Nearly half of Ryanair passengers think the experience has improved since the airline adopted a more customer-friendly approach, reveals the World Travel Market Industry Report 2014 released today (Monday 3 November).
More than 1000 UK holidaymakers were asked a number of questions about Ryanair. Last autumn, the carrier raised eyebrows when it promised the markets and passengers alike that it would adopt a number of customer-service improvements.
Passengers who could compare Ryanair before and after its rethink were generally positive, with 46% saying the experience was better. More than one-in-three (39%) said they didn’t notice any difference with 17% saying the experience was now worse than before.
The specific customer service improvements which is most popular with passengers is its decision to allow a second small carry-on bag at no charge (37%) and allocated seating (35%).
One in ten liked the introduction of “quiet flights” in the mornings and evenings, where cabin announcements by staff would be limited to safety announcements with no sales or promotional voiceovers.
But one of its highest profile changes hardly registered, with only 7% highlighting its more user-friendly website.
The World Travel Market Industry Report 2014 found that more than half the sample (55%) have flown with Ryanair, with 5% flying with the airline for the first time under its new regime.
As well as its customer-service improvements, Ryanair has also changed its distribution strategy in an attempt to win more business travel customers. During the past few months it has made its fares available through the Travelport and Amadeus GDSs, the first time it has allowed travel agents to book its flights.
World Travel Market Senior Director Simon Press said: “Ryanair has always divided opinions, but recent changes in its attitude towards the travelling public shows that it is a business which is capable of change.
“Holidaymakers clearly like the new customer-friendly approach from Ryanair.”
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About World Travel Market
World Travel Market, the leading global event for the travel industry, is the must-attend four-day business-to-business exhibition for the worldwide travel and tourism industry.
More than 50,000 senior travel industry professionals, government ministers and international press, embark on ExCeL – London every November to network, negotiate and discover the latest industry opinion and trends at WTM.
WTM, now in its 35th year, is the event where the travel industry conducts and concludes its deals.
WTM 2013 generated more than £2 billion of travel industry contracts, revealed independent research by Fusion Communications.
WTM is owned by the world’s leading events organiser Reed Exhibitions (RE), which organises a other portfolio’s of travel industry events including IBTM Events, the world’s leading showcases for the meetings and events industry and International Luxury Travel Market events.
In 2013, RE held more than 500 events in 40 countries bringing together more than six million people from around the world generating billions of dollars in business.
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Its market-leading, business-to-business events cover all elements of travel and tourism, including leisure travel, luxury travel, meetings, events, incentives and business travel, as well as golf, ski and spa travel.
RTE is part of Reed Exhibitions.