Ryanair, the World’s most hated airline, have had a pretty crap year and we have been busy ensuring that you heard all about it. From breaches of safety to being ordered to pay compensation to passengers, employing the nastiest scams in order to rip you all off, closing routes without notice, low level buzzing of grannies and making nasty threats to Boeing. It’s what Ryanair are all about!
A year in the life of Ryanair.
Following a quiet January. Ryanair cocked up by locking in fuel prices of $124 a barrel for 80 per cent of its consumption during the third quarter, but the price of oil collapsed to a low of $33. This left O’Leary €102 million in the red.
In late February, rumours starting doing the rounds that O’Leary was looking at imposing a charge on his aircraft for using the toilet. We thought this really took the piss and reported it on the 27th Feb in our article “Spend a penny? How about a pound“.
March was all about the Ryanair Porn Star Edita Schindlerova. The 22 year old secretly appears in X-rated movies and gets a good shafting as ‘Edita Bente’ when not part of shafting Ryanair customers.
Ryanair were also embroiled in a twitter controversy when an official Ryanair twitter account was used to describe passengers as “smelling of urine”. They then went one step further by freaking out at a blogger who had uncovered some flaws with the Ryanair website. Not such a hard thing to demonstrate we think!
In April, Mr O’Leary came up with his idea of a Ryanair Fat Tax for over weight passengers. For logistical and legal reasons, the plan died. Human rights advocates also believed that it may have resulted in an absurd situation where the airline was unable to charge its fattest passengers because that would classify as discrimination against the disabled but would be able to charge the “mildly overweight”!
April also saw O’Leary dismissing apocalyptic warnings of a global swine flu pandemic, saying that the virus was only a risk to Asians and Mexicans “living in slums”. How charming you are Mr O’Leary.
In May, the Fat Tax was formally ruled out, we bought you news on Ryanair’s new charge for people checking in online and then provided you all with what turned out to be an incredibly popular list of 20 reasons never to fly Ryanair.
June was the month of the Ryanair scam but not before they somehow managed to piss off the Queen of Spain after they used a photo of Queen Sofia in an advertisement for the budget airline.
The scams then came thick and fast with Ryanair first launching the SMS booking confirmation scam. As we reported, if online check in is now mandatory, why the need for an SMS confirmation?
Then came the Ryanair coach ticket scam which offered tickets billed as being substantially cheaper than if you were to buy in the airport, a blatant lie and a time consuming scam for passengers.
This was followed by the Ryanair visa check scam. This has caught out thousands of passengers and netted Ryanair hundreds of thousands of pounds in illegal charges.
We also reported a shocking story regarding Ryanair employing transvestite cabin crew on their flights. The saucy little minx was spotted on a Ryanair flight from Stansted and looked thoroughly pleased with the attention she/he was getting whilst performing the pre-flight checks.
In July, Ryanair were reprimanded by the OFT following scores of complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority regarding their “free” flights. Ryanair were made to promise to give greater prominence to information regarding “optional” charges, such as those for checking in luggage.
O’Leary also decided that making passengers stand on flights would allow him to squeeze a few more onboard and thus a few more pennies into his fat piggy bank. Passengers would be eligible for a 50% saving if they booked these “vertical seats”. Quite how a 50% discount from a ticket that is being already sold at only £1 can attract anyone we just don’t know.
We announced on 17th July – “Ryanair leaving you in middle of nowhere again” – that Ryanair were launching new services from Oslo (Rygge). Here we demonstrated that Rygge is so far away from Oslo and flies to such poorly located airports that a trip to Barcelona would take over 8 hours.
In August, Ryanair accused the company that runs Stansted airport (BAA) of being “a bunch of overcharging rapists” and that they were “scamming” the airlines that use these airports. Ha ha ha, how hypocritical of you Mr O’Leary.
Ryanair also announced plans to switch or close nine of the 10 routes it currently operates from Manchester Airport, blaming the airport’s refusal to lower its charges.
The DAA (Dublin Airport Authority) reported in August that Ryanair’s charges had exploded. For example:
- Ryanair’s baggage check-in charge has increased by 600% since 2006
- The charge for using a credit card to book a Ryanair flight has increased by 285% since 2006
- The cost of changing a Ryanair flight booking has increased by 66% since 2006
- The cost of carrying sports equipment on a Ryanair flight has increased by 97% since 2006
In September 2009, Ryanair were shown to have the highest costs for food and drink served on board an aircraft. More than any of the other principal British or Irish airlines.
They were also fined $54,000 by Hungary’s competition authority GVH for misleading customers about ticket prices.
This was promptly followed up by some scientific analysis of Ryanair on-time arrivals at Stansted that showed the Ryanair was only achieving a 25% on time arrival rate.
Not wanting to be shown to be the thieving, lying gits they are, Ryanair promptly increased checked in baggage fees by 50%.
October saw an opportunity for Ryanair, Ireland’s largest carrier, to show solidarity with it’s country folk traveling to Paris for the France v Ireland World Cup clash by lowering fares. They duly increased fares to Paris by 1000%. Nice one O’Leary.
Ryanair kicked off November with an announcement that they were planning on increasing the “fine” passengers who forget to print out their own boarding cards are made to pay to €100. Mr O’Leary claimed the fee increase would help eliminate the number of passengers who show up at check-in desks without their boarding pass.
Some good news followed when we reported that Surfbox, an Irish internet company, were offering print outs of passenger boarding cards as a service for just €1. Surfbox said 100 Ryanair passengers a day are printing off their boarding cards at its kiosks in Dublin airport. The estimated loss in ancillary revenue to Ryanair stands at about €117,000 per month
Ryanair replied by closing all six of its routes to and from Basel, Switzerland’s third largest city. Basel airport had refused to be shafted by the demands Ryanair where making over airport fees. Good on them we say.
November 9th saw the inaugural Holiday Extras Customers’ Awards 2009 take place at a stylish ceremony at The Hempel Hotel in London. It came as no surprise to see that Ryanair, the world’s most hated airline, won absolutely nothing.
A court in Dublin then awarded three Ryanair passengers €6,000 (£5,300) in compensation for a flight that was cancelled in 2007. The customers had booked the flight from London to Carcassonne, France, in September 2007, and when it was cancelled had sought redress from Ryanair. With none forthcoming, they contacted EUClaim, a Netherlands-based company that represents airline passengers.
We followed up with a report that Ryanair were being sued by members of a small community near the northern German city of Lübeck who have filed a lawsuit against the grotty, evil, Irish carrier after a low-flying plane allegedly put an 82-year-old woman in the hospital.
The bad news continued for O’Leary when Ryanair were ordered to pay a family 11,000 kronor ($1,600) in compensation after they were left on the ground in Gothenburg in April this year.
On the 30th November, Ryanair announced that it is to make MasterCard Prepaid cards the only form of free payment for consumers booking flights on its website from the end of December, dumping VISA electron in the process.
Early December saw Ryanair being nominated for the “ugliest and most useless info graphic of the year award” for its website route map.
Bad tempered O’Leary obviously then got the hump and decided to start bullying Boeing into lowering it’s fees on a potential 200 aircraft deal.