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back to article Ryanair boss Mike O'Leary hits Twitter: 'Nice pic. Phwoaaarr!'

Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary took to Twitter yesterday in what was either the PR coup of the year or an unmitigated disaster, depending on how wily you reckon he is. Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary O'Leary tweets a picture of himself to kick things off... O'Leary opened himself up to a torrent of abuse when he offered twits the …

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My favourite

Was the guy who claimed his tweet ended up on Facebook - but by Ryanair's standards that's close enough.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: My favourite

I totally agree. A first class put down. (Though Ryanair wouldn't know about first class)

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Re: Close Enough

Agree. When I (have to) fly Ryanair (but not only), I mentally add €40-50 to their headline price to account for booking fee, luggage and transfers from wherever their airplane lands to wherever it is I want to get.

Having said that, even then it is more often than not a lot cheaper than the traditional airline alternative. Yes, I could pay double to fly economy class with a traditional airline instead of cattle class with Ryanair. But with economy class standards also eroding drastically, it's not worth it.

The best of the lot seem to be the new bunch of 'premium' cheap airlines whose prices are only marginally cheaper than traditional economy class but in many cases offer better comfort and service, AND fly to proper airports. The best of these I've flown recently is Norwegian, and Easyjet has also frequently positively surprised me.

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Anonymous Coward

"Look at me!!!!! I'm an attention whore!!!!"

Title says it all, I mentally caption him with this every time he appears in the news. O'Leary, a graduate of the no-publicity-is-bad-publicity school of advertising has long realised that doing or saying anything controversial is an easy way to get in the papers.

He's probably right, it's just that he's been doing it for so long now, I'm surprised the papers are still playing along with it. Still, it's getting him results, so why should he stop, regardless of how tediously predictable it is?

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Re: "Look at me!!!!! I'm an attention whore!!!!"

Yep. O'Leary is a dick and travelling Ryanair is a miserable and frustrating experience. Yet they're arguably the most successful airline in the world over the last 20 years, and they keep on growing. And growing. And growing.

Would you mess with the formula?

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Re: "Look at me!!!!! I'm an attention whore!!!!"

To be fair to Michael O'Leary (oh God, did I really just say that?), in the early days he had somewhat of a point. He delivered a well directed boot to the collective arses of the big European carriers, and it was deserved. So that BA and Lufthansa could no longer get away with both charging £700 to fly from Brussels to Hamburg, as an example I happen to remember.

As the up-and-comer he could get away with being an attention-seeking loud-mouth, and Ryanair were low cost, but hadn't quite honed all their nasty little tricks to their full current evilness. In fact they were mostly OK, as they could make easy money by giving the flag carriers the kicking they so richly merited. It's only since competition has hotted up that they now feel the need to gouge the customers at every turn, making flying with them into a kind of credit card Russian roulette.

At this point, when he's one of the big players, and his company are beginning to resemble the rip-off merchants they started out fighting, his childish/egotistical/annoying pronouncements really start to get on peoples' nerves. I guess we're willing to tolerate a total git, when we share a common enemy. But now Ryanair are the enemy. I can't even be bothered to look at their website any more, I don't fancy getting a £200 bill for failing to jump through one of their check-in hoops, and I can't even be bothered to trawl through their site until they finally deign to give me the actual price to compare against.

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Re: "Look at me!!!!! I'm an attention whore!!!!"

What few people realize is that Ryanair is not actually an airline but is an extension to the famous Milgram experiment(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milgram_experiment).

What they are testing is how much abuse and discomfort people will take before they stop using a product whatever the price

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Re: "Look at me!!!!! I'm an attention whore!!!!"

Ryanair play an invaluable role in keeping the chavs and the scumbags off of the nice peoples airlines. Just remember that next time your flight is landing and there are no idiots applauding.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "Look at me!!!!! I'm an attention whore!!!!"

I get your tongue in cheek comment about separating the scum, but I'm afraid it's not the scrotes that are clapping. They're the ones in the bunny ears and the ill-fitting T-shirts with the reason for their trip emblazoned on them, ordering over-priced onboard alcohol because they can't last a couple of hours without a drink in case a sober thought enters their head and they start to evaluate their own lives.

The ones applauding are more than likely Polish and it's a cultural thing, congratulating and thanking the pilot, not a test of intelligence or class.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "Look at me!!!!! I'm an attention whore!!!!"

The ones applauding are more than likely Polish and it's a cultural thing, congratulating and thanking the pilot, not a test of intelligence or class.

