ScapeSentry comments on Lufthansa’s plan for a 3rd party booking fee Friday 5 June 2015 PDF Print for any POS fee scheme to work it is imperative that proper mechanisms for stopping OTAs web scraping are also in place Media Advisory Lufthansa has announced that it will be adding a €16 Point of Sale fee for bookings made through travel search engines, Online Travel Agents (OTAs) and others who resell its airline tickets from September this year. In response to this, Martin Zetterlund, Founding Partner of ScrapeSentry, leading anti-scraping and IT security specialists to the airline industry, explains why he thinks the surcharge will probably set a trend in the industry and how if it is implemented without the right technology in place the plan could fail. “For many years now the OTAs have been reaping the rewards of the ancillary sales that come with airline bookings and so building their own brands and profits, whilst letting the airlines do all the work and bear the costs of marketing etc. “As ancillary sales grows more and more important for airlines, ScrapeSentry would expect more airlines to follow this route of introducing a third party surcharge. The margins on selling seats alone are very low for most airlines so in order to compete with low cost carriers they will need to increase ancillary sales and this is, of course, hard if a large percentage of all tickets are sold on places other than the airline’s own web-site.” Martin Zetterlund continued “We are in the business of detecting and blocking the scrapers, bots and people that break the terms and conditions of use of our clients’ web sites and it’s our experience from working with leading airlines for over five years that the introduction of the fee will drive the OTAs to initiate screen scraping data instead. So for any POS fee scheme to work it is imperative that proper mechanisms for stopping OTAs web scraping are also in place. If they aren’t, then OTAs will circumnavigate the system and never pay the fees but rather continue on reselling the tickets against the will of the airline. “The legal route to stopping this problem has been tried and tested many times but without any success so the only way of achieving success is to technically block the scrapers at the website when they are trying to make the booking.” He concluded “This is no trivial task by any means as the OTAs are very much economically motivated to try their best to look like normal users when doing bookings (€16 per booking in the Lufthansa case) and it takes a lot of knowledge and specialized support systems working for the airline together with a dedicated team to achieve success. But if they are serious about protecting their income, then they should be looking to stop the problem at source.” ENDS For further press information, please contact ScrapeSentryNews@gmail.com, or telephone +44 7541497172 Notes to Editors: About ScrapeSentry ScrapeSentry was founded in 2006, and was the world’s first anti-scraping solution to be developed to protect sites from the loss of Intellectual Property and from data theft. As pioneers in the field, ScrapeSentry has worked with many global businesses, such as easyJet, Ladbrokes, and Autotrader.com to protect them from scraping and all the costs, losses of data, customers and IP as well as the potential losses in the reputational damage, that scraping involves. ScrapeSentry has offices in Stockholm, Sweden, London, UK and Boston, USA. For more information please see https://www.scrapesentry.com and www.scrapesentry.com/scrapesentry-airlines/. About Scraping: Scraping (also known as web scraping, screen scraping or data scraping) is where large amounts of data from a web site is copied manually or with a script or program. Scrapers might be copying data to populate their own site, or to pretend to be you to customers, or to ensure they price match or better. Whatever their motive and final use for your data, web scrapers are likely to be competing for your customers. Scraping can also have the unintended (or sometimes the intended) consequence of also slowing access to the scraped site and to customers being unable to complete transactions, so that they abandon the site and go elsewhere. This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of ScrapeSentry in the following categories: Business & Finance, Computing & Telecoms, Transport & Logistics, for more information visit http://pressreleasewire.responsesource.com/about.