Czech Constitutional Court rules in favour of Kiwi.com in dispute with Ryanair

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A Czech court has ruled in favour of Czech ticket seller Kiwi.com against Ryanair in a lingering dispute over Kiwi’s practices for handling passenger data. Ryanair had threatened to reject boarding passes issued by Kiwi.com, but that was unjustified according to Constitutional Court judge Kateřina Šimáčková.

Ryanair took Kiwi.com to court over its handling of passengers’ personal data, which Ryanair claimed prevented it from contacting passengers in case of flight changes. The Irish carrier wanted Kiwi.com to be compelled to share more passenger data.

But the Constitutional Court has now overturned an earlier ruling by the Regional Court in Brno (and then upheld on appeal at the High Court in Olomouc) which had instructed Kiwi.com to adjust information according to Ryanair’s terms and conditions, and to share customers’ email and residence addresses as well as their payment details. The Constitutional Court ruled that the earlier judgement ran contrary to the freedom to conduct business.

Ryanair wants travellers to book tickets only on the Ryanair website, and not through third parties, stating that this is the only way that consumers are guaranteed the lowest rates.

However, Kiwi.com believes it should be allowed to sell Ryanair tickets, both individually and in a composite trip. It also uses its own paper to print boarding passes. Ryanair recently announced it would only accept its own boarding passes, labelling Kiwi’s boarding passes as ‘fake’.But Kiwi.com reported that it has no knowledge of its boarding passes having been refused by Ryanair.

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