Cleatrip accuses EaseMyTrip of copying its design and brand campaign

Forum Gandhi Mumbai | Updated on June 03, 2020

Mumbai-based online travel agency (OTA) Cleartrip has accused its competitor EaseMyTrip of copying its design and brand campaign.

In a post online, Sahil Karkhanis - Senior Director, Product Design - Cleartrip, said, “It’s a surprise for us when we find competing brands that want to short-circuit the hard work route by copying blatantly — we can’t wrap our heads around the motivation. Not really. But there you have it — some brands copy other brands blatantly because it is cheaper, easier and achievable without a smidgen of skill or hard work.” He further named “EaseMyTrip as a repeat offender and copycat extraordinaire.”

In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Indian government has barred air travel among others. On May 25, the Ministry of Civil Aviation permitted the partial resumption of domestic operations.

‘TravelSafe’ feature

In order to make its guest feel safe during their travel and ensure they take the needed precautions, Cleartrip introduced a guide called ‘TravelSafe’ on its website. It is a guide to promoting safe travel which included measures that are being taken by companies, restrictions by respective States, and the precautions that the travellers need to take. It also has real-time updates on flight cancellations, rescheduling, and other necessary policies privy to each airline.

“Very shortly thereafter, we found EaseMyTrip put out their own resource that looked suspiciously familiar to us,” Karkhanis added in a post on Apparently, EaseMyTrip too introduced a ‘Travel Guide’ for its customers. Where, the Delhi-based OTA which was founded in 2008, too had similar instructions of that to ClearTrip.

Karkhanis explained, “The resemblance was uncanny. From the logo treatment on top to the way information is formatted in cards and presented in the first fold. We scrolled lower and the evidence continued to mount. We were shocked to see that the entire Travel Checklist section seemed like a Copy-Paste of what we’d done, down to the iconography.”

To support their claim, Cleartip also put out comparing images of the two portals in question. The company didn’t stop there, ClearTrip, dug deeper into the Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) to collect evidence. They did some more fact-checking to establish this was being done “deliberately and blatantly.”

According to the senior director, “All our icons were custom-designed in house and deployed as SVGs. Too much of a coincidence, then, that another designer in another team, elsewhere, came up with such a strikingly similar set.” Shockingly enough, they were similar.

The company then also ran a face mask SVG on a ‘diffchecker’, the result were 100 per cent identical according to the portal. “What are the chances?” He questioned.

“We’re convinced that these icons are Cleartrip proprietary and are being brazenly re-used by EaseMyTrip without our permission. There can be no other explanation for our custom-designed SVG finding a 100 per cent code (path) match in the wild.”

‘Opportunistic brand building’

The company also checked the content. The company deliberately made a few typos and mistakes, just to see if these would also find their way into EMT’s resource page.

“We missed the ‘h’ in Madhya Pradesh in the airport information table. And, right as rain-at-5pm-in-Bangalore, we found it on EMT’s resource.”

They also made a few more deliberate mistakes which found their way to the portal, too.

“This is brazen copy-paste at work here. It’s clear that EaseMyTrip doesn’t really care about helping their customers with accurate and timely information and are really about piggy-backing on someone else’s hard work to opportunistically appear to care. Because it’s no cost to them. And not much effort, either,” Karkhanis said.

“Well, we want to make sure we call them out for the copycats that they are. We want to make sure that there is a cost to this kind of opportunistic brand building. And we want to make sure they have to put in the effort to make this right,” he added.

EaseMyTrip’s response

Responding to the allegations, Prashant Pitti co-founder EaseMyTrip told BusinessLine, “As a responsible brand, we never copy content and we take pride that ClearTrip (and others) have copied our content in the past. Their entire blog is about one webpage ‘Airline Guidelines related to COVID-19’. For this webpage, airlines sent content to all of their associated travel-portals. Hence same typos might exist at multiple websites. We regret of not proof-reading content thoroughly, as these are difficult times and airlines also changed their policies multiple times on a short-notice.”

“There are 10000+ icons used in our website. Few icons they mentioned, are purchasable online. Its a possibility they might have also purchased from same source. Hence they have same source-code. We purchased icons from here:,“ Pitti added.

Pitti said that is busy in refunding cash to customers. “While Cleartrip’s twitter is flooded with customer complaint about not receiving refunds from them. We think its a strategy to derail customer complaints.”

Published on June 03, 2020

Follow us on Telegram, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Linkedin. You can also download our Android App or IOS App.

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor