Ryanair goes offline

Hotel News - 11/02/2008

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Travelers making bookings with Ireland’s Ryanair will be unable to access the budget airline’s hotel reservation system or flight information during one weekend later in the month. The low-cost carrier will be shutting down its booking system for two days in order to install a new system.

Between 22:00 on Friday, February 22nd and 23:00 on Monday, February 25th, the airline will not be taking bookings, either online or through their telephone booking line.

According to a Ryanair spokesperson, the airline’s flights will not be affected by the computer shut down. Travellers will not be able to check in online during the shut down period but will not be charged for checking in at the airport.

Research director at internet analyst Hitwise, Robin Goad, was extremely surprised by the announcement, saying that such a move, for a company like Ryanair, which relies so heavily on its online commerce, is “almost unheard of”.

He said: "It's quite incredible. Sometimes people shut things down for two or three hours. To do so for a whole three or four days is pretty much unheard of."

According to Hitwise, February is one of the airline’s busiest months of the year in terms of website traffic.

A Ryanair spokeswoman said: "We have already taken significant additional advance bookings and will take more after the shutdown, which will ensure that bookings, loads and financial results will be unaffected."

Ryanair launched its website in 2000, allowing passengers to book low cost hotels and car hire at the same time as their budget flight. The website allows low cost airport hotel booking at over 20 locations across the word from California to Jamaica and Canada.

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