Tnooz and Ryanair

I really like Kevin May’s Tnooz and recommend it to anyone in the travel or hospitality industry. Kevin has his finger on the button and tends to just tell it, minus clouding things with too much of his own opinion – on Tnooz anyway, though on Twitter @kevinlukemay he’s pretty vocal! Here’s a piece he posted about Ryanair. I’ve never flown with them, but personally I think they’ve got it wrong. Interaction on social media sites has gone right up our list of priorities in the past year and it’s starting to pay dividends in terms of real business.

“Low-cost carrier Ryanair has put a halt to suggestions it will start reaching out to customers through social media. The airline has had a love-hate (but mostly hate) relationship with the concept of social media for years but expectations were raised earlier this week when it announced it is adding reviews to its website. It was initially thought that Ryanair would also be making tentative forays into social media through the usual networking sites – a suggestion since dismissed emphatically.

What is expected to happen in the coming months is the launch of a series of destination pages hosted on the main Ryanair website where users can post reviews of restaurants, bars and hotels. Ryanair’s often outspoken director of communications Stephen McNamara says: “This will be one way communication – passenger reviews of local hot spots etc, but [we] will not be ‘engaged’ in social media.”

Ryanair has steadfastly refused to be drawn into the online social bubble with its marketing, unlike its European rival EasyJet (which has the @easyjetcare handle for customer relations) or US counterparts such as SouthWest. Allowing almost every piece of customer criticism in the social channels to go unanswered, Ryanair has only once dropped its veil when it infamously told this author that bloggers were “lunatics” – an outburst which was picked up by news organisations around the world.

The interest comes as Ryanair also confirms it is considering some kind of “price comparison” website – a confusing concept for a single carrier to implement unless it is significantly looking to change its web proposition. McNamara says the idea is only in the planning stage and refuses to give any indication what such a site would be used for or its model.”

What do you think? Is interaction important between company and client?