You know that epic, conquer-the-world feeling you get when you manage to score a great deal on airfare? Well, then just imagine the feeling you'd get when, instead of merely cheap, that ticket cost you literally nothing.
That's the plan for Ryanair in a decade, according to its chief executive Michael O’Leary. Speaking at the Airport Operators Association conference in London, he said the already low-cost airline would make its money from sharing revenues with airports where it had enticed travelers, instead of through ticket sales.
He said the idea isn't really that radical or far off given the current set of circumstances: great deals to his airline by European airports, in addition to a possible reduction or elimination of certain taxes on the horizon.
“I have this vision that in the next five to 10 years that the air fares on Ryanair will be free, in which case the flights will be full, and we will be making our money out of sharing the airport revenues — of all the people who will be running through airports, and getting a share of the shopping and the retail revenues at airports," he said, as cited in The Guardian.
He said he doesn't expect the plan would work well at airports like London's Heathrow or other major hubs — but definitely something to look out for in smaller airports looking for growth across Europe.
And even if you have to make a modest detour to get where you're going by way of lesser-known airports... you sure can't beat free.
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