Maybe Ryanair isn’t that bad?

Earlier in the year I (rather smugly) wrote a piece saying I had put my money where my mouth is and paid extra to book with BMI Baby rather than fly with Ryanair.

So was it worth it?

Well, No.

Firstly, the check in, where my 18kg allowance caused a problem as I was 0.6kg over. I had to move a few things into my hand luggage. What is the point of this when I weigh 90kg and far more than 90% of the other people on the same flight anyway?

Secondly, the two flights should have gone out at similar times heading towards Malaga. The Ryanair one sailed off bang on time, whilst I faced a two hour plus delay. Not a good start.

Getting on the plane was a bit easier with a numbered seat, but did have me (traveling alone) sitting next to a guy trying to cope with a screaming toddler. The seat I was allocated would have been tight for Ronnie Corbett, but for me was just ridiculous. I was bent double trying to fit into it. Once we were airborne I moved to an empty seat on the front right row which was slightly better. The stewardess wouldn’t let me move to the empty ones on the front left as they were charged extra!

Coming home on Monday 3oth, I was with my family and back to Ryanair. No queue for check in. A slight disagreement about moving things around to make sure all the bags were exactly 15kg – even though we had one bag less than we had paid for.

The flight went off on time. Landed on time and we had extra legroom seats by the wing exits.

It wasn’t too bad. A bit like National Express coaches used to be in the 80’s, but on balance, better than BMI Baby. I think the new MD of BMI Baby, Julian Carr, has some work to do.

If Michael O’Leary changed Ryanair’s company attitude and kept the same company punctuality, they could be likable as well as cheap.

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Putting my money where my mouth is

It may be slightly more expensive, but at least I feel (vaguely) human

I booked a flight this morning to go an join my family in Spain in the Summer and as it’s just me on my own, I thought I’ll just go for the cheapest available. It’s not for long anyway. It’s only a 2.30 hr flight.

But when I went onto Skyscanner and saw the prices of both Ryanair and BMI Baby were almost identical, guess which one I booked? BMI baby was £93 and Ryanair £88.

Yes, it’s BMI Baby for me. And whilst they tried to sell me a seat selection so I could stay with my group (at £7.99 per seat and £10.99 for extra legroom seats) that I’m not in, it was a far more open experience.

I hate the Ryanair brand. It makes me feel grubby and they attempt to catch you out with every single policy they introduce from online check in to the choice of cards you choose. When I booked the flight for our ski holiday, I used Easyjet and the card payment cost me an additional £3.50. With Ryanair for the four of us that would have been £30 as I don’t have one of their prepaid chav cards to hand, which is the only way you can get out of paying a stinging credit card fee. Hmmmm.

Brands that treat their customers that badly always fail in the end. The only good thing about Ryanair is that they are keeping the others keen with their pricing.

Ryanair and the destructive power of negative branding

Ryanair today announced a large drop in their full year profits which are down 78%. After adjustments  (which seems to be an accounting term used for trying to make things look better) they have actually posted a loss of £145.9 Million. They argue that this is all due to a revaluing of their investment in Aer Lingus but for us, this is more to do with the contemptuous way they are treating their brand and their customers.

Ryanair claim they offer many of their flights free, but yet they are still an unloved brand that many of us choose to use through lack of alternative rather than through active and positive decision making. At 20.30 and 20.31 last night two flights left Malaga bound for East Midlands Airport. Two different carriers flying the same route at the same time, which would you say was the busier?

Ryanair is a brand that is all based on price. You expect them to be slow, late and unpleasant and barely functional (even though they actually have a very good record for timekeeping), but you put up with a lot whilst the price is low. If the price rises, you will actively seek out alternatives. Now, in our opinion, many people actively dislike Ryanair.

Conversations with Michael O’Leary, the outspoken chief of the airline business, on the BBC about possibly charging people to use their toilets whilst in mid air hardly endear them to the very people they are asking to pay to fly with them.

In a poll by Tripadvisor of 4,000 of its members in 2006, were the least popular airline – an unwanted accolade they have gone on to retain in 2007 and 2008. In theory, people would therefore not use them. But their continued growth since then has proved that, whilst the price is right, people will still travel with them.

Maybe this drop in profits is the sign that their contemptuous treatment of customers and having a brand that stands for ‘tricking’ customers into paying more is one that is just not sustainable.

Michael O’Leary was talking recently on German TV about potentially offering long haul flights and what their version of business class could stand for. You can view that here, but watch out as he speaks less than politely.

In an interview this morning for the BBC, he said that their continued growth proves that Business Class is dead (as an obvious dig at British airways), but which is it to be? Blow Jobs on Business Class or sticking to their low cost, low service model?

With any brand, you have to decide what makes you different and then deliver it beautifully and consistently in every single way. Ryanair certainly deliver consistently, but beautifully, I think not.

I know who I’ve booked my family holiday flights with in the summer and it isn’t Ryanair.

Ryanair claim they offer many of their flights free, but yet they are still an unloved brand that many of us choose to use through lack of alternative rather than through active and positive decision making. At 20.30 and 20.31 last night two flights left Malaga bound for East Midlands Airport. Which would you say was the busier?
Ryanair is a brand that is all based on price. You expect them to be slow, late and unpleasant and barely functional (even though they actually have a very good record for timekeeping), but you put up with a lot whilst the price is low. If the price rises, you will actively seek out alternatives. Now, in our opinion, many people actively dislike Ryanair.
Conversations with Michael Ryan, the outspoken chief of the airline business, on the BBC about possibly charging people to use their toilets whilst in mid air hardly endear them to the very people they are asking to pay to fly with them.
In a poll by Tripadvisor of 4,000 of its members in 2006, were the least popular airline – an unwanted accolade they have gone on to retain in 2007 and 2008. In theory, people would therefore not use them. But their continued growth since then has proved that, whilst the price is right, people will still travel with them.
Maybe this drop in profits is the sign that their contemptuous treatment of customers and having a brand that stands for ‘tricking’ customers into paying ore is one that is just not sustainable.
Michael Ryan was talking recently on German TV about potentially offering long haul flights and what their version of business class could stand for.
You can view that here, but watch out as he speaks less than politely.
In an interview this morning for the BBC, he said that their continued growth proves that Business Class is dead (as an obvious dig at British airways), but which is it to be? Blow Jobs on Business Class or sticking to their low cost, low service model?
With any brand, you have to decide what makes you different and then deliver it beautifully and consistently in every single way. Ryanair certainly deliver consistently, but beautifully, I think not.
I know who I’ve booked my family holiday flights with in the summer and it isn’t Ryanair.