Ryanair To Offer Connecting Flights In One Booking Among Multiple Customer Service Improvements

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Irish low cost carrier Ryanair is going to offer connecting flights to their customers for the first time in the companies history, marking an end to the simple point-to-point budget carrier flights.

The first connecting flights are scheduled within the month through Rome Fiumicino airport with other destinations following.

Ryanair also announced that the airline is in discussions with Aer Lingus and Norwegian for potential partnerships involving thru-passengers. Other new features are also scheduled through a continuous improvement project the company follows for several years now.

You can read more about this from the Independent (access here) and their story.

Ryanair has announced a new wave of customer service upgrades, including connecting flights, auto check-in and express booking.

The announcements were made at the launch of Year 4 of its ‘Always Getting Better’ (AGB) programme of customer service improvements today.

Highlights over the coming year include:

1.Connecting Flights

Connecting flights will be available from this month, Ryanair says – initially through Rome Fiumicino airport, with connections at other airports to be rolled out shortly afterwards.

The airline is currently involved in discussions with Aer Lingus and Norwegian – “and other potential partners,” as it describes – with a view to launching connections (“a flight feeder service”) with third-party airlines in late summer.

2. Automatic Check-In

Several improvements have been announced for Phase 2 of the airline’s ‘My Ryanair’ service, including ‘Auto Check-in’, which will allow customers to check-in simultaneously for both sectors when return seats are booked. In this case, they will receive both boarding cards.

3. Express Booking [and premium booking options]

Customers will be able to save preferred bundles of bags, extras, seat preferences and so on as a default in their ‘My Ryanair’ user profile.

The function is firstly available to solo travellers, but will be rolled out to groups and families shortly, allowing a faster booking flow.

Other ‘My Ryanair’ improvements will include a wider range of transfer and parking services bookable through the app, enhanced search functions, dual profiles for personal and business use, and cashback offers for those who book hotels or car hire.

4. New Booking Categories

From May onwards, Ryanair will offer four booking categories.

These are ‘Regular’ (offering basic fares), ‘Family Plus’ (offering family fare bundles and flexibility), ‘Plus’ (the current ‘Leisure Plus’, offering increased flexibility) and ‘Flexi-Plus’ (replacing ‘Business Plus’ with business-friendly options, including a new, 50pc travel credit for cancellations).

5. Ryanair Rooms & Holidays

Ryanair’s accommodation and package holiday services are already up and running, but 2017 will see more partners and choice, the airline says, with Hostelsclub and B&Bs bringing its total of ‘Ryanair Rooms’ partners to five across Europe.

Overall it’s obvious that the core mission of Ryanair (and any company really) is to drive increase of revenue and the airline is traditionally very successful with this.

That being said, departing (literally) from their business model of point-to-point flights, offering cheap to affordable tickets and then selling on board products for ancillary revenue comes with a danger. Offering connections bears risks such as misconnects and long delays which are covered by the EC261/2004 regulation.

While this applies to regular A to B flights as well, chances of someone misconnecting through a slight delay and being then eligible for a couple hundred Euro in compensation could upend Ryanairs desire for fat profit margins. That being said there are reports all over the place that in order for Ryanair to actually pay you EU Compensation you actually have to sue, they pretty much never pay voluntarily.

Conclusion

Ryanair chairman O’Leary did pretty much everything right you can do right when it comes to managing an airline as far as the operational organization and results go. Though the carrier is not without controversy when it comes to labor and customer service handling one can’t deny their successful results.

Let’s see how this is going to turn out in the long run. I’m personally not a big fan of Ryanair and their peers including wannabe low cost carriers such as Germanwings (Lufthansa’s little ugly child).

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  • Paolo

    Fiumicino is the AZ hub and being AZ in the actual situation, FR is trying to win even more AZ transit passengers and perhaps to even get rid of a competitor, as poor as AZ could be.
    FR presence in Fiumicino is not so big, so the opportunity of huge problem (and big amount for compensation) is limited.

    I’d say it’s just a test not involving interlining with other carriers for now.
    It could be laughable if the connection option is just for “hand baggage only” passengers.

  • Holiday_Hero

    Ryanair have tripled their low fares over 3 years. Many flights ex dub cost more than aer lingus now. Kenny, Ryanairs new marketing director is behind these changes, not oleary. Kenny also worked at tesco and destroyed their low price business model and tescos share price and market share along with it. Just look at ryanairs revenue and profit since he started.

  • Kflik

    soon, there will be no difference between “low-cost” and “traditional” airline.

    Also, I found Ryanair good option for short flight.
    But, I would not take any low coast airline for long haul flight.
    (with exception of Air Asia X flat seats)

    • I have yet to fly on Ryanair but eventually will when it is the most convenient option between city pairs that i need to travel to/from.

  • Malcolm

    Ryanair is a shareholder in Aer Lingus, so it makes sense for the two to work together. Aer Lingus from N.America connecting with Ryanair at Dub makes an attractive package. Ryanair is cheaper and for short 3-4 hr flights for me and many other travellers is the economic option within the EU. 261/2004 costs are exaggerated as the benefits to the public require a lot of effort to realise.

    • Ryanair used to own part of Aer Lingus. The airline is now owned by IAG the parent of Iberia, British Airways and the new low cost Level.