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Budget airline Ryanair has faced plenty of criticism over recent years. It has been named the ‘worst British brand’ in a Which? Survey and it even has its very own hate-page.
However, Ryanair now seems to be trying to fix its broken image with a number of new initiatives. That’s despite chief executive Michael O’Leary stating the airline had no plans to do such a thing. Well, it has. And it seems to be working.
One of the biggest changes is the move to allocated seating. Rival airline easyJet changed to a fully allocated seating system a year ago and has been praised by customers. Since 1st February 2014 passengers have been able to select their preferred seats at the time of booking or when checking-in. However, it will cost.
There are three options: premium seats offering priority boarding and extra legroom (£10), standard seats which allow customers to choose between an aisle and window seat. The last option is for those that don’t want to select a seat; they will be allocated one at check-in for no extra cost. Some of the other changes made by Ryanair include reduced bag fees, quiet flights, 24-hour grace periods and the option to take a second piece of hand luggage.
These customer service improvements have not only benefitted passengers, but also had an impact on business. Ryanair issued two profit warnings last year, but it has revealed that things are set to improve in 2014. Mr O’Leary said that the €35 million (£28.8m) loss the airline made in the last quarter was expected, but that it was still on track for full year profits of between €500 million and €520 million.
It had a 6% increase in the number of passengers in the final three months, but revenue was down as ticket prices had fallen. With big plans for the future, Ryanair has plans to grow to 110 million customers a year. And it seems that things are already looking up as shares were up by 3.8% yesterday. If you are heading off on holiday in 2014, it is important to secure travel insurance in advance.
Date Created: 05/02/2014