Can Ryanair Take On TripAdvisor?

- Leadership - Nov 11, 2014

Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary wants to challenge TripAdvisor, the world’s leading travel review website.

The boss of Europe’s second-busiest airline believes that there is no place for such review sites to act as standalone authorities, instead envisioning a version embedded into Ryanair’s own webpages along with a price comparison service.

While being among the busiest and most popular operators on the continent, the Irish company also receives roughly 80,000 customer complaints a year.

READ MORE: Top 10 Most Popular Airlines in Europe 2014

O’Leary told the Telegraph newspaper: “TripAdvisor shouldn’t really exist as an independent platform, it should be on Ryanair…I think what you will find is there will be much more positive endorsement coming back from people who have flown with us.”

The move represents the next step in Ryanair’s relentless monetisation and opening up of revenue streams. The company will be looking to sell its website through becoming a virtual travel agent and comparison engine.

That Ryanair passengers will be able to complain on its own website could deter some from choosing them in the future, but the cheap fares are surely enough to keep most from returning.

“Shock, horror, people might be sl*gging off Ryanair. People have been sl*gging us off for 25 years, let them work away, we are not a sensitive airline,” O’Leary added.

While having an inbuilt comparison service does, as O’leary says, cut out the middle man of Trip Advisor and others, the issue of trust could be an important one as to whether customers decide to use this function on Ryanair.

Trip Advisor already has an excellent following and is engrained into many travellers’ minds when they wish to seek out an impartial review of a hotel, restaurant or service they might encounter on holiday or business.

Ryanair needs to offer a reason for not looking up a service on Trip Advisor, and cutting out the middle man may not be the right one. Trip Advisor is popular because it is indeed a middle man, an impartial collection of views not managed by anyone with a particular vested interest in whether a review may be positive or negative.

How honest will Ryanair be? Will the airline publish every bad review it receives? 

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