After its CEO pledged to stop pooping all over its passengers (metaphorically, though if they could get people to pay for that, they would), Ryanair announced its first set of passenger-friendly changes:
- Passengers will have 24 hours after they have made a booking to fix “minor errors (i.e. spelling, names, routings)” without being charged for it.
- On flights before 8am and after 9pm flight they will operate so-called “quiet flights,” as flight attendants will not make any announcements other than required safety announcements (for example, they will not hawk duty free). I know a number oF US airlines that could learn from this.
- Passengers can carry on a very small 2nd carry-on for free (a duty free bag, for example).
- If you have checked in online and need your boarding pass reprinted at the airport, they will no longer charge you €70/£70. The fee will now be a reduced, but still outrageous, €15/£15.
- Airport checked bag fees will be lowered from €60/£60 to €30/£30 at the bag drop desk, and from €60/£60 to €50/£50 at the boarding gate.
I have about 1 minute to write something, but Ryanair’s outspoken CEO is admitting that perhaps, just a wee bit, the airline may have treated its customers, just perhaps, not as well as it could have.
“‘We should try to eliminate things that unnecessarily’ irritate people,” CEO Michael O’Leary is quoted as saying in a Reuters article today.
Here’s one thing that recently irritated people:
A front-page headline in the Irish newspaper The Daily Mail on the morning of the shareholder meeting said, “Ryanair sinks to new low,” after a Dublin surgeon was charged 188 euros, or $254, to reschedule a flight days after his entire family was killed in a fire in England.
In any case, O’Leary says that the airline will focus on customer service over the next 12 months (rather than blabbering about how they are going to charge people to go to the bathroom).
O’Leary made the remarks about the cultural changes at the Ryanair shareholder meeting, where shareholders spoke of seeing customers crying at the airport after dealing with Ryanair staff.
Ryanair announced that it will cancel 13 upcoming flights to Budapest to protest what it deems “stupid” requirements that its crews get off their plane and go through immigration on flights with 25 minute turnarounds at Budapest’s airport.
For once, CEO Michael O’Leary isn’t making a spectacle for no reason: Hungary’s requirement that Ryanair crews (and only Ryanair crews) disembark and clear customs on flights arriving in Budapest from Ireland and the UK, even if the plane is turning around and departing again, is completely ridiculous and unique to Budapest’s airport.
The move appears to be a protectionist measure by the Hungarian government, likely as they consider re-launching a flag carrier following the demise of Malev.
A Swedish man is demanding an apology from Ryanair after he had a heart attack on a Sweden-bound Ryanair flight over the weekend and, according to the man’s family, the airline was ill-equipped to handle the emergency.
According to the passenger’s family he complained of feeling ill during the flight, then lost consciousness. He was revived and the flight crew was called over. In response, they offered to sell the man a sandwich and some water (nothing like a sandwich to take the edge off a heart attack). I don’t know why the passenger’s family assumed flight attendants would know how to treat a heart attack, nor do I know why, if the man told flight attendants that he was having a heart attack, they offered him a sandwich. I’m not a doctor, but I’ve seen enough TV to know that a sandwich is generally not part of the treatment for a heart attack. At least not in the US.
For its part Ryanair said it offered to divert the flight so the man could get medical attention, but for whatever reason the passenger’s family insisted on continuing to Skavsta.
The man is recovering in a local hospital.
Ryanair is not happy about a European rule that requires airlines to pay compensation to passengers for flight cancelations, even in cases of force majeure. Last year the carrier had to pay more than 100 million Euro related to this rule, primarily due to volcano-related cancellations. Ryanair, obviously, is not going to pay that quietly, so they’re turning to passengers to make up the lost revenue: The airline will now levy a 2 Euro charge on every passenger to cover costs related to the rule.
Or, you can just look at it as a 2 Euro pre-cancellation fee. Whichever you prefer.
Passengers boarding a Ryanair flight from Lanzarote in the Canary Islands to Charleroi, Belgium (or as Ryanair calls it, Istanbul), got into a significant disagreement with airline staff after they tried to charge one person in a large group an extra fee for heavy baggage.
The passengers friends reportedly rebelled and would neither pay for the extra baggage nor listen to any crew members. Ryanair staff called police and after sorting out the ruckus, decided that 104 passengers could not re-board the plane. That group spent an additional (drunken, I would assume) night on the island.
You are likely aware of Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary’s occasional pronouncements about his staff, not least of which was a recent suggestion that a 737 only needs one pilot, while a trained flight attendant could help out in a pinch. Whatever.
In response, a Ryanair pilot sent a letter to the Financial Times suggesting that the CEO of the company be replaced with a “probationary cabin crew member currently earning about €13,200 net a year”. There ya go.
In response, the airline has transferred the pilot, an American named Morgan Fischer, from his cushy base in Marseilles, France, to the hinterlands of Kaunas, Lithuania. After his base was closed, other pilots were offered spots in Spain, France and Italy. However, the pilot believes that because of the letter he wrote he was only offered a spot in Lithuania. In response Fischer quit, saying he would rather return to the US and work for an American company.
And that is why you don’t say mean things about your boss in the newspaper.
Passengers on a Ryanair flight from Fez, Morocco, to Beauvais, France, refused to depart the aircraft after a weather delay forced the plane to land in Liege, Belgium. After landing, passengers were asked to disembark and board buses for the 3-hour ride back to the Paris area. No dice.
Instead, they staged a sit-in, refusing to get off the plane for 4 hours demanding they be flown back to France. At one point, flight attendants locked the toilet doors, turned off the lights, and walked off the aircraft with the pilots in tow. (If you were wondering whether the French will strike over anything, this would answer that question in the affirmative.)
Airport officials went to the plane and managed to convince the passengers (with some help from local police) to sit in the airport lounge, enjoy some free food and drink, then take free buses back to France. At 3:30am.
A passenger on a Ryanair flight from Berlin to Rygge, Norway, purchased a sandwich that the airline advertised as “freshly made.” After tasting said sandwich, he determined it was not of recent provenance, and complained to flight attendants about the quality thereof. The flight attendant (and pilot) were not amused by the passenger’s complaint, and asked that the flight be met by police when they arrived in Norway. Police laughed when they were told what had happened and released the man without further incident.
I’m sure there is a lesson in here somewhere…
A 14 year-old Chicago boy has accused Southwest Airlines of ignoring his complaints about a seatmate’s sexual harassment during a 2008 flight to Orlando. An older woman sitting next to the boy allegedly repeatedly offered the boy drugs and made inappropriate sexual advances toward him. The boy allegedly asked flight attendants to switch seats because of the cougar attack, but according to a lawsuit, they ignored him. The boy’s father is suing for $50,000 in damages.
We can assume his friends are all jealous.