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Stop This CEO Before He Speaks Again
By: Mike Bush
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If you’ve been to Europe, there’s a good chance you have an understanding of the love/hate relationships folks have with budget travel provider Ryanair.

On the one hand, the airline makes it incredibly simple to junk all around the continent at unbelievable prices (lucky travelers have actually been able to fly from London to Dublin for as low as a penny).

On the other hand, the company has no qualms about nickle and diming their customers in new, and sometimes astonishing, ways. (This is the airline that has, on different occasions, tossed around the idea of charging customers for using the bathrooms, discussed removing bathrooms all together to have more seats available for customers, and even kicked around the idea of making porn available on flights...for a fee, of course).

And their CEO, who is no stranger to saying the wrong thing, recently insulted their passengers and flew (spit?) in the face of a bit of a social media crisis.

See, Ryanair has a policy that customers check in online and print their own boarding passes. If you forget your boarding pass, they charge you 60 Euros (around $80 American). Steep fee for forgetting to print a ticket, huh?

Long story short, a customer forgot to print the boarding passes for her group and was charged the 60 Euros for each traveler (300 Euros total). She took to Facebook, where she posted the story of her challenge with the airline, and within just a days, had 350,000 people sympathetic to her cause (it’s over a half a million now).

Reached for comment on the situation, Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary responded:

“We think Mrs. McLeod should pay 60 euros for being so stupid...”

[insert: Facepalm]

There’s more comments from O’Leary in the article linked above, but the gist of his argument is as follows:

1. You agreed to our terms of service.
2. You forgot to print your ticket.
3. We charged you for forgetting.
4. Name Calling

To some extent, he has a point with numbers 1–3 above.

Ryanair’s model appears to be based, at least in some part, on selling super cheap flights, and making up the lost money in ancillary fees. Of course, the customer service that appears to be offered from the CEO on throughout the organization may lack a bit.

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About the Author
Mike Bush is a PR and Marketing freelancer with more than a dozen years of experience in the field. Find him on and connect Twitter @mikebush or at www.mikebush.nyc. 
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