Did Ryanair let the cat out of the bag on Google's flight booking plans? (note: replacement cats incur surcharge)

Ryanair boss and part-time pantomime villain Michael O’Leary has been speaking to the Irish Independent, and seems to have announced something that Google are working on – it seems they’re working on a way to enable users to buy flights.


O’Leary, pictured above hopefully before suffering a terrible accident, is perhaps best well known for being a complete bastard. In the interview he describes how Ryanair will be a launch partner of the new service, which will apparently “blow comparison sites like Skyscanner out of the water”.


To fill in the blanks around his bombast, it appears that Google are looking to build on the little-known Google Flights, which enables you to search for flights by destination, budget and airline, and toggle how flexible you can be.


Presumably the upgraded Google Flights will link in directly with the different airline booking systems to make the process as straightforward as possible – but to make this happen, they’ll need data from the airlines, which is why they’ll have been talking to the likes of O’Leary.


Imagine having to be in the same meeting as such an odious individual.


Unsurprisingly, Ryanair aren’t having to put any cash into the new venture – with Google paying for it all.


So don’t be surprised if next time you’re trying to book a flight and simply search for “Cheap flights”, Google pops up with it’s own recommendations. Heck – given how much else Google knows about you, having access to your emails, and Google Docs, don’t be surprised if it can even predict where you want to go before you type in the destination.


It’s not the first time Google have done something like this – certain keywords will trigger specialised search boxes – such as cinema showtimes, for example.

We’ve no details from Google yet – but will keep you updated should they say anything official.


(Would you leave this man in charge of an aeroplane?)

So if we believe what he says, O’Leary could have spilled the beans on something that could really shake up how airline ticketing works. Or maybe he’s a bit wide of the mark, and has instead landed somewhere much further out of town than many rivals…

James O’Malley