Ryanair and customer service

By | Category: Travel rumblings
Ryanair Business Plus

customer care encourages more passengers the airline says

You may well have heard that Ryanair has announced bumper profits of €867 million up by 66% over 2014.

What is the reason for this large increase?

If you are to believe Michael O’Leary, the head of the airline, then it is due to improved concern for customer service and the passenger. He refers to the “66% increase in net profit which demonstrates the enduring strength of Ryanair’s lowest fare/lowest cost model which has been transformed by the success of our “Always Getting Better” (AGB) customer experience programme.  AGB has attracted millions of new customers to Ryanair.”

The use of the word “transforming” suggests that he believes that the contribution from the AGB programme has been substantial. If it has been why didn’t Ryanair improve customer service years ago and then their profits and passenger numbers would have been even greater?

Last financial year, the airline carried 90.6 million passengers, an improvement of almost 9 million on the year before. Of all their seats, 88% were occupied by passengers which does support O’Leary’s view that it was a good year. A good year for the airline if not the passenger because the other figure that rose was the amount of money the airline made from ancillary services. (charging us extra for seats, baggage, drinks and commission from selling sweepstake tickets and onward transport tickets etc.)  And that rose by slightly more in terms of percentages than turnover or profits. If nothing else, the airline has become experts at getting us to pay more than we had probably planned. Without this revenue, base ticket prices would have been a lot higher.

But I am being churlish. The airline is more accommodating about lapses in mis-typing in names or on baggage weights; you do notice a few more smiles on the faces of the cabin crew and you don’t have the same doubts about what the airline would charge if you were a micro-gram over the weight limit. That is all to the good.

But don’t believe that all this profit is due to good old-fashioned customer care. Hard-nosed business economics still count for more in this company!








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