Tiger goes hunting for eDreams - teacup storm or something more?News / DistributionBy Timothy O'Neil-Dunne | December 2, 2013Share This article was originally published on The slanging match between Tigerair Australia and eDreams is not an uncommon one and you can decide who is in the right here.The core matter is whether or not eDreams has the right to sell Tigerair’s products and the manner in which the agent could sell the airlines’ products and add fees.Let’s start with the facts of the matter: eDreams is screen scraping. I could be wrong but nothing in the article or the websites of eDreams or Tigerair imply otherwise.Tigerair is stating that there is no commercial agreement between it and eDreams or its parent Odigeo. In the original article, Tigerair Australia commercial director Carly Brear says: "eDreams is not an agent of Tigerair Australia and we have absolutely no affiliation with the company."Share this quote This is critical to the position of Tigerair. The airline is a master brand franchise which refers to the four separate entities it calls “Cubs” in Singapore, Australia, Philippines and Indonesia.Each of these airlines shares the exact same rules for the use of the different sites, but they are legally different companies operating under different legal frameworks.See this Tiger website. It's the Australian site but I believe it is consistent for all the "Cubs".License and Site Access (excerpt): Tigerair grants you a limited license to access and make personal use of this site and not to download (other than page caching) or modify it, or any portion of it, except with express written consent of Tigerair. This license does not include any resale or commercial use of this site or its contents; any collection and use of any product listings, descriptions, or prices; any derivative use of this site or its contents; any downloading or copying of account information for the benefit of another merchant; or any use of data mining, robots, or similar data gathering and extraction tools. This site or any portion of this site may not be reproduced, duplicated, copied, sold, resold, visited, or otherwise exploited for any commercial purpose without express written consent of Tigerair.Share this quote Thus eDreams is doing something that is expressly against what Tigerair wants and therefore is breeching the expressed "implied consent" rule on the usage of the website.Unfortunately the customer is totally in the dark on this subject because there is no corresponding disclaimer on the eDreams website that specifically speaks to this issue.Tigerair is emphatic that there is no liability for the airline in any such dispute between the customer and the person who sold the ticket.Here is the link to that portion.Disclaimer of Warranties and Limitation of Liability This site is provided by Tigerair on an "as is" and "as available" basis. Tigerair makes no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, as to the operation of this site or the information, content, materials, or products included on this site. You expressly agree that your use of this site is at your sole risk. To the full extent permissible by applicable law, Tigerair disclaims all warranties, express or implied, including, but not limited to, implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. Tigerair does not warrant that this site, its servers, or email sent from www.tigerair.com are free of viruses or other harmful components. Tigerair will not be liable for any damages of any kind arising from the use of this site, including, but not limited to, direct, indirect, incidental, punitive, and consequential damages. Certain country laws do not allow limitations on implied warranties or the exclusion or limitation of certain damages. If these laws apply to you, some or all of the above disclaimers, exclusions, or limitations may not apply to you, and you might have additional rights.Share this quote Let me now address the eDreams response:The critical statement from the OTA is: "eDreams is a legally established travel agent. A travel agent does not need any airline’s authorization to sell an airline ticket, as that is Public Administration’s role, not the role of a private company."I believe that this is an inaccurate statement. A travel agent needs three levels of an agreement. A travel agent must be licensed (if this is required legally in a country). For example in Australia all travel agents must have (like any business) an ABT # to sell tickets. Different jurisdictions allow or formally disallow the sales by in-country or remote out of country sales.A travel agent must have a universal agreement to sell airline tickets. This is a normal provision and generally for an IATA airline there are agreements which permit IATA approved travel agents to sell IATA individual neutral tickets. Such licenses are awarded on a specific country basis. eDreams has such a license in certain jurisdictions but not all.Any commercial arrangement can be exempted. Thus a specific airline can deny an agent’s right to sell its products and thus it is the right of the airline to opt out of an automatic arrangement. Similarly an agent is not required to sell a particular product. This doesn’t matter if you are Frankie’s Poodle Parlour or Google. The same issues apply. NOTE that there are many exceptions. As such in certain markets it is a requirement for an agent to offer ALL airline products equally. For example read the European Union’s regulations.In general it would be fair to say that Tigerair is not obligated to permit the sale of its products through any agent and thus no agent has an automatic right to sell any specific airline at any price.Similarly no agent is obligated to sell a particular airline.eDreams can add fees to an airline ticket if it chooses to and if it has established that right through a commercial agreement either with the airline and/or with the customer.Thus, an agent may charge fees of its own to the customer but it cannot represent those fees as coming from the airline. That must be crystal clear to the customer.If the airline chooses to mandate that, fees must be shown to the customer certain ways – that is well within its ability to dictate such terms provided such items are clear to all concerned.I hope this sheds some light on the the issue. Valid argument or a storm in a tea cup?NB: Tiger image via Shutterstock.