Category Archives: Ryanair - Page 2

Ryanair Apologizes to Easyjet Head for Pinocchio Ads

Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary, not known for his submissive manner, apologized to Easyjet founder Stelios Haji-Iaonnou for publishing an ad that accused him of lying about Easyjet’s on-time performance.

In the ad (seen here), Stelios is pictured with a large Pinocchio nose (or perhaps that of Cyrano de Bergerac), then demands that Easyjet’s founder “stop hiding the truth” about Easyjet’s delays.

Leary, for his part, has now apologized and noted, “Since he was not responsible for Easyjet’s decision to stop publishing these on-time statistics, I think it is only fair and reasonable that we say sorry and pay him damages and his legal costs, rather than waste court time on this issue.”

Stelios had sued for libel, and they settled out court for 50,000 Pounds, which will be donated to charity.  He added that he felt the settlement was a victory for those “who have suffered verbal abuse at the hands of O’Leary.”  That list is quite long.

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Pay No Attention to the Articles about Ryanair Offering Standing Room Seats

You may read an article today about Ryanair offering standing room seating on its flights for 5 pounds.  That article, along with any article that mentions Ryanair charging for toilets, is, how shall I say, crap.  Perhaps you may remember the initial brouhaha over standing seating in planes.   This will never be approved.  Well maybe not never.  But likely never (though there are roller coasters where you can stand up while being strapped in, so maybe it’s not insane).

Anyway, you won’t see Ryanair installing these.

Happy 4th of July.

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Police Board Ryanair Flight to Hand Out Water and Chocolates

A Ryanair flight from Prestwick Airport in Scotland to Girona, Spain, was stuck on a runway for 6 hours because of an air traffic control strike in France.  Passengers became increasingly upset after Ryanair staff refused to give them food or water due to what they said were “legal restrictions.”  I don’t know what that means.  In any case, police were called on board to restore order, and were later hailed as heroes when they (gasp) went into the terminal and bought water and chocolate for the passengers.

(As a side note, there are a couple of sketchy details that make me wonder how much of this whole thing is true, and how much is the Sun tabloid blowing things out of proportion.  Either way, when the police come on board with chocolate, it makes for a good story.)

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Man Wins Ryanair Scratch-Off Ticket Contest; Eats Ticket in Protest

An odd one:

A Ryanair passenger flying from Krakow to East Midlands (in the UK) received a scratchcard for a contest that Ryanair was holding.  Like an instant win lottery ticket, the winner would receive 10,000 Euro.  This passenger got on board the flight, scratched off his card, and learned that he won the prize.  He called over flight attendants to alert them to his victory and, for who knows what reason, demanded that they pay him right there.  The staff explained that, of course, they do not carry 10,000 Euro with them on flights, and that he will be paid in due course.  That was not what he wanted to hear.

So, in some sort of protest, the passenger ate the winning ticket.  The ticket is now not valid, and the passenger will never get his money.  Explained a Ryanair spokesperson, “The crew tried to stop the air Gourmet Scratch Card eater by offering him one of our great tasting sandwiches, pizzas or snacks instead, but clearly he had much more expensive tastes!” Well done.

And because Ryanair does a fantastic job of generating publicity, they have announced they will donate the prize money to charity and have asked passengers to vote on which charity should be chosen.

(Thanks to reader D-Lux, who would’ve eaten the ticket only if it was cooked very, very well done)

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Ryanair Diverts to Different Canary Island than Scheduled; Abandons Passengers

A Ryanair flight from Bristol, England, to the Canary Island of Lanzarote landed in a different Canary Island – Fuerteventura – after bad weather prevented the plane from landing at the scheduled arrival city.  That’s no big deal.  What was a big deal was that Ryanair told passengers they had to make their own way to Lanzarote by ferry. (For those of us in the U.S., imagine booking a flight to Nassau, Bahamas, and landing at Freeport and being told to make your own way).

More annoyingly, after the passengers were sent on their way to make their own arrangements, the plane flew empty from Fuerteventura to Lanzarote before picking up passengers to return to the UK.