Why? Are Polish pilots that bad?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "Look at me!!!!! I'm an attention whore!!!!"

@AC 19:04

Evidence shows that as pilots they're actually pretty good.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polish_303_Fighter_Squadron

Maybe they deserve the applause.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "Look at me!!!!! I'm an attention whore!!!!"

> Why? Are Polish pilots that bad?

Yep - that's yer Lot.

<coat />

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MOL

Anyone who has even taken an interest in MOL or Ryan Air knows he is a hard nosed b*stard that never misses an opportunity to promote Ryan Air and who believes in the adage "all publicity is good publicity".

I actually have a grudging respect for him and Ryan air who have proved there is a certain demographic who will permit people to treat them like shit and come back for more. Whilst Im not suggesting all Airlines should be like RA they and Southwestern proved there's a viable business model in there. Before those two it was accepted wisdom that the airline business was cyclical and no-one could make a profit in the bottom of the cycle.

Would I ever fly on RA for anything short of a critical emergency - hell no.

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Re: MOL

Yep neither would I now - had a horrendous "experience" with them once - never again. Nowadays I'd rather pay the extra and go with a reputable firm.

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Vote with your wallet

I actually pay more to avoid flying with Ryanair. I cannot stand the way they make travel feel so uncomfortable and I know enough about their cost cutting techniques to know that their flights are barely safe, particularly when it comes to pilot rest and having enough reserve fuel. No sane person should want to get on their planes!

If people want Ryanair to change, there is no point complaining about it, they don't care. The answer is to fly with someone else until Ryanair lose so much money they change their ways. Unfortunately people are too fixated on the price or simply too dumb to realise this. Sometimes it is cheaper to pay more up front so that you spend less on transit costs, lost baggage etc.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Vote with your wallet

It's all well and good saying that people should fly with a different airline, but they've become such a dominant force that there are some places that you can only fly from and to with RyanAir: direct from pretty much anywhere in the North of England to Madrid for instance.

It means that they even have some business routes sewn up, let alone the cheap and cheerful weekend away brigade. I've been forced to fly with them a number of times because they're the only ones providing a particular route and believe me, you don't feel much like work after you've spent two hours on a RyanAir flight being sold at.

They're also not just trying to drag every last penny out of their customers, they do the same to their suppliers and, because they have a dominant position in some of them, the Airports that they run from.

It's not a company that I'd freely give any money to and I imagine that most peple feel the same, unfortunately in the hunt for cheap we may have removed all options for decent. I fear that some people won't learn the lesson though.

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Re: Vote with your wallet

I think you'll find that Ryanair operates within the same safety and operational framework as the other Airlines in Europe. A number of court cases (including those against people posting with supposed anonymity on Internet sites) have addressed allegations in these areas which have been shown as unfounded.

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Re: Vote with your wallet

"I think you'll find that Ryanair operates within the same safety and operational framework as the other Airlines in Europe...have addressed allegations in these areas which have been shown as unfounded"

You don't work in their PR department do you? Sounds like it...

I actually work in an aviation environment so I have a bit of a better clue than most. Ryanair may be comliant with the regulations, but their attitude and certain practices leave a lot to be desired. Meeting the minimum standards does not a safe service make. By the same token throwing lots of money in with little detailed thought also does not guarantee safety.

Threaten litigation all you want. Most of the people I know who can be considered experts in aviation matters make a deliberate point of not flying with certain airlines, especially those with bolshy hard nosed CEOs who somehow make a supposedly sustainable business model out of treating both their customers and suppliers rather badly!

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Re: Vote with your wallet

A colleague used to be an airline pilot, he said he'd never fly Ryan air.

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Re: Vote with your wallet

"what's the fucking point in them?"

Well said. If standards aren't good enough, they need to change.

What we should remember, though, is that a serious accident would be catastrophic for Ryanair. People know full well they aren't going to get a good service, but will put up with a short flight in these conditions as the price is so low. They compromise more and more on customer service, but not on safety, as a fatal accident would completely wreck their business. And in almost 30 years of operation, there's only been one accident, caused by a birdstrike (not their fault), which everyone on board survived.

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Backfire

As with politicians, the more you engage with them, the greater is their feeling of validation. It doesn't matter what you say - all they take away from the encounter is "these people all care".

So criticising him or RA just adds fuel to his fire - as well as giving him a load of twitter idents for free, to spam in the future.

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Re: Backfire

It would add fuel to his fire, but it seems that there has been an issue with refuelling. Therefore the plain, the fuel and the fire have all been delayed.

