became CEO for eDreams ODIGEO. Dune was once CCO of Easyjet.
eDreams has had other complaints made against it. In 2011, it was fined for unfair commercial practices by an Italian regualator. In June 2013, Easyjet accused eDreams of misleading pricing against customers on Easyjet flights.
The Dutch government consumer organisation ACM issued an official warning against Edreams in July 2014 for failing to mention all costs when flights are being booked.
Google has a competitive system for ad space on Google search. Companies can bid on keywords that they wish to be associated with, so that when someone types, say, ‘budget airline’ into Google, their website can be the first sponsored result.
What appears to have happened in the case of eDreams is that the site has purchased keywords including Ryanair, so that they turn up first in the search results.