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Ryanair Beats A Retreat In Advertising Dispute  
User currently offlineVfw614 From Germany, joined Dec 2001, 4511 posts, RR: 4
Posted (14 years 4 months 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 1666 times:

Even if on this forum many could not be convinced how laws work in Germany, obviously Ryanair has finally understood how it works:

This is a German dpa-article, a short summary in English below with some additional input to make it understandable.

"Die irische Billigfluglinie Ryanair hat im Rechtsstreit mit der Lufthansa um vergleichende Werbung teilweise eingelenkt. In einer mündlichen Verhandlung am Dienstag vor dem Landgericht Köln nahm die Fluglinie Teile eines Widerspruchs gegen eine einstweilige Verfügung zurück. Dabei waren Ryanair bereits im vergangenen November mehrere vergleichende Werbeaussagen untersagt worden. Damit ist das in der einstweiligen Verfügung ausgesprochene Verbot rechtskräftig, dass Ryanair eigene Flugangebote mit dem Abflugort Hahn im Hunsrück nicht mit Angeboten der Lufthansa vom Frankfurter Rhein-Main Flughafen vergleichen dürfe. Dies hatten die Kölner Richter als irrführend eingestuft. Auch darf Ryanair in einer Werbeaussage nicht mehr den Eindruck erwecken, die Lufthansa fliege ab dem Flughafen Hahn. Zudem ist der Vergleich der eigenen Flugangebote von Glasgow Prestwick, Mailand Bergamo und Oslo Torp mit Angeboten der Lufthansa nach Glasgow International, Mailand Malpensa und Oslo unzulässig. Ryanair blieb jedoch bei dem Widerspruch gegen Teile der einstweiligen Verfügung, in denen der Fluglinie verboten worden war zu behaupten, Lufthansa fliege auch Ziele wie das irische Shannon oder Bournemouth in England an. Auch dies hatten die Richter als irreführend bewertet. Über den Widerspruch gegen dieses Verbot wollen die Kölner Richter am 12. Februar 2002 eine Entscheidung verkünden.

At a court hearing before Cologne High Court, Ryanair has dropped an appeal against an injunction that Lufthansa obtained at the end of November 2001. Ryanair has accepted that
- it must not compare LH fares from FRA with FR fares from HHN in the way it has done in the past (comment: i.e. comparing regions rather than city pairs)
- it must not create the impression in its advertisements that Lufthansa serves the same airport as Ryanair does (i.e. Hahn)
- it must not compare its own services to Prestwick, Bergamo and Torp with Lufthansa services to Glasgow International, Milan Malpensa and Oslo.

Ryanair has not dropped the appeal against the part of the injunction that forbids Ryanair to create the impression that Lufthansa serves Bournemouth or Shannon. (Comment: This may sound stupid as LH indeed does not serve the airports, but is a legal technicality: FR had stated in a footnote that the LH flights to SNN and BOH are infact one-stops operated by alliance partners to Southampton and Shannon. FR obviously does not want to be forced to accept that such "clarifications" in footnotes are insufficient to avoid misleading advertising). The court will rule on that point in February.

Just to avoid confusion: This decision of January 22, 2002 by the High Court of Cologne (Landgericht Koeln) has nothing to do with an other decision reported recently by the Court of Appeals (Oberlandesgericht Koeln) of January 18, 2002. In this decision, the court prohibited the use of the term "Frankfurt-Hahn" by Ryanair for an airport which is more than 70 miles away from the Frankfurt region.

17 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineHoffa From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (14 years 4 months 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 1627 times:

must not compare its own services to Prestwick, Bergamo and Torp with Lufthansa services to Glasgow International, Milan Malpensa and Oslo.

OK I can understand if the Cologne High Court decides HHN isn't Frankfurt, but how can they also say PIK isn't Glasgow, BGY isn't Milan, Torp isn't Oslo??

Agree FR are beating a retreat but they have already created a big fanfare and lots of free advertising.

