Ryanair pledges to make air travel ‘enjoyable’

Ryanair today promised passengers to 'strive to make your travel an enjoyable experience'. Picture: PA
Ryanair today promised passengers to 'strive to make your travel an enjoyable experience'. Picture: PA
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RYANAIR today promised passengers it would “strive to make your travel an enjoyable experience” as part of the airline’s latest charm offensive to maintain growth amid fierce competition.

The pledge forms part of a new “customer charter” unveiled by chief executive Michael O’Leary, which also includes reduced add-on fees and more leg room.

The move comes as the Irish airline’s latest attempt to become more passenger-friendly and shed its poor image for customer care.

The charter also promised Ryanair would “be transparent and make travel simple for you” and “always be Europe’s most reliable airline”.

Fees for passengers checking in at airports rather than online will be cut by one third to €45 (£33) from May, and charges for missing their flights reduced marginally to €99 (£72).

The airline said there would be “new seats with more leg room” and an improved menu, including more healthy options and hot breakfasts.

Ryanair has already followed the lead of rival EasyJet in introducing free allocated seating, and now permits passengers to take a second bag on board.

Ryanair expects to reach 100 million passengers this year - its 30th - then double that over the next decade, with Scotland and Stansted as the focus of its growth.

The airline flies 3.5m passengers a year in Scotland on 57 routes from Edinburgh, Glasgow and Prestwick.

Mr O’Leary admitted in January to a previously “somewhat abrupt approach to customers”.

He added: “If I had known being nice to customers would work this well, I would have started it many years ago.”

He also acknowledged that EasyJet, which has been regarded as more passenger-friendly, had “in many ways shown us how to up our game in the last few years”.

Mr O’Leary said today: “We assure [passengers] we will continue to offer them so much more than just the lowest fares, with the biggest route network, industry-leading reliability and performance, and the best customer service.”

Chief marketing officer Kenny Jacobs said: “We will continue to listen and strive to enhance every aspect of our business.

“Our new customer charter outlines the way we want to deliver an enjoyable, simple and low-cost travel experience to customers.”

Aviation consultant Laurie Price said: “Maybe the days when Ryanair treated passengers almost with contempt are proving to be wrong.

“Price is not the only criteria, as Tesco and others have found.

”Mr O’Leary’s so-called ‘charter’ is what really customer-focused companies have always done.”

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