I posted recently on a really spectacularly bad customer service experience I had at the hands of easyJet. It’s just two posts down if you want some detail, but essentially I paid for priority boarding and didn’t get it. I complained and asked for a refund. I finally heard back from them with regard to my complaint. Their answer: No. My interpretation/summary “You Screwed Up, You Trusted Us.” I find the letter (see below) almost comical, and will post it here for your comments. Am I crazy or what? Are they really saying they are not able to guarantee a service that I PAID FOR? I understand taking a risk in Vegas…I don’t quite get it here. I’ll take aRead More..
Nearly an entire cabin of passengers on a Ryanair flight revolted over the weekend. The incident caused a three hour delay for all passengers, even the non-trouble makers. Nearly 100 passengers deemed by the airline to have caused the trouble, were forced off the plane and must now book their own flights home. They will also incur lodging charges. Some will not be allowed back on Ryanair — those who disobeyed the cabin crew.
I guess paying customers are pretty much “extra baggage” to Ryanair. And God forbid anyone should question the cabin crew! This must be punished!
The donnybrook started when a passenger (or a few) was charged at the gate for a carry-on bag that was too large. It would be interesting to know why and how nearly the entire passenger group got involved, but at the end of the day, Ryanair will get a black eye because of this incident, and it really doesn’t matter if they are technically right. Their own press release is mostly unapologetic and puts the blame squarely on the backs of the trouble-making passengers — and the Spanish police.
Hey Ryanair, there’s this thing called “tone” — look into it.
I’ve had my own challenges with bargain airlines, and for the same basic reason as the Ryanair revolt, they treat you like a cow, not like a human being. There are times when this makes people very angry.
Ryanair is, in many respects, a smart company. They keep their costs down in lots of brilliant ways, and, they raise revenue by charging extra, for ANYTHING beyond the ticket. This is Not Wrong, but the way they do it Is Wrong. I found a website that lists all the Ryanair “gotcha’s,” see here. What makes people, paying customers angry isn’t the extra charges. It’s the sneaky-Pete, Eff-you attitude that really brings bile to the back of the throat. Can you believe a 150 Euro charge for spelling your name wrong? That’s just taking advantage, and people resent it.
I’ve written before about how the airline industry is ripe for real creative solutions, and breakthrough innovation. Credit to Ryanair and EasyJet for getting the business model right. However, they’ve missed the cultural/relationship model by a long way, and this will — is — comimg back to haunt them.
Customer revolts, along with political revolts, are trending upwards. Guaranteed, we will see more of this. Woe to those companies, organizations, or governments that treat people like cattle. Business is about give and take, perception of value, and respect between customer and supplier. Keep up the disrespect and you will not only lose business — you’ll go out of business.
Prediction: the first airline that gets the flying experience right — both bargain prices and a bit of respect (are you listening Virgin, United, Southwest?) and maybe a dash of fun, are going to make a pile of money.