Ryanair to shake up website and tie in with travel agents to keep pace with competitors
O’Leary concedes that Easyjet website is ‘better’ as it locks in customers early
Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary: rival Easyjet makes it easier for customers to book seats when compared to Ryanair, he said yesterday. Photograph: Bertil Enevag Ericson/Reuters
Ryanair is set to announce changes to its website and a tie-in with on-line travel agents tomorrow in a move designed to keep up with rivals such as Easyjet.
The chief executive, Michael O’Leary, acknowledged at an industry conference yesterday that rival Easyjet makes it easier for customers to book seats when compared to Ryanair.
“They have been much better on their website,” Mr O’Leary told news agency Bloomberg.
“They make the booking first. We have to make it easier. We have got to stop making it so difficult.”
A bid to prevent other websites from scanning Ryanair’s prices to lure clients to their own portals means that the airline’s website does not lock in customers sufficiently early in the booking process.
Mr O’Leary also said that the company is considering selling tickets via online travel agents, which will allow it to target corporate buyers.
Any tie-in with travel agents would mark a significant change in the airline’s policy.
The company was the first to exploit the opportunity offered by the internet to move customers to booking their own flights rather than going through conventional travel agents.