User currently offlineArtsyman From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 4748 posts, RR: 32
Reply 2, posted (14 years 4 months 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 1599 times:

Prestwick isnt Glasgow, it is a long way south. When you fly into GLA, you are only just into renfrew and it is a short drive into the city, When you fly into Prestwick, you are way down in ayrshire and it is a long drive to town. If you are a business traveller these time differences matter a lot

Ps, almost all of the flights on the low cost airlines end up going to the lesser out of the way airports

User currently offlineSonic From Lithuania, joined Jan 2000, 1671 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (14 years 4 months 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 1596 times:

I dropped any interest in flying Ryanair. It seems they flies to small airports in one town and saying they flies to another... Why everybody says Lufthansa is bad? Actually, Ryanair ads are really cheating costumers. It would be the same if someone would fly to Kaunas airport in Lithuania (second largest city) and say that they flies to Vilnius airport (capital, about 100 km far from Kaunas). Other people may not understand two Lithuanian cities, but it is the same like Philadelphia and New York, for example. Vilnius and Kaunas are two complete different large cities, yet they are 100 km away from each other. Kaunas airport fees are low, Vilnius one are high, but if someone would fly to Kaunas and say they are flying to Vilnius, this obviously would be taken to court. Like it would be if someone, flying to Philadelphia would say they are flying to New York.

User currently offlineLowfareair From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (14 years 4 months 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 1579 times:

Given the distance you said, it would be more like someone saying that they are flying into Philly, but it is really Newark. And many people here(at least north of Philly) will accept EWR as an alternative airport.

User currently offlineCeilidh From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (14 years 4 months 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 1564 times:

Artsyman - actually, the total time difference between getting from PIK to George Square is negligible compared to GLA to George Square.

Sure the distances are very different, but the congestion from Renfrew is pretty bad, especially at peak times.

It's also far more convenient to travel by rail from PIK (which has an onsite station, Scotland's first privately owned one) and 50% discounts on travel are available to passengers on production of their tickets.

You can also take a coach to the centre of Glasgow from PIK for just 50p; far less than from GLA!

User currently offlineRacko From Germany, joined Nov 2001, 4887 posts, RR: 19
Reply 6, posted (14 years 4 months 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 1534 times:

Actually, a distance of 120km is not that much in the USA. But it IS a huge distance in europe, especially in Germany. Germany is in fact quite a small country if you count the square kilometres, but it's big (biggest country in europe) if you count the population.

User currently offlineFlying-Tiger From Germany, joined Aug 1999, 4198 posts, RR: 33
Reply 7, posted (14 years 4 months 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 1523 times:

356.970 square kilometers
82.000.000 people

9.629.047 square kilometers
275.000.000 people

Just to get the figures straight...


Flown: A319/320/321,A332/3,A380,AT4,AT7,B732/3/4/5/7/8,B742/4,B762/763,B772,CR2,CR7,ER4,E70,E75,F50/70,M11,L15,S20
User currently offlineUdo From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (14 years 4 months 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 1529 times:

Why doesn't Lufthansa complain about all the airline who offer the same destinations, but with transfer? So, what about those ads where it says "Fly Iberia from FRA to MIA for just ...Euro" ???
LH could cry because the IB flight includes a tranfer at MAD, while LH flies nonstop, and the customer COULD think both offers are nonstop...

I'm pissed by those ridiculous LH court actions. If Ryanair wasn't a big threat, LH wouldn't run to court every day...but well, there's another side: with their ongoing actions against FR they do them a favour and bring the name Ryanair into public interest...good advertising!
Whatever LH does, they cannot stop FR's growth...

By the way, why mind about certain distances from certain airports? How many people flying from FRA actually live in FRA?

Fly Ryanair!

User currently offlineJwenting From Netherlands, joined Apr 2001, 10213 posts, RR: 17
Reply 9, posted (14 years 4 months 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 1519 times:

Ryanair is deliberately misleading customers. Iberia does say there is a stopover, Ryanair does not say they fly somewhere else.
If Ryanair say they fly to Brussels and you find yourself halfway to Antwerp, or you buy a ticket to Bremen and find yourself in Hamburg...
Expensive to get to your real destination. Does Ryanair pay for your taxi or train to the city you purchased a ticket too?

