February 21st
2008

Ryanair to Close Shop for Booking System Upgrade

Plan to book any flights with Ryanair early or else wait several days. The Irish-based company specializing in low-cost flights will be performing a upgrade to their booking system, meaning that access to reserve, change, or check-in will be unavailable via their website or call centre. The timeframe is between 10 pm Feb. 22 (tomorrow) – 11 pm Feb. 25, during which you can only check-in at the airport. Ryanair reports it is due to a system changeover from Navitaire OpenSkies to Navitaire NewSkies. The old system is based on the HP 3000 operating platform, soon to be unsupported.

This also comes on the heels of the demand in August of last year by the UK’s Office of Fair Trading (OFT) that 13 airlines reform the appearance of their prices online. They required that the culprits make taxes and fees appear in the all-included advertised price throughout the booking process. Ryanair hadn’t completed this by the Jan. 31 deadline, and is at the end of an extension to take care of it. This isn’t the first time they’ve been in the public eye of scrutiny — they have had several other run-ins with the OFT for their passenger contract terms and the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for their ad campaigns.

Despite Ryanair’s official word that this “will not have an effect on bookings, loads or financial results”, it will be tough for their sales to balance out by counting solely on bookings before and after the shutdown. There’s a good chance rival Irish airlines Aer Lingus and Aer Arann will also take advantage of the situation by offering special deals during the blackout.

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