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Say what you want about Ryanair – they aren’t afraid to try new things.
I am actually starting to really warm to Ryanair – their “Always getting better” campaign seems to actually be working, and you can’t argue with their off-peak prices as long as you accept you HAVE to play by their rules.
The latest surprise from Mr O’Leary’s imagination is Ryanair Rooms…
So what? Another LCC trying to flog me overpriced hotel rooms when I just want a cheapo flight!
Being a LCC, Ryanair do not have a traditional loyalty programme. Rather than just being a sheep, Ryanair have actually come up with a unique proposition.
When you book a hotel stay through Ryanair Rooms, you earn 10% back as “Travel Credit”. This can be used towards part or full payment on future Ryanair flights. Simples!
What’s the catch? Have they inflated the prices?
At the moment, I can’t see any gotchas. How long the 10% rate will last I can’t guarantee, but it looks like they are trying to set that out as the standard earning rate rather than an introductory bonus.
The reservations appear to be handled on Ryanair’s behalf via the likes of Hotels.com and HRS. The provider is listed below the listing, so you are clear who you are booking with, as you can see below:
In terms of price inflation, generally Ryanair Rooms was either the same or within a few pounds of the other sites from the few examples I checked:
Is it worth it?
You need to weigh up the “opportunity cost” of booking through Ryanair given the rates are broadly comparable to the rest of the market – but 10% is a very hefty rebate.
If you are an elite member with a hotel chain, third party bookings generally mean no elite benefits or points, so booking direct can be more beneficial – and you will have to do the sums based on your travel patterns and upgrade potentials etc.
If you do not have elite status with a chain and instead look to earn free nights through the Hotels.com Rewards programme, you won’t get them with Ryanair Rooms.
However, Hotels.com requires 10 nights in a year to get the free night. Only stay 9 nights, you get zilch. With Ryanair Rooms you will get the 10% back on every booking. 10% back in Ryanair credit on 9 nights could get you a couple of weekend trips with their bargain fares!
Also in contrast with Cashback sites, this rebate goes directly into your My Ryanair account. No third party tracking and potential for declined cashback – Excellent!
I am certainly going to give it whirl on my next “non-elite” hotel booking, as I would never hit 10 Hotels.com nights, and I’m a sucker for a FREE flight, even if it is on Ryanair!