Saturday, August 08, 2009

European budget airline Ryanair flies more than 850 routes across Europe, often to obscure airports far away from big cities - "from nowhere to nowhere", in the scoffing words of Sir Stelios EasyJet. Ryanair's post-tax profit fell by 78% in the year that ended in March, but still amounted to $149 million. While most carriers are hemorrahaging passengers, Ryanair expects its passenger numbers to increase to 68 million this year from 57 million in 2008.

The mystery is why so many people are willing to put up with an airline that, in the words of The Economist, "has become a byword for appalling customer service, misleading advertising claimsand jeering rudeness towards any one or anything gets in its way.

That is not the point. Michael O'Leary, chief executive of the airlines said in a recent interview. "Our Customer servie is unlike every other airline, which has this image of, 'We want to fall down at your feet and you can walk all over us and the customer is always right,' and all that nonsense."

By contrast, O'Leary continued, Ryanair promises four things: low fares, a good on-time record, few cancellations and few lost bags. "But if you want anything more - go away!"

O'Leary was discussing his new scheme to charge passengers to go to the bathroom!

-courtesy: DNA Bengaluru Edition, 02/08/09

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