Ryanair is poised to reveal changes to its website that will enhance the customer experience and ramp up its efforts to combat screen scraping.
Speaking today at a press conference in London announcing ambitious growth plans at Stansted airport chief executive Michael O’Leary conceded customer service online was not as good as it could be.
The airline has recently added a new form of reCAPTCHA, the user verification system that aims to weed out machine bookings.
This included a feature that times out customers, but industry insiders have been unconcerned saying coders working for most online travel agents were able to get around it almost immediately.
O’Leary conceded this week that Ryanair was not winning the battle against the screen scrapers. It is estimated some large UK online retailers sell a Ryanair flight with as much as 60% of their holidays.
“Many do a very good job of finding ways of getting around it by sending it out to India or Asia. We will be announcing developments on that front as early as this Friday at the AGM,” O'Leary warned.
Asked about Ryanair’s wider distribution policy, given rival easyJet’s move to embrace GDS distribution and third party sales, O’Leary said the airline’s position was “more nuanced”.
“We work with travel agents at the moment - 12% to 15% of sale are made by travel agents - we are not actively working against them.
“We have licensed quite a number of price comparison websites who make it easier for travel agents to service their customers but what we won’t do is come back to the GDS system.”
He added: “We are not going back on GDSs and pay ludicrous amounts to Amadeus, Worldspan or Sabre who add nothing to the process.
“It used to cost us 20% of revenues for a service 80% of passengers are happy to do themselves online."
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