Friday 28 October 2016

Aer Lingus unveils 'smart' website that lets you freeze fares for a fiver

Website generates €1 billion a year

Published 30/09/2015 | 11:28

Aer Lingus's new website (composite image).
Aer Lingus's new website (composite image).

Aer Lingus has unveiled a website upgrade that it says will "transform" the online booking process for passengers.

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The new is a smarter, "more personalised" iteration of a website that now clocks four million monthly visits, the airline said.

The website accounts for 80pc of bookings across its network, it added, and generates "in excess of €1 billion" in annual revenue.

The new "smart website", designed by an in-house team in conjunction with external agencies, sees the airline get a jump on Ryanair - which is set to launch the latest upgrade of its own website and app in October.

The beta website has been optional to users for several weeks. It has been redesigned "from the ground up", Aer Lingus says, with key features including:

1. 'Farefinder' feature

This feature allows users to see 30 days of prices in one go.

There is also a 'Pricelock' feature where customers can freeze quoted short-haul fares for 24 hours for €5 per flight, or reserve a transatlantic fare with a deposit. 

Aer Lingus New Website (2).jpg  

2. 'My Aer Lingus' profile

Similar to 'My Ryanair', the 'My Aer Lingus' profile will streamline the booking process for those who sign up - storing flight history, personal details and payment details.

Bookings can now be completed in six steps, the airline says.

Recent searches will be saved - allowing customers to see the benefits of each fare in one place. Trip summary baskets will provide a breakdown of bookings.

3. A new 'Explore' tool

This allows customers to explore destinations and options according to their budget - how far they wish to fly and the nature of their trip (sun, ski, shopping etc).

A simple search function makes it easy to get inspired, find out facts and see recommendations for places to visit and things to do in over 180 destinations, the airline says.

4. Advance check-in

Check-in can be completed for all flights up to 30 days in advance of travel.

Aer Lingus New Website (3).jpg  

Tying in with its new ‘Smart Flies Aer Lingus’ campaign, the revamped is seen as creating a crucial "first impression" for users.

“The innovative design and content places us well ahead of our principle competitors and represents a quantum leap versus the current classic site," said Chief Commercial Officer, Mike Rutter.

The old website had many "clunky" elements, he conceded.

The new website will replace the current one when the final testing phase is complete, the airline says.

An updated mobile app is due to be released "soon", it adds.

It follows the airline's recent takeover by IAG, the introduction of a new transatlantic business class, and new business class lounges, among other developments. 

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