Ryanair is an Irish airline with the headquarter in the capital of Ireland, Dublin, and 63 air bases throughout Europe. The airline is a low-cost carrier, which means that it has generally lower fares and less comforts.
In 2013, Ryanair carried most passengers on a scheduled service in Europe, and even by international comparison, the airline was most frequented by passenger numbers of 80 million.
But, Ryanair is also again and again controversial discussed because of additional fees, e.g. for baggage, concerns about the flight safety, working conditions of employees, and, especially, a bad customer service.
Since 2013 Ryanair focused to improve its public image and customer satisfaction, and started its “Always Getting Better” (AGB) program towards a more customer-friendly company. What is Ryanair, now claiming to be Europe’s No. 1 Customer Service Airline, doing to create so much hype?
Here is a brief history of Ryanair’s evolution – from their humble beginnings in 1985, through all of the huge improvements they have made in just over 30 years of dedicated customer service – as well as everything good and not-so-good that you should know about flying with Ryanair.
A Brief History of Ryanair
Ryanair was set up by the Ryan family in 1985, when it became Europe’s first and largest low-fare airline. In their first year of business, Ryanair carried 82,000 passengers with only 2 routes in operation and functioned with a small staff of 25 people. Nearly 30 years later, Ryanair carries over 82 million passengers annually.
Since their beginning, Ryanair has aimed to provide the lowest cost fares to people and, in reducing their prices, has been notorious for forcing other major airlines like British Airways and Aer Lingus to drastically reduce their high prices as a result, which made history and led to Europe’s very first air fare war.
Despite all of their success in reducing flights within Europe, during the first 6 years of Ryanair’s operation they failed to make any profit and, ironically, made their first annual profit as the Gulf War was breaking out in January of 1991. Since then, Ryanair has been on the rise and has continued to open up new routes while remaining faithful to their original mission to offer passengers the lowest fares and the absolute best rates.
In 2006, Ryanair became the world’s first airline to carry more than 4 million international passengers in just one month. They also become the first airline to announce plans for onboard mobile phone usage, which has become a highly sought-after feature for most modern-day flyers. Needless to say, they’ve always been on the brink of innovation. Furthermore, despite sharp increases in fuel costs and spikes in oil prices, Ryanair has continually managed to keep their prices low.
Currently in the works is the latest list of customer service initiatives and expectations, released on April 12, 2016, as part of the third year of Ryanair’s “Always Getting Better” (AGB) program. Some of Ryanair’s goals include: further reducing airline fares, newly renovating aircraft interiors with slimline seats, more legroom, coat hooks, LED lighting and much more.
Today, Ryanair proudly services 1,800 daily flights from 83 bases, connecting 200 destinations in 31 countries.
Glowingly Good Things About Flying Ryanair
- Europe’s Greenest Airline: Among the 20 largest airlines by passenger volume, the cleanest, Ryanair, uses barely more than a third the fuel to transport its average passenger one mile when compared to the least efficient, American Eagle.
- Europe’s No. 1 On-Time Performance. Ryanair prides itself on its impeccable punctuality, which routinely beats and surpasses other leading airlines in efficiency. In 2015, for example, 90 % of Ryanair flights should have been arrived on time whereas other leading airlines had scores of 85 % or lower.
- Ryanair cancels fewer flights than any other airline.
- Ryanair’s Lowest Fare Guarantee or they’ll pay you double the difference. Now, that’s a good deal.
- Ryanair carries more international passengers than any other airline.
- Ryanair has over 1,600 routes, operates 1,800 daily flights from 83 bases and takes their passengers to 31 countries.
- You can bring 1 cabin bag weighing up to 10 kg (with maximum dimensions of 55 cm x 40 cm x 20 cm) as well as 1 small bag or personal item (35 cm x 20 cm x 20 cm) onboard the aircraft.
- Debit card purchases have no additional service fees, whereas credit cards do.
The Not-So-Good Things About Flying Ryanair
When flying with most budget airlines, it pays off to read the fine print. Otherwise, passengers can be caught off guard and forced to pay additional fees. For example, if you forget to print your boarding pass at home or do not have access to a printer, you could get stuck paying a ridiculously high amount for them to print it for you.
Adding flight essentials to your trip can add up. While some of these add-ons are optional, quite a few essentials, like larger luggage that requires checking, is not free. For many low-cost airlines, gone are the days where passengers receive 1 free, 22 kg piece of luggage with the purchase of their flight. While these are just a few of the add-ons, it is relatively easy to see how they can start to add up quickly: $70 for musical equipment, $45 airport check-in fee, $10 to select a seat, $25 for 15 kg (small bag) each way, $37.50 for 20 kg (Large Bag) each way, priority boarding $10, priority seats with extra legroom.
2 % Credit Card Transaction Fee
Ryanair does not have seat pockets, which means they do not have those convenient, little white “I’m-going-be-sick” bags.
Travel as Lightly as Possible
In short, if you’re looking to have a good low-cost airline experience, it is important to read the given information from each airline carrier. When flying with low-fare carriers be sure to check-in online, pre-pay for your luggage in advance, and try not to exceed the luggage weight limits. Finally, if you do not want to get stuck with all of the excess charges and additional service fees, travel as lightly as possible. One carry-on is free with Ryanair. When you only have to worry about a carry-on, you don’t have to wait for your baggage, worry about losing it, pay for it, or haul it around. It really is the best of both worlds.
Pros Outweigh Cons?
Traveling with Ryanair is cheap, easy and you can choose between numerous destinations. Ryanair serves about 1600 routes in 31 European countries as well as Morocco, Israel and Cyprus. You have to waive on extras like food, drinks, and in-flight entertainment on board, but your flight will be punctual and you don’t have to wait for your baggage, if you don’t put it in the hold. So it may be ideal for short business and holiday trips with small luggage and little time.