The famously low-cost Irish airline Ryanair has launched a new US website to make it easier for American tourists to book flights within Europe. “Trade Route 66 for the Wild Atlantic Way,” the slogan reads.
Ryanair, which has 180 destinations in 30 countries, stated that customers in the US can now book their flights in dollars, and can bring a free, second carry-on onto their Ryanair flights.
The airline says American tourists - mostly from California, New York, Texas, Florida and New Jersey - travel to Europe every year and often travel between countries. London, Dublin, Barcelona, Rome and Paris are their most visited destinations.
“Uncle Sam says fly Ryanair,” says a banner on the site, which was launched on Tuesday, in the classic Uncle Sam poster fashion.
The website also now features a “Fare Finder” option to make it easier for customers to find the lowest fares, sometimes as little as $10, if they specify desired route and travel period. Customers would also be able to share these airfares with friends and family on social media through a feature called “Share the Fare.”
The website comes three years before Ryanair’s plans for transatlantic flights; Chief Executive Michael O’Leary said in November that he’s working on setting up low-cost services between 15 European cities and 12 US cities. Sourcing the proper long-haul aircrafts may take up to three years, however.
O’Leary is also learning a lesson in humility; being nice or friendly never came naturally to him, he said, and that he’d have been nicer to customers sooner had he known it “would work so phenomenally well.”
“I’d be more inclined to rob money out of people’s pockets,” he told the Deloitte Enterprise Ireland CEO Forum, “now I want to put money back in their pockets and help them save money.”
“It’s not enough to be the cheapest anymore. We need to be the cheapest, the best and the friendliest.”
“We can’t be Robin Hood anymore,” he added. “We need to be the caring, cuddly Sheriff of Nottingham.”