Ryanair Customer Service Changes Its Spots…

25th October 2013
Pól Ó Conghaile

Ryanair today (Oct. 25th) unveiled a programme of customer service changes that could completely change passengers’ experience of flying with the airline. The following changes will be implemented over the six months to end of March 2014, the airline says:

No more Recaptcha…

The notorious security code will be removed from the Ryanair.com website for individual bookings on November 1st.

24-hour grace period to correct errors…

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.

Airport Bag fees reduced…

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’s standard airport bag fees.

New ‘Quiet’ flights…

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.

A second (free) carry-on bag…

From 1 Dec, Ryanair will allow passengers to bring a second small carry-on bag (e.g. small handbag or airport shopping bag, no bigger than 35 x 20 x 20 cms) on board. The move is designed to allow a bottle of wine or equivalent to be carried… though there’s no mention of laptops.

Cuts to boarding car reissue fee…

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.

ryanair, customer service, inflight

“As we implement our plans to grow from 80 million to over 110 million customer p.a. over the next five years, we are actively listening and responding to our customers,” Michael O’Leary said.

“They can continue to expect low fares and on-time flights on Ryanair,” the CEO continued, “but will now enjoy easier website access, 24 hour grace periods, a 2nd small carry-on bag, reduced airport bag fees and quiet flights. We hope that our passengers will enjoy these service improvements, while still enjoying Ryanair’s low fares and on-time flights.”

The announcement is the latest in a concerted attempt to turn around the airline’s notoriously combative approach to customer service.

In recent weeks, customers have been feeding back in droves to the “Tell MOL” service on the Ryanair.com website, and the CEO has been fielding questions live on Twitter.

Don’t expect a complete volte face, however. “There’s no grand transformation,” O’Leary told the Irish Independent.