Passengers complained that when they disembarked in the first island that there were no Ryanair representatives available to tell them what to do.  Left to fend for themselves, passengers arranged their own hotels or continuing transport.  Ryanair says that while they do not owe passengers any financial compensation (because the flight was diverted due to weather), they will reimburse families for the cost of a hotel on the island.  Good luck getting that refund.

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Ryanair Forces 9-Year-Old Girl to Pay 10 Euros for Lost Purse

Always cuddly Ryanair told a 9-year-old girl that she would have to pay 10 Euro for the return of her lost purse at Dublin Airport. The girl had done a bit of shopping in Dublin airport and lost her purse, which contained about 42 Euro she had saved for a vacation.  After a number of phone calls, her father was able to track down the purse, but when he went to retrieve it Ryanair staff told him he would have to pay 10 Euro to get it back (of course he paid it).

The fee is ultimately paid to a vendor who handles lost items for the airline, but, as you can imagine, the British press is having a bit of a field day with this one.  CEO Michael O’Leary can yap about toilet charges and stand up seats all he wants, but the reality is that they make money any way they can – even from little girls.  Nicely done!

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Times of London: Ryanair Often More Expensive Than British Airways

The Times of London conducted a little investigation into whether Ryanair’s flights are actually as inexpensive as the airline claims to be.  The hunch was that the constant piling on of fees has caused a huge increase in the actual price paid.

The answer?  On ten popular short-haul routes from London to Europe, British Airways was cheaper on 7 of them.  On three of those routes BA’s base fares were even cheaper than Ryanair’s fares.  They give an example of someone checking 20kg of baggage and buying a snack:  That would cost GBP 194 on Ryanair, while it’s free on BA.  For everyone who has flown Ryanair and been extremely annoyed with the fee situation, this should be a small comfort.

The key takeaway (even in the US…):  It’s annoying, but you have to do a little legwork beforehand and figure out the fees.  Tripadvisor’s flight comparison tool includes ancillary fees, so that’s a good place to start.  The fees aren’t going away, and the government isn’t about to step in and regulate how fees are advertised.

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Is Ryanair Really Thinking of Charging 1 Pound to Use the Toilet?

Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary is drawing attention (again) for suggesting that the airline is considering charging 1 pound for passengers to go to the bathroom.  Reuters quotes the executive as saying that the airline has looked into this before (they would add a slot on the bathroom door), and they’re re-considering the move again.

Feel free to drink all the $3 water you want — This isn’t going to happen.  Every so often, Ryanair makes a crazy suggestion (they’ll fly to Niagara Falls, for example) that generates some publicity and is never heard from again.  This is one idea they’ll flush away before implementing (sorry – I was trying to think of a cheesy local news – type ending for this…)

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Ryanair to Eliminate Airport Check-In Desks

Taking a page from the Alaska Airlines “Airport of the Future,” Ryanair announced that it will close all airport check-in areas by the end of 2009.  Passengers will check-in online and the airline, as they say, will pass the savings on to you.  Incredibly, 75% of its passengers already check in online.  I’m fairly certain all US carriers will eliminate check-in desks by about 2012.

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If You Book a Seat for Your Wedding Dress, Please Use “Miss Extra Seat” As the Name

A couple of bizarre little tidbits from Ryanair’s website about carry on luggage that I thought you might find helpful:

– If your wedding dress is too large to fit in the overhead bins, “you should make a booking online for 2 seats and then enter the passenger name for the additional wedding dress seat as Miss EXTRA SEAT.”  They do not mention if on the trip back from your wedding you should make a reservation for Mrs. EXTRA SEAT.

– You cannot bring your lawnmower on board, nor can you check it.  I don’t know how you’re supposed to get it to Frankfurt-Hahn.

– You may carry your loved one’s ashes on board the plane with you.  As the website notes, “Please ensure that the urn/casket has a secure screw top/lid” unless your loved one’s final wish is to be spread around the cabin of a Ryanair 737.

Just a few helpful tidbits. (Thanks, Dad, for the head’s up!)

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