European low cost carrier Ryanair will introduce a string of new tools and service this year as part of the next phase of its digital turnaround project.
The company says it will begin the third year of its Always Getting Better initiative with “One Flick” upgrades to its mobile app and a “Rate My Flight” tool for passengers in May.
Some 9.5 million downloads of its mobile apps have been completed so far, the company claims, with another 7.5 million passengers having signed up to its MyRyanair service.
At a press conference in Dublin, Ireland, chief marketing officer Kenny Jacobs says the launch of new products such as Leisure Plus, new aircraft interior and simplified baggage fees will be bolstered by a range of digital-led services.
The “One Flick” functionality will allow passengers to change their flight details (upgrading to Leisure or Business Plus options) or buy reserved seats or fast-track ancillaries from within the airline’s mobile app.
Other ancillary services such as car parking, insurance and transfers will also be available with a single click, using the pre-stored passenger details such as a credit card.
Central to the ongoing digital turnaround is the idea that the airline can become a retailer of travel, alongside providing tickets for flights, with MyRyanair allowing it to “personalise the experience”.
The platform will by October this year have the ability to automatically check-in passengers, reserve a seat, issue mobile-handled boarding passes.
Jacobs repeats his mantra that Ryanair can become more like ecommerce giant Amazon with highly targeted services, rather than the scatter gun approach to up and cross-selling.
For example, he says a business traveller will be able to get a notification on the way to the airport (due to GPS tracking) about car parking or fast-track offers, or the sale of a rail transfer.
Alternatively, a family would be hit with accommodation options that suit their requirements (by knowing passenger numbers and ages, etc).
Dedicated websites for group bookings and school trips (initially in Ireland) will be launched later this year, Jacobs says.
Ryanair will also begin working with a number of content providers to build and offer destination guides for passengers ahead of a trip.
The content will be added to passenger-generated feedback on a destination.
The “Rate My Flight” tool will work in a similar way to the Booking.com feedback system, whereby passengers are hit with a number of quick questions via the mobile app about their flight, including boarding process, crew, service and food provision.
During testing of the service (“real-time”, Jacobs says) in March on flights between the UK and Ireland, some 60,000 passengers completed the short survey after their flight.
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