Yes, you read that right! After being accused in 2013 by consumer group Which as the worst brand in the Uk and after years of being perceived that the airline is above addressing customer complaints, Ryanair have been introducing a whole raft of improvements.
This follows chief executive Michael O’Leary’s comment to shareholders last September that it should scrap its “macho” image and eliminate things that “unnecessarily p*** people off”.
Ryanair has a reputation for publicising very cheap fares while charging passengers high fees for a whole raft of things check in luggage and to print their own boarding pass. These are being cut this month:
- standard airport bag fee cut from £60 to £30 for those using bag drop desk, and from £60 to £50 for checking in a bag at boarding gate.
- boarding pass reissue fee cut from £70 to £15, for passengers who check in online – checking in at the airport will still cost £70
November & December 2013 changes
- 24-hour grace period for minor corrections to bookings
- the introduction of quiet flights before 0800 and after 9pm with dimmed lights and no sales announcements –a reversal on O’Leary’s previous position: We already bombard you with as many in-flight announcements and trolleys as we can. Anyone who looks like sleeping, we wake them up to sell them things.”
- customers can bring a second small carry-on bag, measuring no more than 35 x 30 x 20cm. eg a small ladies handbag or small airport shopping bag”
- “My Ryanair” registration system for faster bookings
- Fare Finder for flight searches via price point, route or travel period
- a new mobile app
- In February, the carrier will move to a fully allocated seating policy on all flights.
It will be interesting to see how far Ryanair will go to retain its position as Europe’s largest discount airline. It may not have been “customer friendly”
but it has always been largely profitable. Will O’Leary now manage to be both?