huh..? posted by

Is Ryanair turning into the Fawlty Towers airline?


Budget European airline Ryanair, famous for calling bloggers ‘lunatics and idiots’ and for planning a fat passenger tax and proposing that passengers stand up and pay for toilet use on flights, now seem have decided that flight schedules and confirmed bookings are subject to change on a whim. Having booked a flight to Brno in the Czech Republic back in June, imagine my surprise when I checked back on the booking yesterday to learn that the airline had unilaterally changed the return date from Saturday 5th to Sunday 6th December without any notice whatsoever. Old details vs new details below.



Yep that’s right, the company now feels it can move flights around on a whim without telling you, because…hey it’s a cheap flight right? And what are you going to do about it anyway? Blog? Hah! Bad luck on you if you have to get get to a wedding or back to work on time.

Of course as an idiot blogger and wannabe customer I have zero rights, because the fine print undoubtedly says they can do whatever they like with your booking, but I have never experienced this kind of action with any other airline ever, and it’s just a little unsettling. Imagine if it catches on and bewildered travellers turn up at airports at allocated times only to discover that their flight has already departed the day before, or is now scheduled for next week. Just think of the tears, tantrums and little brown bag deep breathing situations we’ll witness at check in – sorry, fast bag drop – desks across the world.

A friend of mine only today turned up at an airport in Sweden for her flight, only to be told that the flight was now five hours late and scheduled to depart from an entirely different airport 2 hours away across the country. You couldn’t make this stuff up could you?

The BBC just aired a programme called Panorama: Why Hate Ryanair? and a growing number of Ryanair Sucks sites seem to be appearing on the scene, so maybe the company’s dodgy attitude to customers (which seems to be – “it’s cheap mate, so suck it up and stop complaining”) will eventually drive enough customers away to force a rethink and improvement in what appears to be a deteriorating customer service culture.


Don’t get me wrong, I have used the airline a fair amount in the past, and benefited from access to parts of Europe which I would otherwise never have visited, but the company’s increasingly bizarre actions have been enough of a turn-off to make me use them much less lately, even if it means paying a little extra on rival airlines (which funnily enough is not always the case, when you take into account the ‘forgotten’ little Ryanair extras like baggage and check-in fees, airport taxes, transport times to remote airports etc).

It’s a shame to see any pioneering company drift off piste like this, let’s hope they get it together again before it’s too late.


  • What did you expect to see out of a Torquay hotel bedroom window? Sydney Opera House perhaps? The Hanging Gardens of Babylon? Herds of wildebeest sweeping majestically…!

  • Now it just needs the name changed randomly on the planes to something like:


    (or FATTY OWLS)

    • YAR, I RAN

      RAIN RAY

      NARY AIR

  • Michael O'Leary is a PR stunt machine!!!! Just read an interesting article which says the toilet tax, fat tax, and standing room affairs.. have been done to get free advertising. For example about proposing that passengers stand up, O'Leary knew that it is not possible due to security issues but wanted to make people talk about his company

    • Yep understand completely Sam, that's obviously the plan. Got to wonder whether the strategy could backfire at some point though, if they over-step the mark or the product experience continues to degrade over time.

  • You know this of ryaniar so why act surprise when it happens. If you want to "think" your of cheaper fly ryanair. If you want to actually go somewhere fly legacy!

  • Its in the print. You probably didn't remove ryanair from your spam filter or you put down the wrong address. And just so you all know, this policy is standard among all airlines across the world. They all do it. But its always about bashing ryanair or BA or whatnot. Stop complaining about an industry policy and putting a worse name on a controversial but successful company.

    • I take it you read the bit where I said it was in the fine print right? And no I won't stop complaining. If customers stop complaining about poor service (no matter who does it) then that allows for complacency and increased risk of service degradation. Ultimately that can lead to dangerous situations, not just uncomfortable ones. So no, I won't stop complaining. Sorry about that.

  • exactly. what was wrong with you e-mail address or spam folder? Did you receive initial confirmation of your flight by email? please explain and stop the blind anger.

    • the important message regarding your mail address and being notified by mail (including instructions for your spam folder) are actually in the screenshots you posted (flight schedules).

    • Look, it wasn't lost in my spam folder, all Ryanair emails come through loud and clear, without exception. Always have. And it's not blind anger. Worked for Ryanair PR long have you?

    • Wow.
      The Ryanair self-defence touts are out early this year.

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