Fly cheaper indeed...
You’ve got to hand it to Ryanair’s spectacular tactics and PR stunts Their sheer nerve alone is enough to shock you at first, and then move you to throes of hysterical laughter. Throughout all of these challenging years, this company has managed to go so low below the belt that it’s a wonder they are still in business, but they’re still alive and ticking even whilst employing the most incredibly shrewd and ridiculous tactics that keep clients begging for more.
Their planes are flying, their schedules are holding, and they continue to advertise, so it begs the question: does one actually enjoy this type of treatment? Well, if you travel on an airline like Ryanair, then yes, I believe you do. This week, they’ve really hit the bottom of the bowl, no pun intended, as they have proudly unveiled that they plan on removing two of the three bathrooms on their planes, allowing for up to six more extra seats.
The often smug CEO Michael O’Leary claims this new move would lower fares by 5%, citing that “they rarely use all three toilets on board anyway.” There technically is no law stating airlines must have toilets, so this theoretically could happen. After all, they’ve based an entire company strategy through the years of finding these types of loopholes and creating plans to comfortably fit through them.
Some of the highs and lows through the years have included the £20 charge for reprinting a boarding pass, £20 charge per person each way just for checking in at the airport, a £1 charge per minute just to call customer service (which one must do if they have an issue as there is no email address on their site to voice questions), the way overpriced food on board, and a sneaky weight restriction on carry-on bags of 15 kg. Pack even a shade above that and you’ll be hit with a £14 per kilo extra charge.
Let’s not forget the ever-so-deceptive “cheap” fares that are as difficult to find as a needle in a haystack, and the lovely creative positioning of destinations on their website. Booking a flight to what they say is Paris on their site will actually leave you in Beauvais, over an hour and 20 minutes away, leaving you paying exorbitant transfer fees at the end of the day, making you wonder if this is really a low-cost flight in any sort of shape or form.
And then there was perhaps the most famous exploit of all, landing on an island off of Spain which was not the intended destination, offloading passengers, and leaving them there to fend while the plane turned around and departed. The customers hustled for a ferry, the crew naturally wound up back home safe and sound.
The positive side of this newest change? They’ve scrapped the original plan to charge passengers to utilize the lavatories on board, so feel free to go ahead and indulge in that expensive bottle of water in flight.