I wish I were flying
User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13603 posts, RR: 76
Reply 10, posted (14 years 4 months 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 1476 times:

There is a role for low-cost airlines, but good to see a responsible carrier standing up to that cowboy O'Leary.
Am I the only one who thinks they are growing so fast they may become the 'dot coms' of the industry?

User currently offline1stspotter From Netherlands, joined Jun 1999, 526 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (14 years 4 months 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 1470 times:

Ryanair does not say it flies to Brussels or to Frankfurt, it mentions Brussels Charleroi and Frankfurt Hahn on their website.

I agree Ryanair is not very clear in its advertising. Comparing fares with Frankfurt Rhein Main and Frankfurt Hahn is comparing the taste of an apple with a banana.

But most people except the ignorant ones know Rynair flies to secondary airports. I mean, after arriving at the airport you want to go somewhere else, so you should know how to get off the airport and go to your final destination.

I flew Ryanair twice and hae seen myself most pax are tourists on a day trip or a holiday. They perfectly know where they end, and chose to fly Ryanair because they are cheap and do not want to get ripped off by paying high fares with other airlines.


User currently offlineVfw614 From Germany, joined Dec 2001, 4511 posts, RR: 4
Reply 12, posted (14 years 4 months 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 1451 times:

As far as I know, the dispute was/is not about the website (if so, Lufthansa could shut it down with the injunction if they would get hold of the company where the server is located), but about print advertising in newspapers where Ryanair is less clear than on its web-site.

I doubt your argument that only the most ignorant person doesn't know that Ryanair does not serve the airports they pretend to serve. The legal criterion is the average consumer who reads the ad, not the experienced Ryanair traveller or the airliners.net forum member. If I ask my mother, my neighbour, the guy next door in office, none of them will have the faintest idea what "Frankfurt-Hahn" is. They have, of course, heard of "Frankfurt" and will assume that it is an airport somewhere in the Frankfurt region, probably thinking that Hahn is a modernish name of a Frankfurt airport (like Manchester Ringway, Paris Charles De Gaulle, New York La Guardia, Tokio Narita, Singapore Changi etc. -as an aside, when hearing "Hahn", more Germans will think of the famous German scientist and noble prize winner Otto Hahn after which hundreds of schools are named.....), but not a place some 70 miles away from Frankfurt, accessible only via country roads and a 2 hour drive. The point is that Ryanair says "Frankfurt-Hahn", not, for example, Hahn (Frankfurt).

User currently offlineLJ From Netherlands, joined Nov 1999, 4808 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (14 years 4 months 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 1446 times:

Thus LH must also stop advertising its flight to Bergamo as flights to Milan (for those who don't know LH serves Bergamo BGY out of MUC)? Or is just the HHN part in the comparison that makes the comparison illegal?


User currently offlineBanco From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 14752 posts, RR: 52
Reply 14, posted (14 years 4 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 1441 times:

Vfw614, I think the point that 1stSpotter is making is that most passengers will be travelling on from the airport and therefore will try to find out before they fly how to get to wherever it is they are going. I know I do this with any airport I arrive at, low cost flight or not.

If these people are unhappy they will not fly with FR again, and ALL airlines rely on repeat business and frequent flyers. Therefore I think you overstate FR's weakness in this regard. Clearly, passengers keep coming back.

She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
User currently offlineDaks From Ireland, joined Oct 2001, 158 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (14 years 4 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 1434 times:

This same argument crops up nearly every time FR open a new route in Europe , a lot of people take the Ryanair PR people for being un-professional saying that they use bad tactics , try to mislead passengers etc. The truth is that everybody in this forum now knows that HHN is about 100k's from Frankfurt and so do the travelling public !. Free advertisement - let the press pick up on something and the public will do the rest .
And as has already been stated here If you get on a plane and dont know where your going , well its not the airlines fault , its very obvious to me that FR are one of europes best and will be from quite a while .

