Saturday, August 08, 2009

Ryanair's Rattner moment?

After two weeks in deepest France where, unlike deepest Estonia, the Internet was impossible to find and mobile signals erratic at best I have now returned to Tallinn. sifting through the silly season news stories I find that Ryanair have been insulting their passengers again.

It was a failure in the Ryanair online check-in system that saw me denied boarding and forced to pay £200 to get the next flight that I needed. I swore I would never fly Ryanair again.

I suspect that this latest fiasco might be a tipping point- Ryanair's Irish "gobsh*te" boss, Tony O'Leary seems to glory in the negative press he attracts every time he suggests another way to extort money out off Ryanair's victimised human cargo, but even he would be hard put to say that the events of a few days ago at Stansted was anything except a disaster.

Gerald Rattner discovered that there is a limit to the insults that customers are prepared to take from a business before they will simply abandon it. After the catastrophic mishandling of Ryanair's fuel hedging, the company lost tens of millions of Euros, if customers begin to regard Ryanair as simply too much trouble, then even the supposedly financially impregnable low cost carrier may find itself under more than just a cloud.

At Gatwick a few weeks ago, I saw a rather triumphalist slogan on the fuselage of a Ryanair plane: "bye-bye SkyEurope", looking forward to the demise of one of the airline's competitors. Personally I found it as obnoxious as I find the arrogant Mr. O'Leary himself. If I were a Ryanair passenger whose holiday had been ruined because of their policy decisions, I would be quite happy to play very hardball to get restitution.

I think the humiliation of Mr. O'Leary would certainly bring a little ray of sunshine into all our lives.

Naturally my flights to and from France were Estonian Air/Lufthansa and not Ryanair.

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