I was surprised today when attempting to confirm a flight with Ryanair that I was being told my flight details were invalid. As usual I had copy/pasted in the details so I didn’t think there was much margin for error.
Using a web developer’s insight I guessed the validation of my reservation code contained some invisible whitespace and that this was causing the error. Unbelievable this turned out to be the case!
Stripping whitespace from form input fields is basic, website 101 best practice stuff. Typical users who don’t have a background in development are extremely unlikely to notice that 1 or 2 mm of space on the screen is in fact an invisible character that could cause input problems on submitted forms. To think that all these unwitting souls will be send to paid support phone calls waiting in automatic queues for 40 minutes or more because they typed in their CORRECT reservation number is unbelievable. But apparently Mom & Pop over at Ryanair think this is ok.
Moments later in the Ryanair checkin process I got an obscure warning in big red letters across the screen. Maybe they use Dreamweaver to build their site? Hold on, the warning fails to use basic English grammar correctly!
When you check-in online if you are issued a sequence number of 190 or above (located at the top right of the boarding pass). Please go to the airport check-in desk on arrival at the airport.
I actually remember in grade 4 when we were learning how to write and the teacher would often correct students for fragment sentences like these. Have Mom & Pop even graduated from secondary school?