May 28 2017

Ryanair Recommendations

Category: Aviation,eShoppingTeknovis @ 3:04 pm

It really has been a long time since I blogged! I was booking flights with Ryanair during the week, and I noticed this recommendation:

Ryanair Recommendations

Ryanair Recommendations

In general I think that Ryanair’s website is excellent. However, its recommendations are really bad for the following reasons:

  • I have not flown to or from Gatwick ever with Ryanair, so it should not show me flights from Gatwick.
  • The vast majority of my Ryanair flights are return flights from Dublin, so it should not suggest that I visit Dublin.
  • All my profile details indicate that I live in Ireland, so it is highly unlikely that I will ever fly to Belfast, Shannon, or Cork.
  • I am not sure why Alicante is there!

It really seems that Ryanair’s recommendation system is worse than a random suggestion engine!

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Jun 05 2011

Ryanair Cookie Based Pricing

Category: Aviation,eShoppingTeknovis @ 6:30 pm

Wow – I recently read that Ryanair uses HTTP Cookies to remember when a user returns to book flights for which he/she previously checked the availability. Fair enough, but apparently Ryanair charges a higher fare in this case!

I do not know if this is true, but I think it would be unfair and deceptive. This sort of practice certainly strengthens the arguments for the current EU proposals regarding HTTP Cookies!

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Jan 19 2011

Ryanair and Prepaid Mastercards

Category: Aviation,eShoppingTeknovis @ 7:07 pm

Last weekend I needed to book Ryanair flights. I have a Visa Electron card, and I used to use it all the time to avoid the 5€ per flight administration fee. However, Ryanair changed the rules so that the only card that does not attract such a fee is a prepaid Mastercard. This is described in Why is there an administration fee when I reserve my flights?:

As a special offer to Mastercard Prepaid Debit (MP) card holders, Ryanair, will not apply an administration fee to those customers paying by this method of payment.

I am sure that the only reason for this prepaid Mastercard exception is that Ryanair can still advertise the fare excluding the fee, and it is probably the least common card type available.

Anyway, over Christmas I was lucky to receive a gift voucher for use in a large shopping centre (Whitewater). This gift voucher is actually a prepaid Mastercard, so I decided to give it a try.

Unfortunately, it did not work. I got a generic payment failure error instead of the page with my confirmation number and booking details. Perhaps this was related to the fact that I used my home address as the cardholder’s address, even though my address would not be associated with the card.

I was tight on time, so I went ahead and booked the flights using my normal credit card. If I had more time I would follow it up directly with Ryanair.

I have since read a very interesting thread describing how other prepaid Mastercard shopping vouchers have successfully been used. See Prepaid Mastercard No Loading or Purchase Charges (Works with Ryanair).

I will try one of these the next time!

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Feb 26 2009

Jason Roe Versus Ryanair

Category: Aviation,InternetTeknovis @ 8:36 pm

Last weekend I read an article by web developer Jason Roe in which he described his discovery that under certain circumstances the Ryanair web site would revert the cost of flights to 0.00€. The full article is Ryanair no credit card fee + 0.00 flight bug.

I did not think that the discovery was in any way special, because it is relatively easy to replicate situations like this on many web sites. I would not even call it a bug, because it only occurs when the web site is being used in an abnormal way. I do not think that Jason Roe was trying to imply this either.

However, the tone of the responses that were posted by some of Ryanair’s staff are astonishing! For example, the first Ryanair response is:

jason!
you’re an idiot and a liar!! fact is!
you’ve opened one session then another and requested a page meant for a different session, you are so stupid you dont even know how you did it! you dont get a free flight, there is no dynamic data to render which is prob why you got 0.00. what self respecting developer uses a crappy CMS such as word press anyway AND puts they’re mobile ph number online, i suppose even a prank call is better than nothing on a lonely sat evening!!

I cannot understand what motivated this! Why did Ryanair not respond with the same explanation but in a pleasant manner? To make the responses even less understandable, I do not think that Ryanair develops this software itself!

I should also add that I have had many experiences with Ryanair before, and this is the first time I have ever seen such negative behaviour. So I am not a Ryanair basher :o

Surprisingly, this story has gained enough momentum that it was covered by The Irish Times today in Ryanair turns on blogger who found website glitch. Indeed, it is currently the most read story on the web site! I particularly like the quote by the Ryanair spokesman Stephen McNamara:

Lunatic bloggers can have the blogosphere all to themselves as our people are far too busy driving down the cost of air travel.

It seems to me that if the Ryanair employees had abided by this in the beginning then there never would have been a problem!

Update

RTE covered this story, and included an interview with Jason Roe, on the main national television news!

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