I’ve always had a soft spot for Ryanair, even more so after yesterday’s flight home. I know everyone from princes to prime ministers use the airline but my fellow passengers to Birmingham were something to behold.
Last to arrive to the boarding gate were what looked like two elderly brothers in their sixties dragging full-size 20 kilo cases. How they got that far beats me. Angry scenes ensued as they were given the devastating news that their failure to check-in their cases was going to cost them 50 euros each.
Their complaints were embarrassing, pathetic to behold really, including such pearls as “this has never happened before with Ryanair”, “we’re poor pensioners and can’t afford this” and “no-one told us we had to check-in”.
Finally they resorted to the threat that must have CEO Michael O’Leary quaking in his boots that they were never ever flying Ryanair again. They calmed down instantly when threatened with security. This last-minute kerfuffle – and having to put their bags into the hold – inevitably led to the plane’s late departure for the remaining 200 or so passengers.
It was amazing the plane got off the ground at all judging by the proportion of morbidly obese passengers onboard. We were surrounded by them, slowly huffing and puffing their way into their seats, requesting extra wide belt extensions before settling down to a couple of hours of sleep apnoea. I felt physically ill amidst the snoring, intermittent choking, body odour and waterfall of dribbling.
I guess this is all in a day’s work for Ryanair’s cabin crew and for that you can surely forgive them the occasional abrupt customer service. It seems to me that the only way you can successfully herd a sometimes stressed and tired couple of hundred people onto a Boeing 737 and get to the destination on time is be direct, tough and stick to your rules. I run my own small business and increasingly believe it’s the only way to make a success of delivering a service to modern-day humanity.
While away I discussed Ryanair with a very well-to-do elderly gentleman who uses them all the time. He was a real fan, his only complaint he said was that the cabin crew seem so busy they never seem to get round to serving the free champagne!