Just trawling through some of the papers this evening I see an interesting story about Ryanair. Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary has decided to block all bookings on it’s airline that were make through partner websites. O;Leary is quoted as saying
“We want to cause as much chaos for the [websites] as possible”
Websites like lastminute.com, v-tours, tui and Opodo all face a new headache come tomorrow morning, when flights booked through these sites will be cancelled.
Breaking ties with affiliates
So why is Ryanar pulling such a stunt (which apparently they are legally allowed to) ?
- is it more of the Michael O’Leary Marketing machine for news headlines ?
- is it a way to get more for these bookings, i.e. when these flights are cancelled it will possibly cost more to rebook them ? This would help the company raise a few more €€’s for their problematic fuel bills ? also sales of insurance and car rentals are lucrative things that Ryanair are missing out on for these ticket sales.
- it could also be another way that Ryanair can tackle scraper websites, who regularly send requests to flight prices to see when is a good time to buy. Services like Farecast (recently acquired by MSN) can cut into airlines profits buy profiling costs of flights.
Personally I think it is a mixture of point 2 and 3. Is normally thought that by using affiliates and third parties to drive traffic and sales, you can really grow your business, the reason for this move really confuses me.