Ryanair has today agreed a new partnership with online travel agent (OTA) loveholidays for its customers who wish to book low-cost package holidays.
This deal allows loveholidays’ customers to buy Ryanair flights, seats and bags as part of their package at Ryanair’s low prices, the low-cost carrier said.
It guarantees that the OTA’s customers “will not be overcharged” and will have direct access to their myRyanair account for all customer information questions.
The partnership also guarantees that Ryanair flight information will be provided directly to each customer’s email address, including pre-departure details on Ryanair’s terms and conditions, and in cases of disruptions.
loveholidays agrees that it will only display Ryanair’s real prices, without mark-ups and will only pass accurate customer contact and payment details to the airline, which means its customers will not need to complete Ryanair’s customer verification.
The news comes after the budget airline has been embroiled in a feud with online travel agents over a number of issues, including alleged breaches of passengers’ privacy by Ryanair and the “harvesting” of content from the airline’s website in order to “mis-sell flights with a mark-up amounting to unlawful free-riding” on its investment.
The low-cost carrier announced this is “great news for loveholidays’ customers who will now be able to book Ryanair’s low fares as part of their loveholidays package with full transparency, while still benefiting from loveholidays’ flexible payment plans and ATOL protection”.
Ryanair has long campaigned for all consumers to be protected from online travel agents’ “pirate scams” which includes “overcharges, hidden mark-ups, and fake customer contact and payment information”.
Dara Brady, director of marketing and digital at Ryanair, said: “Nobody is looking to overcharge customers here. Nobody is looking for customers not to get the right information, and in the case of where it does go wrong, we’ve a process that guarantees customers can get refunds.
“We’ve always said that if [OTAs] play by our rules, we’d be happy to work with others.”
He went on: “From a Ryanair perspective I think it’s a very important step forward. We will continue to campaign hard against OTAs who don’t play by the rules.
“They’re pirates, we don’t want to deal with them. For legitimate partners like loveholidays, who are invested in the customer and are going to not apply mark-ups, and will give us the correct customer information, we’re happy to work with them.”
Meanwhile, Al Murray, loveholidays’ chief marketing officer, added: “This new partnership highlights our commitment to championing consumer choice, with the overall aim of making travel more affordable and accessible while opening the world to everyone.”
Image: Al Murray, of loveholidays (left) and Dara Brady, of Ryanair (right). (Credit: Ryanair).