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Why should he care...

People apparently already hate him, so why should he care if he makes an ass of himself even more? In terms of CEO behaviour - it was quite funny and will have earned him many valuable column inches in PR.

As a previous commentard stated - RA keep growing so they are obviously doing something right, much to the greivance of some people who expect luxury for their £15 return flight.

I know I'll get downvoted - but if you really "hate" Ryanair - don't use them.

For my own sins - I use them regularly and actually don't expect much - as I rarely pay that much. If I wanted better service I'd pay 4 times the amount for BA - but as all they are (short haul) is a long distance taxi service - I'm not that bothered.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Why should he care...

much to the greivance of some people who expect luxury for their £15 return flight.

That's £15* to you. Exclusive of credit card administration fee, booking fee, baggage fee, boarding fee, taxes and tax administration fee.

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Good old Ryanair

To be fair, I use it because it is literally the only airline that goes to the airport I need to go to, every other month.

It's cheap, it gets me where I want to go, and as MythBusters tested, the free for all seating method is quicker than allocated boarding.

Fine with me for an hour and a half short haul flight.

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Mushroom

Re: Good old Ryanair

I would WALK before ever flying his crap airline.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Good old Ryanair

"I would WALK before ever flying his crap airline."

Will you swim too.

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Thumb Up

Re: Good old Ryanair

If I have to.

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Joke

Re: "egotistical narcissist"

I'm an egotistical narcissist and you're all damned lucky to know me.

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IATA

I remember that gobshite O'leary bragging that he wouldn't pay passenger compensation when we had the volcano apocalypse a little while ago and that they (IATA) could see him in court. The stupid dipshit had obviously forgotten that this same body could pull his carriers licence any time they wanted.

It was a real pleasure watching him having to bend over and take it just a day or so later, (I wonder did they charge him extra for lubrication?)

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What gets me about Ryan air is the rude passengers

always complaining about me spilling over into their seat and suggesting that larger passengers should pay more as they take more fuel.

Well you winging bastards I weigh about 10 stone even when I spill over your seat because I'm wearing two weeks clothing to avoid the baggage charge. Helps avoid the loo charge too!

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Coat

The Reggie Perrin of airline companies

Just not as funny.

Remember Reggie? Starts with a G, ends with a T.

'GROT', wasn't it, the name of his company iirc? No matter what he did - lowering the standards of products, raising the price, insulting his target demographic (which he knew forensically well), the mug punters just kept buying into it, and the more he just flaunted it in their faces.

Super!

Great!

He didn't get where he is today by not knowing a good idea when he saw it, for sure for sure.

The only difference between MOL and Gerald Ratner is that Ratner didn't wilfully insult his audience to 'deconstruct' his brand and customer relationship, and no doubt thought 'God what have I just done?', when it just hit home to him, about what he had just done, probably not long after he had just done it. Oops.

He milks the Irish thing. Takes the mick (pun possibly intended) out of it even. But when I flew into Dublin on a short flight, I've never experienced such sour-puss faced flight attendants that really didn't mind showing how extremely unhappy they were. They were just crying out 'Don't, just fucking don't alright!'. And of course no one did. No one dared. People were even scared to go to the toilet. I know I was. If there even was in fact a toilet back there. Probably would have got sucked out by the reverse vacuum if I'd opened the bog door. Mile high club? No fucking way!

As for the flight attendants:

Then again, probably can't blame them for being bitter. Not every day I meet someone whose life is more miserable than mine. They gave me hope. In the morning. It smelt like.... Kersosene!

MOL. Eh?

Starts with a C and ends with a T, more like.

It's hard not to like him, really.

:-)

Super.

Great!

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Anonymous Coward

I fly Ryanair on business by choice

...because they're cheap (I'm paid by the taxpayer) and their flights tend to arrive on time compared to Aer Lingus.

If they could just sort out the online process. Forcing me to enter passenger passport numbers during online check-in is sadistic when I'm printing passes for five people.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I fly Ryanair on business by choice

Given that:

- you have to give your passport details to be printed on the boarding card to confirm passengers are who the boarding card says they are

- you have to check in online when flying with Ryanair because they'll charge you more than the price of the flight of you don't

How do you suggest they sort it out?

Instead maybe they could help the online process by making it so you don't have to dig your way through a site that's as ugly as any created by a teenage MySpace user in the mid 2000s to try and work out which buttons to press that won't add on insurance or car hire.

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Nightmare to do business with too

We were at the time a, ahem, supplier for one of the annoying ancillary products on their website. In retrospect we shouldn't have touched it with the proverbial barge pole.

