Ryanair vows to reduce fewer customers to tears

Ryanair (officially "the worst of the 100 biggest brands serving the British market") is changing its culture because the board are sick of seeing people weeping in the departure lounge and being harangued at dinner-parties by friends and relatives who hate the airline and refuse to fly it. The airline's latest scandal: charging a neurosurgeon £160 to change his ticket home from Dublin to Leeds, after he explained that he was flying home in a rush because his wife and children had been killed in a housefire.

They've never been quite that horrible with me, but they were bad enough on a 2008 trip to Berlin that I have never flown them since.

He told the Irish Daily Mail that tears were streaming down his face as he tried to explain to staff at Dublin airport why he needed to change to an earlier flight to Birmingham.

But the surgeon said he was told by check-in staff that he would have to pay to change his booking.

He told the newspaper: "I don't want to make a big deal about it but it did shock me. I really did not expect them to charge me.

"I thought, given the circumstances, they might just let me transfer flights, as I had already paid for a return fare."

Leicester fire deaths: Ryanair to refund grieving father

(Image: Staying classy, Ryanair..., Christian Heilmann, CC-BY)

Notable Replies

  1. By all accounts, they are a horrible airline. Based on the articles I've read, they are in part more horrible than the other airlines because they are trying to operate on even more razor thin margins.

    So, first off, paying to fly with them seems to set yourself up for a horrible experience. Of course, perhaps that is all you can afford.

    Second, standardizing fees and not allowing exceptions seems not wholly unreasonable as a business practice. (Even George Costanza had trouble with a "death in the family fare" about two decades ago.)

    Third, if this guy had been a proper white British gentleman, dressed in a suit, I'd wager they wouldn't have made him pay in the first place. I'd bet there was a mechanism in place for a fare exception that wasn't used.

  2. There's a clever psychological trick at the route of Ryanair's nastiness: people react to and talk about their latest public outrage, spreading and reinforcing the idea that they are the crappest of the crap, and if they are crappest then they must be the cheapest (even though they often aren't). Looking for the cheapest flight in Europe, what's the first airline that comes into your head?

    Flying Ryanair is a conscious gamble, because you know that if something goes wrong you're screwed - but that said, I've flown with them many times when no-one else offered the route or the price, and nothing ever has gone wrong. I could live without the non-stopping touting of rubbish and their celebratory fanfare when they land on tme (aka do what they're paid for), but aside from that, it's any port in a storm.

  3. You guys have got to stop thinking of airline bag charges as "extra fees" and think of them more as "in-app purchases". Problem solved!

  4. Top quality trolling! 10/10!

  5. Elusis says:

    Nice concern troll there. Also, I like the implication that the guy is a spendthrift who's just trying to leverage his dead family to save a buck. Pity he's not Jewish so you could go for an offensive joke and make it a triple play of useless commenting.

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