RYANAIR this week unveiled a new smartphone app to much fanfare - but what does it actually mean for you? Reluctant frequent Ryanair traveller Katy Harrington looks at the low budget airline’s new customer friendly app…
What’s app with Ryanair these days?
Phase two of Ryanair’s new customer friendly image (introduced after two profit warnings in 2013) is here. Phase one saw the online booking process simplified (so you don’t have a withered hand by the time it comes to enter your payment details) and pre-assigned seating introduced (to avoid the scrum at the departure gates). Now the budget airline has introduced a new app which lets you book seats, manage your booking, add baggage, view live flight information, check-in and download mobile boarding passes. Oh and of course you’ll still be offered hotels, car hire and insurance....
Ryanair are being customer friendly, what did I miss?
Yes, pay attention down the back! The new app is free to download for iPhone and Android (from Apple’s App Store, Google Play and Ryanair.com) and the main advantage is you don’t have to bother printing your boarding pass any more.
How does it work?
Once you have checked in online using the Ryanair app your boarding pass will be saved with a 2D- barcode onto the phone you have used to complete your check-in. You can view your boarding pass via the app by selecting ‘Boarding Pass’ from the app home screen.
That sounds too easy…any catches?
Only if you are travelling to Agadir, Essaouira, Fez, Nador, Oujda, Marrakesh, Rabat , Tangier , Zaragoza, Alghero, Rome Ciampino, Kefalonia or Volos where the electronic boarding pass service is still unavailable, but let’s face it, you don’t even know where half those places are do you?
If I am too cheap to pay for the internet, can I access my boarding pass offline?
Yes, and running out of credit? How very 2009 of you.
I’m really multicultural, is the app available in other languages?
Bien sûr! English, Italian and Spanish, with further language versions to follow according to Ryanair.
What if the mobile boarding pass won’t display properly on my mobile phone?
Panic. Just kidding, first check “your mobile’s configuration settings and contact the phone manufacturer's technical support service” advise Ryanair. “If the problem persists, please visit Ryanair.com and print off your boarding pass .You can do this up to 2 hours before each flight.” Now you can panic.
What if my battery dies?
Then you could be in trouble as your mobile phone “must remain switched on as customers will be requested to show their mobile boarding pass at the following areas: Bag drop desk, security checkpoints, boarding gate and embarking the aircraft”.
What if I forget to check in online, print my boarding pass and forget my phone?
Then you really shouldn’t be travelling without adult supervision, but as a Ryanair spokesperson explains, you will pay for your crime. “Customers who fail to check in online are subject to a €70 airport check-in fee. Customers who check-in online but misplace or forget their boarding pass are subject to a €15 boarding card reissue fee.”
I like the sound of this new cuddly Ryanair, does this mean no more screeching about charity scratch cards while I am napping and an end to those demeaning nude-y calendars?
Not really, but chief marketing officer, Kenny Jacobs said Ryanair’s ‘Always Getting Better’ programme will bring “better services, more choice and enhanced inflight and digital experiences for our customers and…further improvements for the 84 million people who will fly with us this year.”