Ryanair overhauls customer service after "Tell Michael O'Leary" feedback initiative

Notoriously unsympathetic low-cost airline Ryanair is to cut fees and improve terms in response to feedback on customers' bugbears.

Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary participating in the Tell MOL Twitter session
Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary participating in the Tell MOL Twitter session

The surprise about-turn comes after the airline, famed for turning a deaf ear to customer complaints, ran an online feedback programme called "Tell MOL" [MOL is the initials of chief executive Michael O’Leary].

The changes were announced with a release that opened: "Ryanair, Europe’s favourite low fares airline today (25 Oct) unveiled a programme of enhancements to its industry leading customer service which has seen the airline’s traffic grow to over 80m p.a. thanks to Ryanair’s unbeatable combination of lowest fares, on-time flights, new aircraft fleet and the reassuring guarantee of no fuel surcharges."

They will be introduced over the next six months and are listed below:

1.      The "Recaptcha" security code will be removed from the Ryanair.com website for individual bookings next week (on 1 Nov next).

2.      From 1 Nov, customers who book directly on the Ryanair.com website (i.e. not via travel agents or screenscrapers) will be given a 24 hour grace period from the time of their original booking, to correct any minor errors (i.e. spelling, names, routings) made in their original booking.

3.      From 1 Nov, Ryanair will operate "quiet flights", prior to 8am in the mornings and after 9pm in the evenings. During these quiet flight periods no PA’s will be made on board other than required safety announcements. Ryanair will also dim the lights during these quiet flights so that any customers who wish to snooze, can comfortably do so.

4.      From 1 Dec, Ryanair will allow passengers to bring a 2nd small carry-on bag (small ladies handbag or small airport shopping bag) no bigger than 35 x 20 x 20 cms which will allow a bottle of wine or equivalent to be carried.

5.      From 1 Dec, Ryanair’s boarding card reissue fee will be cut from €70/£70 to €15/£15 for customers who have already checked in online. Customers who fail to check-in online will continue to pay a €70 airport check-in fee.

 6.      From 5 Jan, Ryanair’s standard airport bag fees will be cut from €60/£60 to €30/£30 at the bag drop desk, and from €60/£60 to €50/£50 at the boarding gate, bringing them into line with competitor airline standard airport bag fees.

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