User currently offline1stspotter From Netherlands, joined Jun 1999, 526 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (14 years 4 months 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 1418 times:

If customers were unhappy with Ryanair the airline would not expand that rapidly. They just ordered 100 brand new Boeing 737-800 aircraft and expect an increase in passengers of 25 percent per year. That is quite a lot. If Ryanair would fool their passengers they would never fly again with Ryanair.

It is not a coincidence that Southwest, Jetblue, Ryanair and Easyjet are doing so well at the moment. People want to travel more and more, and pay a reasonable amount of money for their ticket. It is perfectly acceptable for most of them that you arrive in a regional airport and have to use a bus to get to a railway station. Or hire a car and continue their travel.

One of the advantages of the airports Ryanair is using is that there are no delays. It is amazing how fast a turnaround is done at Charleroi or Brussels South as Ryanair likes to call it  Wink/being sarcastic. And arriving is great, leave the plane, go through customs, no long queues, pick up the bags and you are out. All this is 15 minutes or even less. Not to speak about the low costs for parking your car. All this appeals to travellers who are not willing to pay enormous amounts of money for parking (are you reading FRAport?)

People who think Frankfurt Hahn is THE airport close to Frankfurt are also the people who have never heard of Ryanair. It is the kind of traveller who visits a travelagency to book a trip there. Do not think a lot of travelagencies will suggest their customer to use Ryanair, but that has nothing to do with the quality Ryanair.

The more experienced and budgetwise traveller , and there are a lot of them, know Ryanair, know how to use the internet and how to book, and find out how to travel to your final destination from the airport you arrive. There will always be the traveller who books a flight on Ryanair lured by the low fare and finds out after arriving the airport is not the airport he or she expected to be out. As said by another poster, this can hardly be blaimed on the airline.

No, most complains on Ryanair comes from their compatitors.


User currently offlineVfw614 From Germany, joined Dec 2001, 4511 posts, RR: 4
Reply 17, posted (14 years 4 months 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 1418 times:

If Ryanair doesn't like the way Lufthansa advertises Milan, they can take them to court. They won't do it because they do the same, simple as that. You are talking in moral categories, not legal ones. Ryanair is not allowed to do something illegal because someone else is doing it as well. That's not how the law works.

However, the dispute is not whether or not Lufthansa or Ryanair calls Bergamo Milan, but if Ryanair is allowed to compare fares FRA-MXP to fares HHN-BGY - this is all about COMPARATIVE advertisng.

MISLEADING advertising - a totally different legal term - is the question whether or not Ryanair is allowed to advertise flights in a broadsheet newspaper by way of a route map as originating from Frankfurt (bold, 128pt) -Hahn (12pt), an airport that only in the widest sense serves Frankfurt - because Ryanair has decided that it does. With the same justification Ryanair could claim it operates to Luxemburg or Cologne: Luxemburg is in fact closer to Hahn than Frankfurt is and Cologne is not much further away than Frankfurt is from Hah (this is quite different from Milan where Bergamo is in fact nearer to many places in Milan than Malpensa is). If it takes me two hours to go from Cologne to Brussels, would Virgin Express be at liberty to advertise its flights as Cologne-Zaventem just because they organise a bus for 20 bucks that goes to Cologne ? Or could Buzz advertise Düsseldorf airport in Dutch newspapers as "Eindhoven (Lohausen)" because it is only a two hours drive away ? And if not, how if Duesseldorf airport acquires a stake in Eindhoven airport (what Frankfurt airport has done in Hahn's case) ? What we are doing here is talking about technicalities, area codes, IATA, check-in times at different airports, airport ownership etc. That's not what consumer laws or Joe Publics are interested in. Like it or not, that's the law (as even Ryanair has accepted now).

The truth is that everybody in this forum now knows that HHN is about 100k's from Frankfurt and so do the travelling public

Excuse me - would you mind testing that tomorrow on the street ? Every non-aviation enthusiast I have asked has no idea where Hahn is. As a matter of fact, the point of view of the average consumer - the legal criterion - is, if one party in legal proceedings insists, checked by opinion polls. So I hope Ryanair is looking forward to that.

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