Ryanair to accept American Express


Ryanair is to begin accepting American Express in a bid to encourage more business travelers to fly with the budget airline.

The low-cost airline said 20% to 25% of its customers are currently traveling on business and it wishes to capitalise on the growing sector.

The announcement follows last week's announcement that there will be a change in the airline's marketing strategy.

Ryanair said its statement builds on a raft of new measures designed to improve the experience for business customers. It has already improved the needs of its business flyers through priority boarding, allowing these passengers to board and exit the plane first, and through reserved seating.

Ryanair spokesman Howard Miller said: "We estimate that 20% to 25% of our passengers are traveling on business, with online check-in ensuring they avoid airport queues, while the option of priority boarding and reserved seating has proven extremely popular not only with business passengers, who can board and exit the aircraft first, or choose one of 45 pre-reserved seats, but also with families and those traveling in groups."

Last week Ryanair launched a new digital marketing strategy which it hopes will help improve its standing among consumers, with customer-friendly propositions introduced following years of negativity surrounding its low-cost policies.

It has said it will cut the price of its smartphone app, which allows customers to book "on the go", from €3 to free on 1 October 2013. It will also cease using the Recaptcha security feature on its website from 30 October 2013, which it claims will make it easier for causal users to book flights.

Ryanair's chief executive Michael O'Leary said: "This winter will also see a rolling programme of development to improve the Ryanair.com website, make it easier for passengers to navigate, quicker for them to locate our all-inclusive price quotes, identify availability of our lower fare promotions and book Ryanair's great fares for themselves and their families.

"These improvements will be accompanied by a new digital marketing strategy which will see Ryanair switch a significant proportion of its marketing budget from old to new media, with a particular focus on mobile and social media platforms."

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