The attitude was astonishing and just as you'd imagine little MOL clones to behave. Total dicks. One expensive court case later we were shot of thing, The next RA supplier for the same space also ended acrimoniously.

What's sad is the model doesn't have to be delivered this way, as Southwest in the US have shown.

As with politicians, maybe we get the airlines we deserve...

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Jet2 are another one I'd never fly with again, given the option. After a particularly uncomfortable flight to Barcelona, where three ordinary sized guys couldn't all sit back at the same time because our shoulders wouldn't fit next to each other (not guts - shoulders), in an "extra legroom" seat that actually had less legroom than the others, I was actually given shit by a flight attendant for being unhappy about it. Fuck those guys.

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BA

For about ten quid more than RA in the winter, I can get a BA flight to London City airport.

In a plane with adequate fuel, pleasant crew, inflight edible meal, leg room, 23kg baggage and 10kg hand luggage, don't need permission to go to the toilet and no desperate advertising for naff products.

Then land in the centre of London close to easy public transport for the South East of England.

RA? Rough Air!

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Appreciate what you have

You should appreciate what you have. Since moving to Oz and having to pay $500+ to get virtually anywhere from Darwin, I really miss being able to fly from Doncaster to Pisa or Barcelona for 20 quid. I flew with Ryanair several times and never had any problems. All the charges were clear on the website. I travelled with carry on bags only and checked in online. When an airline is as large as Ryanair has become, they are bound to have some issues with customers. As noted above though, I never experienced any.

In my opinion, O'Leary is a marketing genius. When I was still in the UK, it was hilarious when he came up with his ridiculous ideas (charge for toilets, one pilot with cabin crew backup, standing passengers, etc) and seeing the news companies taking him seriously. This then got him on TV where he could spend the entire interview bagging BA and pointing out how cheap Ryanair flights are. No doubt his Twitter feed is a follow on to this.

As for the comments regarding safety, considering the number of aircraft movements they have I would say they have an enviable safety record. The only incident I can find for the airline was caused by a bird strike and only led to minor injuries.

Like I said at the start, appreciate what you have. I really wish Ryanair would start operaing here and give Jetstar the kick in the arse they richly deserve.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Appreciate what you have

As you are in Oz you can be forgiven for missing some of the (only minor coverage) news stories such as the Spanish Government giving RA serious grief because several of their planes had to make emergency landings because they were running out of fuel...

There are other 'inside industry' stories, but we won't talk about those!

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Re: Appreciate what you have

I hadn't heard that, but a quick search found this article which states the Spanish investigators found that the airline had not breached any rules or regulations on the carriage of fuel reserves:

http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/spotlight-shines-on-ryanair-operations-389366/

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Appreciate what you have

Yep they followed the rules, but their habit of trimming off the extra margin that most pilots like to build in, especially if you are heading into airspace that suffers from occasional industrial action and a bit of an attititude of "is it siesta time yet?" Not to sterotype the Spanish or anything, but they can be surprisingly relaxed about things...

Also RA staff are notoriously well known for having pretty unpleasant/pressured working conditions. You get what you pay for, but that does not fill experts with confidence when it comes to trusting someone who is under pressure, badly paid and possibly over-worked to have a full grip on something that is critical and complicated for safe running...

You can't legislate effectively for greed or stupidity. The regulations are there to stop people taking the piss or stupid risks. They are not as stringent as some people might like, but then people also have to make a profit and more regs usually means more costs so it is a balancing act. Whether you believe the balance is right, too much in favour of the airlines lobbying to lower them or towards the safety conscious types depends on your point of view.

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The Man has a sense of humour,I found the comments published rather funny and he clearly isnt offended by some of the crap he receives.

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Ryanair is absolutely fantastic!

Sometimes I get frustrated by the shit they put me through but then I simply compare the price with any other company and my frustration disappear.

With Ryanair I have been able to do things I would never be able to do otherwise (travel to see my family abroad, go on vacation with all of my family ...) by simply being a bit flexible with my planning.

Thank you Ryanair and Thank you Mike !

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I have to say, its very amusing all the people complaining about Ryanair and their prices, policies etc. Remember everyone, you pay your money, you take your choice.....if you want an allocated seat, want to go to a destination that isn't Dublin and that you've actually heard of, want a reasonable cabin baggage allowance and don't want to be treated like a prison inmate during boarding, then DON'T TRAVEL WITH THEM.

Easy isn't it?

Idiots.

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