Ar­ro­gant Ryanair bosses have been wing­ing it for far too long. They have no one else to blame as cus­tomers walk away

The Sunday Post (Inverness) - - Opinion - Michael O’Leary

I’m not sure they can re­gain the trust of cus­tomers

So Ryanair has ef­fec­tively scup­pered Christ­mas for up to 400,000 peo­ple.

Care­ful plans have been wrecked with yet an­other raft of flights scrapped by the be­lea­guered bud­get air­line.

Two weeks after scrap­ping 2000 flights, Ryanair is now can­celling a fur­ther 18,000 over the win­ter months.

It’s an­other blow for long-suf­fer­ing tourists who have, in the past, been will­ing to suf­fer poor cus­tomer ser­vice for the sake of a cheap jour­ney.

You have to won­der whether or not they will con­tinue to do so.

Behind ev­ery one of these can­celled flights is a story of some­one left bit­terly dis­ap­pointed.

It might be a ru­ined hon­ey­moon, a spe­cial an­niver­sary break, a job in­ter­view or even a fu­neral.

Sadly the com­pany isn’t exactly mak­ing it easy for cus­tomers to sort out the mess and con­fu­sion caused by its in­abil­ity to draft sim­ple ros­ters for its pi­lots.

This sort of in­ep­ti­tude surely can’t fill any would-be pas­sen­ger with con­fi­dence.

I feel sorry for the pi­lots, cabin crews and ground staff.

They must be wor­ried about their jobs as they see the com­pany’s share price fall­ing.

Cabin crews do their best un­der con­di­tions that are of­ten dif­fi­cult.

They are un­der pres­sure to turn flights around quickly and to sell as many scratch cards, al­co­holic drinks and pork scratch­ings as is hu­manly pos­si­ble.

You will no­tice that on Ryanair flights there’s no pouch in front of your seat where you can put news­pa­pers or mag­a­zines.

This is be­cause peo­ple of­ten leave things behind that they don’t want and it takes longer to clean the plane.

Ev­ery sec­ond counts when there is money to be made.

But, with that sort of at­ten­tion to de­tail, how on earth did man­age­ment mess up staff sched­ules to such an ex­tent that they now have to can­cel flights af­fect­ing hun­dreds of thousands of pas­sen­gers?

All ser­vices be­tween Scot­land and London have been axed.

In this lat­est round of can­cel­la­tions pas­sen­gers won’t be en­ti­tled to com­pen­sa­tion be­cause they will have had at least 14 days’ no­tice.

The man­age­ment style has been ar­ro­gant and even con­temp­tu­ous in the past and, al­though it has tried to be more cus­tomer friendly in re­cent years, it has surely now back­fired hor­ri­bly.

I reckon chief ex­ec­u­tive Michael O’Leary has apol­o­gised more in the past two weeks than he has in the past 20 years.

For the sake of the staff, I hope some­thing can be worked out.

Per­haps this dis­as­ter will make bosses think again. They must work hard to re­gain the trust of cus­tomers who have been so badly let down.

I’m not sure whether that can be achieved, but it’s up to the dis­grun­tled con­sumers to de­cide whether or not they will ever travel with Ryanair again.

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