Low-cost airline Ryanair has announced a partnership with online travel agency Loveholidays to sell ‘transparent’ package deals. Jenny Southan reports
Ryanair first attempted to launch Ryanair Holidays back in 2016, but as The Telegraph reported, “just two months later, the Irish airline accused its holiday software provider of ‘screen-scraping‘, canned the entire project and hasn’t tied a blue-and-yellow ribbon around a package holiday since”.
Despite previously calling online travel agencies “pirates“, the new tie-up allows Loveholidays customers to buy Ryanair flights, seats and bags as part of their package. It also guarantees that Loveholidays’ customers “will not be overcharged” and they will have direct access to their myRyanair account for all customer info questions.
This partnership with Loveholidays additionally guarantees that Ryanair flight info will be provided directly to each customer’s email address, including pre-departure info on Ryanair 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 Ryanair. This means Loveholidays customers will not need to complete Ryanair’s customer verification process which unauthorised online travel agency customers must continue to do.Loveholidays users will now be able to book Ryanair’s low fares as part of their package with “full transparency”, while still benefiting from Loveholidays flexible payment plans and ATOL protection. Ryanair says it has “long campaigned for all consumers to be protected from OTA pirate scams, which includes overcharges, hidden mark-ups, and fake customer contact and payment info”.
Ryanair’s director of marketing, communications and digital, Dara Brady, says: “We are pleased to announce this first OTA partnership with loveholidays, which will ensure that loveholidays’ customers can now book Ryanair flights, seats, and bags as part of their package with the guarantee that they will not be overcharged for flights, bags, or seats, they will receive flight updates directly from Ryanair and will also have direct access to their booking through their myRyanair account.”
Loveholidays’ chief marketing officer, Al Murray, says: “As the UK and Ireland’s largest and fastest growing OTA, we are delighted to be the world’s first Ryanair-approved package holiday provider. Our status as an approved Ryanair partner will ensure the process of booking and managing a Ryanair flight as part of a loveholidays package is seamless for customers; something no other package holiday provider can offer.
“The Loveholidays-Ryanair partnership means all our customers can take advantage of Ryanair’s low fares while benefiting from our unrivalled choice of hotels, flexible payment plans and ATOL protection. Ultimately, 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.”