Travel Tech

For as long as anyone can remember, low-cost carrier Ryanair has stood firm on its anti social media stance, with controversial CEO Michael O’Leary vocal in his disdain for all things social.

But just a few days ago everything changed, with the introduction of a whole digital strategy for Ryanair, beginning with its first ever Tweet. “#Ryanair has joined Twitter! Follow our official account for the latest Ryanair news and special offers. PS There’s no charge for following us.”


Concluding the first tweet with that witty touch, poking fun at itself hints at Ryanair’s Twitter persona to come. A tongue-in-cheek approach will potentially form part of the digital strategy as the airline is famed for its blatantly unpopular decisions (such as planning to charge £1 for use of toilets on board, to selling lottery tickets in duty free).

The second tweet also continued the cheeky tone, commenting “#Ryanair carries over 80m passengers a year so we can’t write back on Twitter. Contact us here (link to website)” The Twitter account’s appearance continues the traditionally trashy Ryanair style, with a background image showing women in posing in bikinis while a Ryanair plane flies overhead.

No more lunatics

An article on Tnooz points out this is a huge turnaround for Ryanair, as the airline has always shunned social media engagement, with O’Leary once referring to bloggers as ‘lunatics’. The carrier will also remove the reCaptcha feature on its website for individual passengers from November although a statement says it will remain in place for ‘high volume bookers, screen-scrapers, travel agents etc.’.

More changes are afoot as Ryanair takes the plunge into the world of tech and social. From the beginning of October Ryanair is making its mobile app free of charge when it was previously €3 for downloads for the app, available since March this year.

Rival comparisons

Ryanair also plans to redesign its booking flow with a launch date in December and introduce a passenger registration/retention service next summer reducing the time it takes to complete bookings. Speaking earlier this week at the World Low Cost Airlines Congress, O’Leary said his company’s website compares unfavourably to that of main rival easyJet‘s.

According to some reports he also hinted the carrier was prepared to sell via travel agents although today’s announcement makes no mention of travel agents other than retaining the reCaptcha security feature. As the airline announced only this month that profit may fall short of predictions, this could explain its more conciliatory overtones, which may go some way to increasing business.

New focus on digital

In his official statement, O’Leary said: “Our primary focus this winter will be to significantly invest in, and improve, the website, our mobile platform and our interaction with passengers using social media. “This winter will also see a rolling programme of development to improve the website, make it easier for passengers to navigate, quicker for them to locate our all-inclusive price quotes, identify availability of our lower fare promotions and book Ryanair’s great fares for themselves and their families.

These improvements will be accompanied by a new digital marketing strategy which will see Ryanair switch a significant proportion of its marketing budget from old to new media, with a particular focus on mobile and social media platforms.”

More from #DTTT

  • In May we present:
    What’s the appetite for Travel? with Beautiful Destinations – Weekly Tourism Impact Call: Week 11
    DTTT · What's the appetite for travel? with Beautiful Destinations Recovery is now in sight for many destinations and much is being done to improve destinations to make them safe and ready for travellers when they arrive. Whilst the focus has been on the impact to destinations for much of the pandemic, this has now [...]
    #recovery #COVID-19 #beautiful-destinations #industry #tourism #travel
  • In May we present:
    Sustainability Opportunities for Destination Recovery with Dr Cara Augustenborg – Weekly Tourism Impact Call: Week 10

    Sustainability is a key issue for the industry as it prepares for recovery. The fast-moving pandemic has been severely disrupting tourism and its impact will change the industry, academic engagement, and customer behaviour. The question many destinations are now asking is how can we be sustainable post COVID-19? We dedicate our tenth Tourism Impact call […]

    #ecotourism #recovery #COVID-19 #sustainability #industry #tourism
  • In May we present:
    Digitalisation and Sustainability solutions for recovery – Weekly Tourism Impact Call: Week 9

    As part of our efforts to react and support the industry, the #DTTT began hosting our popular Tourism Impact calls 2 months ago. Now going into the ninth consecutive week, we reflect on what has been an interesting and insightful journey so far. In many lively discussions, we’ve shared perspectives about COVID-19 impact, destination strategy […]

    #recovery #COVID-19 #sustainability #digitalisation #industry #tourism
  • In May we present:
    The Nordics COVID-19 Response

    How have the Nordic countries responded to the crisis? At the #DTTT, we have seen different approaches throughout the Nordic region and wanted to find out more. In a highly insightful interview we brought together the Tourism boards representing the capital cities of Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark to discuss their response to the COVID-19 […]

    #The Nordics #Response #COVID-19 #DMOs #marketing #strategy
  • In May we present:
    What travel will look like in the future with Doug Lansky – Weekly Tourism Impact Call: Week 8

    In our highly anticipated eighth Tourism Impact call, we discussed the different approaches of destinations who are at various stages of the recovery process. Recovering destinations are now looking for innovative product solutions as restrictions begin to ease and businesses start to re-open. Whilst for other destinations their recovery plans are still at the research […]

    #Doug Lansky #COVID-19 #DMOs #industry #strategy #tourism
  • In April we present:
    Designing the Future of Tourism – Weekly Tourism Industry Impact Call : Week 6

    At the #DTTT, we are working closely with destinations to find out what’s going on behind the scenes. A different week brings different perspectives. This week on the #DTTT’s sixth Tourism Impact Call, we discussed the role of technology and innovation as a solution for the industry, as well as featuring innovative community initiatives, and […]

    #COVID-19 #industry #product #strategy #technology #tourism
Show more
© 2017 Digital Tourism Think Tank