October 01, 2007

Will Ryanair Fly to Islip?

I didn't see this one coming:

Newsday is reporting that Ryanair is in talks with officials at Long Island-MacArthur Airport in Islip about launching flights to Dublin in the spring.  I think this article is a tad premature (an annual conference on new airline routes just wrapped up, and I'm guessing they must've met there), as Ryanair's CEO has already said that Ryanair won't fly trans-Atlantic flights under the Ryanair name. 

October 1, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0)

August 09, 2007

British Airlines Must List Full Fare Price on Website and in Ads

Say goodbye to Ryanair's so-called "free" fares:  The British government has told 13 airlines that their advertisements and websites must show the full price of a ticket, not the pre-tax fare they've been advertising.  These carriers have already complied, and you'll noticed on Ryanair's site that their claim of GBP 0.01 tickets has disappeared and has been replaced with GBP 10 fares that include all taxes.  The US government should step in and do the same here, where the difference between advertised fare and actual price can be more than $300 on many international tickets.

August 9, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (1)

August 08, 2007

Ryanair Forces Students on 22 Hour Trek from London to Galway

47 teenagers were forced into a 22 hour journey from London to Galway (in Ireland, for those of us in the US) after Ryanair staff refused to let them board because they arrived at the departure gate for their flight 2 minutes late.  Oh, they were late because their connecting flight on Ryanair from Denmark was 5 hours late.

The airline offered to let the students fly standby for 50 Euro each, but (wisely) the parents with them on the trip didn't want to do that because it would've meant splitting up the group.  So, they took a bus to a ferry and 22 hours later arrived home.  Because they were 2 minutes late for a flight.  A delay caused by the airline.  Nice!

August 8, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0)

June 27, 2007

Will Ryanair Be Permitted to Buy Aer Lingus?

Probably not.  The Irish carrier said that they expect the European Commission to reject its proposal to purchase Aer Lingus over competition concerns.  Michael O'Leary, the outspoken CEO of Ryanair, said that the rejection is unlawful, considering the Commission has greenlighted the Air France/KLM and Lufthansa/SWISS mergers, combinations which have far more impact.  This won't be the last we hear from O'Leary on this matter.  Meanwhile, Aer Lingus, which didn't want to be purchased in the first place, is gloating.

June 27, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (1)

May 11, 2007

Ryanair to Advertise Fares with All Fees Included

Ryanair has been bashed repeatedly for being consumer unfriendly, but they announced a very consumer-happy move yesterday:  all of their advertised fares will now include taxes.  While this seems like a small deal, advertised fares can have upwards of $150 in taxes missing, so that $99 advertised fare to London actually works out to be $375.  Quite a difference.  US carriers have (obviously) fought including these fees in their fares, but it's ridiculous that they don't...

May 11, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (2)

April 13, 2007

$15 Flights Between Europe and New York?

Ryanair executives say they are working on a transatlantic budget carrier that will allow people to fly between New York and Europe for 10 Euros (about $13.50).  The carrier hopes to be flying within 3-4 years.  While this seems completely insane, 10 years ago it would've seemed insane that an airline was giving away seats in Europe when a 1-hour intra-Europe flight cost $350.  Look for US airlines to start lobbying the government to quash this right about now.

April 13, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0)

December 01, 2006

Ryanair Cannot Fire Napping Flight Attendant

Ryanair had fired a flight attendant who roped off a row of seats, read a book, then took a nap during a flight.  Seems reasonable enough.  But not to an Irish court.  An Irish employment court has forced Ryanair to reinstate the tired flight attendant, saying that the disciplinary action had "shortcomings."  Ryanair, to its credit, called the ruling "bizarre" and will appeal.

December 1, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

November 08, 2006

Ryanair Busted for Advert(isement)

Ryanair was told to stop advertising that said seats were available for GBP 0, because once taxes and fees were added in, no seats were available for free.  In fact, the least someone could end up paying was GBP 11.70 (about $20 or so) which, while cheap, is not exactly zero.

