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Ryanair to Change Fares, Bag Rules to Attract Business Travelers and Families

Oct 22, 2013 12:15 pm

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Ryanair’s business model has proved popular with flyers and competitive carriers suggesting its new changes could soon ripple across the industry as well.

— Samantha Shankman

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Ryanair is to continue its transformation by offering new fares and services aimed at pulling in business travellers and families.

The no-frills airline will start selling higher-priced flexible tickets aimed at the business market, allowing passengers to change flight more easily without further penalty.

It also plans to make travel easier for families by allowing groups travelling together to pool their luggage allowance, rather than charging individuals extra for one overweight suitcase.

Chief executive Michael O’Leary said the “evolution” of the airline would continue over the coming winter, including changes to restrictions on group bookings to make Ryanair an option for school trips or similar parties.

The airline will also have a “membership scheme” allowing customers to register on its relaunched website, he said, acknowledging that easyJet had a superior site.

He said it would extend the scheme about to be introduced at Stansted whereby passengers will be given leeway to carry on more than one bag, including airport shopping.

Speaking at the Airline Operators Association conference, O’Leary said: “We need to segment our own marketplace. Now that we’re no longer the Robin Hood, the challenger, we’re the establishment, we need to do something differently.”

Asked if Ryanair was now really the establishment, he added: “We’re the Sheriff of Nottingham.”

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