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Published on Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Ryanair slams easyJet’s GDS distribution deal

Travel agents have been branded the “costliest parasites” in the travel industry by Ryanair in reaction to rival easyJet signing distribution deals with Amadeus and Galileo.

The Irish no-frills carrier claimed the deal with the two GDS’s, enabling easyJet to attract business travel bookings through agents (see separate TravelMole story), ensured that its competitor was a “high fares airline”.

Describing agents as “the greatest deadwood (and cost) of the travel industry,” Ryanair communications head Peter Sharrard said: "Easyjet has always been a closet high fares airline and we are delighted to see that they are coming out. At least today, Easyjet is a high fares airline and proud.

"Easyjet’s costs were already nearly 60% higher than Ryanair’s. Then they bought the high fare GB Airways which has an average seat cost of €132 and today they have signed a deal with travel agents, the costliest parasites in the travel industry, both of which will increase the already large gap between Easyjet’s high fares and Ryanair’s low fares.

“All Easyjet have left is to start levying fuel surcharges and move to Heathrow."

Ryanair offers "millions of seats for a tiny fraction of Easyjet’s high fares, with no rip-off middlemen guaranteed" via its website, Sharrard added. 

by Phil Davies

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  • Had it !

    I have had it with these "bulls in a china shop" slagging off Travel agents for the last 5 years . Get a grip Ryanair executives , YOU LOSE . You can not get rid of travel agents ,we are here and some , yes not all but some like us. I hear were you are coming from , yes some travel agents are not up to it , but that is the same in all industries, if you are good you do well in life if you are not , well that is life. You know Ryanair , some of us are worth knowing but hey you are a one trip pony, so fine stay that way. Have a good weekend.

    By Rebecca Bamford, Friday, November 9, 2007

  • Price Comparisons

    Mr Sharrard describes Easy Jet as a "high fares airline" so, being a parasitic deadwood travel agent, I decided to do what we do best - which is compare prices. Choosing 3 shared routes, same dates , adding speedy boarding and one hold bag and no insurance, I discovered that Ryanair was considerably more expensive than Easy Jet in each case, AND 2 out of 3 airports were out of the way airports. Ryanair also advertises, for example, a fare of &#pound;1.98 but by the end of the booking process, this jumps to &#pound;68.66. For the exact same route, date and extras, Easy Jet will begin at &#pound;47.98 and end at &#pound;61.98. I would like to throw down the gauntlet to Messrs Sharrard and O'leary - Spend one week in a busy business travel agency and offer the clients the same service and knowledge - then come back to us and call us deadwood parasites. As my father always said, be kind to the people you meet on the way up as you never know who you will meet again on the way back down!

    By Sarah Alexander, Thursday, November 8, 2007

  • Ryanair on the run?

    What an ignorant man Peter Sharrard is! He conveniently forgets that people have a CHOICE of how they wish to book their travel. No one forces people to go to a travel agent do they? I honestly think easyJet have stolen a march on Ryanair, and Ryanair, feeling threatened have gone for hysterical comments to get column inches. And this from Ryanair - who refused to fly to regional airports without massive handouts from the local councils - who's the parasite again? Agents should just stop booking Ryanair with immediate effect.

    By W Shearer, Wednesday, November 7, 2007

  • who needs parasites?

    One of the definitions of parasite in my Thesaurus is, would you believe.........passenger. Where would Ryanair be without all their pasasites?

    By andrew brownrigg, Wednesday, November 7, 2007

  • Think before you speak

    Hmmm interesting that this is Ryanairs Head Of Communications, I think he should look at his own company first before making such a sweeping generalization, you never know when Ryanair may be glad of help from the trade in the future and comments like this are not going to be forgotten.

    By DAVID WRIGHT, Wednesday, November 7, 2007

  • A non-story

    Claire is right. This is just a non-story designed to overshadow the EasyJet story.

    By Jonathan Peck, Wednesday, November 7, 2007

  • Ryanair service gap is showing

    They can malign us travel agents all they want, but Ryanair will eventually be forced to face reality: their standard of customer service is so far below ours that we routinely discourage our clients from flying Ryanair; I even have a clause in my written disclaimer that the client's choice of Ryanair was not my idea!

    By Kathleen Lyons, Wednesday, November 7, 2007

  • Keeping your enemies closer.

    I'm a little surprised by the comment made by Mr.Sharrard. Seems very counterproductive in today's climate. Like the old saying goes, wouldn't it be strategically better to keep agents closer to equation so that you can control them more effectively? Added further comments at

    By Stephen Joyce, Wednesday, November 7, 2007

  • Unfortunate

    It is unfortunate Mr. Sharrard beleives the travel agent is a parasite. Be sure this travel professional will gear his $1M USD in international travel to any other carrier. Since most carriers have done away with commissions and overrides, how can a travel seller be considered a parasite when all they do is bring business their way...

    By Bruce Roby, Wednesday, November 7, 2007

  • It Takes One...

    I wonder if all my "parasitic" coworkers and I refused to book Ryanair if there might be a rethinking of this point of view? Professional travel agents provide many services to our clients that just aren't available from the air carriers anymore. How shortsighted and unprofessional for anyone to go on record saying something like this!

    By R Sandra Lary, Wednesday, November 7, 2007

  • It gets them in the papers

    Could it be the "remarks" are made to get Ryanair's name in the papers when Easyjet had a good news day? I suspect a clever PR ploy and a chance for Ryanair to talk about how great they think they are off the back of a rival airline's genuine news story. Call Travel Agents what you like Mr Sharrard - sticks and stones! But at least you got your 15 mins - bless...

    By Claire Osborne, Tuesday, November 6, 2007

  • From one parasite to another!

    If Mr L was not such an ignorant person he would know that the real travel agent is in business to help clients, something lacking at Ryanair. Hardly a day goes by when someone does not ask us 'can you help me' If he asked us what many clients think of Ryanair the replies might offend.

    By Mr G Read, Tuesday, November 6, 2007

  • Rather childish, I think.

    When I read this, I thought that this was a bit strong for Mr O'Leary. He being a shrewd cookie and far from stupid. RyanAir fly to a limited number of destinations in a certain part of the globe. They could never handle (indeed no one airline can) complicated itineraries across continents and airlines. Travel Agents, long ago, recognised that they had to add value to the process - and many will even suggest to a client to book RyanAir, themselves, online. The remarks come from this Sharrard chap - who is clearly no O'Leary - and all (Sharrard) has done is to demonstrate his rather limited and challenged ability to communicate. Put it another way - some rather childish and silly comments from someone who has demonstrated littlr more than a rather tenuous grasp on reality and who will command little respect from his peers.

    By Murray Harrold, Tuesday, November 6, 2007

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