Friday 22 September 2017

Ryanair apologises after 'technical error' thwarts customers trying to book 30 cent airfares

Copenhagen calling

Pól Ó Conghaile

Pól Ó Conghaile

When Ryanair sprung a flash sale on Twitter yesterday, 3,000 users bagged flights for just 30 cent a pop. Others were left hanging, however, as the website appeared to freeze.

So what really happened?

Ryanair launched its winter schedule from Dublin yesterday morning, with a promotional tweet offering 3,000 seats to Copenhagen from just 30 cent... provided they were booked by 1.15pm.

The three hours that followed prompted a rush on the airline's website. The 3,000 seats selling out within two hours - "record time", according to a Ryanair spokesperson.

As thousands of happy punters secured flights to Copenhagen for half-nothing, however, others left empty-handed - with some alleging that the website appeared to "freeze" or "crash".

One user on our Independent Travel Facebook page claimed to have been on the website "for nearly two hours and [it] kept crashing even though it said it was processing."

"I tried many times, but the page was not loading at all!" said another.

"Come on guys, not fair."

We contacted Ryanair for a response.

“The Vikings may have invaded Ireland, but the Irish will be invading Denmark from next month after our 30c fare promotion on our new Dublin-Copenhagen route received a phenomenal response, with flights snapped up in record time," said Robin Kiely, the airline's Head of Communications.

Regarding website complaints, he added:

"Regrettably, some customers experienced some server issues when booking these fares, caused by a temporary technical error on a remote server.

"We apologise to those who were left disappointed.

"However, thousands of customers snapped up these bargain fares to Copenhagen and we had a record day of bookings for the launch of a new route."

The new Dublin-Copenhagen route begins on March 18.

The 3,000 promotional seats were available both ways on this route, Kiely added - several users had suggested to us that they were having difficulty securing return flights at the 30 cent rate.

After the 30 cent fares sold out, Kiely says -"on a first come, first served basis" - fares began to rise in the normal way.

At one point, the flash sale saw Copenhagen trending on Twitter in Ireland.

Ryanair is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2015, and plans to celebrate with more 30 cent flash sales on Twitter.

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