November 8, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

November 01, 2006

Ryanair Says Bingo

In yet another move showing why Ryanair is not like other airlines, the carrier announced that customers will now be able to play Bingo online while booking flights.  It's early in the morning, I know.  So perhaps this will make more sense to me later in the day.  But if you like Bingo (and my wife likes Bingo), feel free to head on over to Ryanair's website to bingo your day away.  I guess.

November 1, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (1)

October 05, 2006

Ryanair Makes Bid for Aer Lingus

Uber-Budget carrier Ryanair has launched a $1.9 billion bid to purchase Aer Lingus.  The move would give Ryanair access to trans-Atlantic routes -- a first for a European no frills airline.  The two airlines would continue to be run separately.  For its part, the Irish government, which owns 1/3 of Aer Lingus, said it would not sell its stake.  Even so, this purchase would mark a huge change for Ryanair, which has focused on building an operation that can profitably charge next-to-nothing for its tickets.  Absorbing another carrier -- especially one with a completely different strategy, will be a stretch.  But, if this goes through, consumers should benefit in the long-run with even cheaper fares across the Atlantic.

October 5, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

August 23, 2006

How Does That 34 Cent Ticket Cost 70 Dollars?

I have no idea why there's so much Ryanair news lately, but the LA Times has a good piece about the low fares that Ryanair advertises.  The reporter learns that the 34 cent ticket from London to Dublin will actually cost him $70 once you add in all of the unadvertised taxes and fees.  The best additional cost is the one for using a wheelchair, which Ryanair charges everyone because it would be "discriminatory" only to charge people using wheelchairs.  I'm sure their heart is in the right place.

August 23, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (1)

August 22, 2006

Ryanair Chief: Terrorists Are Laughing in their Caves

Michael O'Leary, the head of Ryanair, is not happy about the way the British airports have handled the latest terrorism scare.  No, he is not happy.  He is now threatening to sue British airport authorities for the new security regulations, which he calls, "nuts."  He added that terrorists "must be rolling around the caves of Pakistan, laughing". The article goes on to say, "He said it was 'complete horse manure' to infer that passengers either faced delays or death." (ed note: I think they mean imply, not infer.  Whatever).

O'Leary added, "We are not in danger of dying at the hands of toiletries."  Very true. 

I can't imagine a US airline chief questionning how the government is handling airport security, so I'll give him credit for addressing the issue head on.  Head on, apply directly to the forehead.  Head on, apply directly to the forehead.  Head on, apply directly to the forehead.

August 22, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (1)

August 21, 2006

Fly Ryanair and Stop Terrorism

A US airline would never mention terrorism in an advertisement, let alone use terrorism as a way to sell tickets.  But Ryanair is not a US airline, which is why they have this ad, which says that you can beat terrorism by flying Ryanair.  You can't argue with that.

(thanks to reader Sanj for the heads up)

August 21, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

August 08, 2006

Flight Attendant Fired for Falling Asleep

A Ryanair flight attendant is fighting her dismissal after she was found sleeping on a flight from Dublin last May.  According to the article, "she blocked off the front row of the plane, sat down in the row and began reading a "fiction-type" book before falling asleep."  Perhaps the most interesting part is the phrase "fiction-type" book.  Like A Million Little Pieces, I guess.  Anyway, the flight attendants union suggested it was Ryanair who was negligent for allowing her to fly. 

August 8, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

July 28, 2006

Ryanair to Allow Cellphones on Board

Ryanair's CEO said yesterday that the airline will allow people to use their cellphones in-flight beginning by next June.  If you thought their cramped seating, brutal customer service policies, and out of the way airports were bad, just wait til you spend an hour next to someone yapping on the phone.  But there's some good news -- it will cost 2 Euro per minute to make a call (1.50 Euro to receive a call), so perhaps that'll shut people the hell up.  Text messages will cost about .40 Euro to send and nothing to receive.

