Sunday 22 October 2017

Business Traveller: Ryanair gets more personal

Viceroy Hotel in New York
Viceroy Hotel in New York
Sarah McCabe

Sarah McCabe

RYANAIR has shared more details of its new business travel service with 'Business Traveller'. The business offer-ing is due to launch this spring.

A spokesperson said passengers who register with the carrier's new "My Ryanair" customer registration system will be able to avail of the service first, as well as a new family product the airline is developing.

"My Ryanair", which launched in December, stores customers' personal profiles, speeding up the process of making bookings and checking in online. The service will include features like flexible tickets, reserved seating and fast-track security through certain airports.

Ryanair's new-found focus on business customers will also include changes in its airport preferences. It will begin flying to and from more primary, business-orientated airports, like Brussels Zaventem and Rome Fiumicinio.

FEEL SPECIAL IN THE BIG APPLE

ONE of the country's best known hoteliers has just launched a New York offering with special rates for Irish customers.

The hotel in question is the Viceroy New York, located in mid-town Manhattan near Central Park and shopping haven Fifth Avenue. Viceroy Group's chief executive is Irishman Bill Walshe, the former chief executive of The Doyle Collection, which includes The Westbury in Dublin.

Gerard Dennehy, formerly of The Morrison and The Four Seasons in Dublin, has been appointed as manager.

The hotel is keen to play on its Irish roots and is offering Irish guests a special introductory rate – $329 or €242 a night. Those interested should quote the code IRLSPECIAL when booking.

Viceroy New York has 240 rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows and impressive luxury amenities – Beats by Dr Dre sound systems in every room, Neil George spa products, Illy coffee machines and in-house smartphones.

There is a business centre, including a meeting room, boardroom and function areas as well as a gym, pool, library and personal trainer service available.

The hotel's design was inspired by film noir. It's even scented with its own custom fragrance.

BOARDING TIME EQUALS MONEY

TIME is money and boarding an aircraft drains a lot of both. A 2010 study estimated that the cost of delays in 2007 was $29bn in the US alone, with delays associated with boarding one of the main reasons.

Boarding processes have improved significantly over the last three decades, but there is still lots of room for improvement. Before 1970, the average boarding speed was approximately 20 passengers per minute; by 1998, this rate had decreased to approximately nine passengers per minute.

One of the biggest barriers to improved efficiency is the increasing cost of checked luggage. As it gets more expensive to check a bag, passengers are more likely to try and carry their luggage on, creating more delays. If airlines continue to increase the fees for checked luggage, passengers are going to respond by carrying more luggage on to the plane. A separate 2008 study showed that the difference in boarding times when passengers have two carry-on bags compared with none is almost 60pc.

Despite all this, most airlines still follow the same old tried-and-tested method for boarding, which involves calling passengers up in groups. But Clarkson University School of Business in New York has come up with a new method, which they say could save carriers tens of millions each year. Their method seats passengers according to the number of carry-on bags they're travelling with.

Boarding the back of the aircraft first, the airline would seat one passenger with two bags, one passenger with one bag and one passenger with no bags in each row. For a large carrier like Delta, the process could save up to $10m per year.

Irish Independent

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