Ryanair is working on plans to cut out “middlemen” such as TripAdvisor and allow passengers to rate the quality of its flights on its own website.
Chief executive, Michael O’Leary, said the low cost carrier’s website will increasingly look like an online travel agent, offering everything from its own version of TripAdvisor, to other “ancillary services” such as airport transfers and hotels.
He wants wants to bypass price comparison and review websites and offer those services on Ryanair.com.
“The airlines have been somewhat dysfunctional in the way we have developed our digital platforms,” O’Leary told The Telegraph.
“TripAdvisor shouldn’t really exist as an independent platform, it should be on Ryanair. We will be establishing user forums, user feedback. What I’m particularly excited about is we are going to put a price comparison website up on Ryanair.”
Asked how Ryanair would feel if its own version of TripAdvisor was filled with complaints and negative feedback, O’Leary shrugged off the risk: “Shock, horror, people might be slagging off Ryanair. People have been slagging us off for 25 years, let them work away, we are not a sensitive airline.
“I think what you will find is there will be much more positive endorsement coming back from people who have flown with us.”
He was speaking after lifting Ryanair’s full year profit forecast to €750 million-€770 million on the back of a series of customer service initiatives including allocated seating, allowing customers to take a second, small piece of hand baggage on board and a website that is easier to navigate.
O’Leary said he regretted not making the customer service improvements earlier.
“We should have realised slightly earlier that we had won the price battle but we should have moved quicker or sooner on addressing those elements that unnecessarily peed people off,” he said.