By Mark Hodson
Ryanair may be among the cheapest – and most successful – airlines in Europe but it doesn’t always make it easy for its passengers to book. Its website is notoriously painful to navigate with excessive pages to click through, poor explanations and “Captcha” codes that are impossible to decipher. It’s also easy to find yourself paying for extras you weren’t expecting.
But one of the biggest gripes among customers is not knowing when its flights go on sale. Many visitors to Whentobookflights.co.uk have asked us: “When are Ryanair’s summer 2014 flights released?” And the answer isn’t easy to find.
Like other no-frills airlines, including Easyjet and Flybe, Ryanair won’t reveal when it will put the flights online. However, last year it released its summer 2012 flights on 18 October 2012, so it’s reasonable to expect next year’s flights to be released on or around 18 October 2013.
To add to the confusion, when you visit the booking pages of the Ryanair website you are shown months that aren’t actually available to book. So you could carefully enter dates for the summer 2013 flight schedule, not realising that the flights aren’t yet on sale. To make matters worse, the website doesn’t even tell you why you can’t make the booking. Rather, it lists five possible reasons, one of which is: “The travel dates requested are for our next schedule period and the fares/seats are yet not loaded for these dates”.
Of course, there is no page where you can find out when the flights will be released!
Why does Ryanair make this so difficult? Simple – it wants you to sign up for its email newsletters. If you go to the bottom of the homepage and click on “Register for Offers”, you will go to the signup page where the benefits are listed, starting with “Be the first to know when seat sales are released”.
The downside with signing up for the newsletter is that you may be bombarded with emails trying to sell you travel insurance, hotels, car hire and so on.