Ryanair launches new branded fares
Consistent with industry trends, Ryanair is expanding its branded fare offering with its new Leisure Plus offering and an upgrade of the Business Plus one.
It is interesting to see how an airline that, once upon a time, was synonymous with a scramble for the latest bargain and, once at the airport, for the best seat, all while trying to avoid being charged by a myriad of extra charges, is not championing branded fares that are aimed at taking anxiety out of the equation.
The Leisure Plus fare, for example, comes with assigned seats, 20kg of check-in baggage and priority boarding, while the Business Plus adds fast-lane at the airport, dedicated counters, premium seats and the possibility to change your reservation.
As we have noted before, some low cost airline branded fares incorporate elements that were, until not that long ago, the preserve of full service airline, or even of business class service. While at the same time, full service carriers are doing the same but in the other direction: launching more basic fares that come with equally basic service.
Ultimately, we end up with a sort of convergence in the middle, where the differentiation comes not that much by the airline you fly (even British Airways is discontinuing free hot meals on European flights) as by the type of fare you choose.
You can read more about this trend on my CNN article: "Low Cost Airlines: they changed the World...but what next?"