RYANAIR has doubled the free of charge grace period it allows passengers to amend bookings to 48 hours – one of a number of new perks unveiled by the Irish budget airline.
Anyone flying with Ryanair previously had a 24-hour window to make alterations to their bookings, but the no-frills carrier extended the time-frame on Thursday as part of its 'customer care improvements' for 2019.
"Customers who have booked their flight directly on the Ryanair.com website will now have a 48-hour grace period, from the time of original booking, to correct any minor errors (i.e. spelling of names, incorrect routings/dates/times) free of charge," the airline said.
But Ryanair's new perks don't stop there. They include:
- Care Improvements – 48-hour free of charge grace period for changes to bookings;
- Lowest Fares – find a cheaper fare within 3 hours, get paid the difference plus €5 MyRyanair credit;
- Punctuality – deliver 90% target (excl. ATC) or 5% off following month’s airfares;
- New Max Aircraft – new interiors, more legroom, more seats, greenest aircraft (from April);
- Customer Care Charter – EU261 claims processed in 10 days, new 24/7 support, connect in 2 mins;
- Environmental Improvements – carbon offset programme & plastic free in 5 years;
- New Ryanair Choice – €199 annual fee for free seats, fast-track & priority boarding for frequent guests;
- Digital Improvements – new fare finder, sports tickets, bespoke travel guides & faster mobile.
The customer care improvements follow a rough 2018 for Ryanair, which saw industrial action by pilots and cabin crew cause unprecedented flight disruption to summertime travellers throughout Europe.
The airline went on to record record profits of €1.45 billion (£1.2 billion) but was forced to cut its half-year forecast by 7% in October in the wake of the strikes.
Last month, Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary issued a profits warning for the second quarter in a row – blaming lower than expected winter fares.
Announcing the customer care improvements for 2019, Ryanair's Chief Marketing Officer Kenny Jacobs said: "Ryanair is pleased to launch our 2019 customer care improvements, while continuing to deliver ‘more choice, lower fares and great care’.
"Ryanair will carry 152m customers this year who will enjoy these latest improvements including lowest price and punctuality promises, our Customer Care Charter, new Ryanair Choice membership, and this Summer many will enjoy our new Boeing MAX “Gamechanger” aircraft with more legroom and bright new interiors.
"While we continue to improve our customer care, one thing that won’t change is our lower fares – which we promise will not be beaten – and our customers will still enjoy the biggest choice of destinations, with the most on-time flights and a fantastic onboard experience, as we grow our fleet, traffic and routes."