July 28, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

June 06, 2006

Tony Blair Flies Ryanair

After being called to task for flying on Queen Elizabeth's planes for his annual vacation to Italy, British Prime Minister Tony Blair flew his family on Ryanair.  Instead of costing taxpayers GBP 16,000 (about $30,000 or so) for the trip, the Ryanair tickets cost less than GBP 49 each way.  Nice savings.  Blair's family was spared the usual scrum for seats by having a section reserved for them at the front.  No word on whether they paid excess baggage charges.

June 6, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

May 24, 2006

Ryanair CEO to Drop Pants

Michael O'Leary, Ryanair's CEO, said he would walk naked through Warsaw if Polish carrier LOT removes the fuel surcharge from their flights.  We can only hope they do not.

May 24, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

March 30, 2006

Ryanair Flight Lands at Wrong Airport

A Ryanair flight, being operated by Eirjet, from Liverpool to Derry in Northern Ireland, landed at the wrong airport on Wednesday.  For reasons not yet explained, the aircraft landed at Ballykelly airfield, a military base 8kms away.  Ryanair, which is not known for giving stuff away, did bus passengers over to the correct airport.  Without charging them!  THAT'S the real story here...

March 30, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (1)

February 28, 2006

Mother: Ryanair Made Me a Baby Trafficker

Here's an odd one:  A passenger on Ryanair has accused the airline of making an error that lead (somehow) to Italian police arresting her as a baby smuggler.  The short version:  a British woman was bringing her newborn to Italy to be christened.  Ryanair told her the baby did not need a passport.  Not true, it turns out, and the woman found that out the hard way.  The hard way being when Italian police interrogated her and accused her of trying to sell her daughter.  Which is not what she was doing. 

To add insult to injury (as they say), she was held by British authorities on her return to England and accused (once again) of being a baby smuggler.  (If this all sounds confusing, I agree.  You can read the whole story at the above link).

In short, she wants Ryanair to refund the money for the tickets which, of course, the airline refuses to do.  The lesson here?  If you are a baby smuggler, do not fly on Ryanair.

February 28, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Ryanair's Founders to Launch Mexican Airline

The Ryan family, which founded Ryanair, announced that is has joined forces with one of Mexico's largest bus companies to launch a low cost carrier aimed at Mexicans with family in the US.  The new carrier, reportedly named AeroBus, will launch in September and will likely target US cities with large Mexican populations, such as Chicago, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Houston.

February 28, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

February 15, 2006

Ryanair Pooh-Poohs Expose of Its Operations

Ryanair has always been able to turn negative publicity into a positive spin, and today is no exception.  The airline faced scrutiny in an expose by Britain's Channel 4, that had reporters posing undercover as Ryanair employees to get scoop on the airline's operations.  As you might imagine, it wasn't pretty.  On the program(me) staff complained about dirty planes, fatigue, and lax security screening.  Hardly makes you feel good about flying Ryanair.

Of course, Ryanair fought back, releasing 3 million free* seats (making you once again feel good about flying Ryanair) ["free" does not include the $25 or so worth of taxes, etc], and taking out an advert(isement) in newspapers apologizing.  They were apologizing to other airlines for stealing their customers.  I love these guys.

You can read Ryanair's responses to the allegations here.

February 15, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

January 26, 2006

Ryanair to Charge for Checked Baggage (Sort of)

In a move that I'm about 93% certain will be copied by other carriers, Ryanair will now charge passengers for checking their bags.  At the same time, Ryanair fares will be reduced by about $4.50, or the same amount that it costs to check a bag in online.  Passengers who don't check in the bags online will be charged about $8.  Those checking in online also will benefit from priority boarding.  The carrier has also upped the baggage limit to 30kg. 

In short, if you use the website, this will only benefit you.

January 26, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (1)