If you are looking for an airline with personality then look no further than Ryanair. So rarely out of the news The Times has a story entitled ‘Ryanair: our favourite 40 headlines’ and, very much like marmite, you either love it or hate it. We all love its ground-breaking no frills, in fact even less frills than its no frills competitors, low prices model when it works. Fly to Italy from as little as £1 or so, fantastic, unless your plane is delayed for hours or even days. Then ‘no frills’ hits home as no cancellation or refund, no bed, no food or drink during your long wait. This can be even worse if you didn’t actually get a no frills price to begin with, as happened to Paul Kildriff, after all pricing can vary somewhat dramatically between seats.
But I digress from the very story which brings me to comment on Ryanair today: ‘What happened when a blogger decided to take on Ryanair‘. You’ve probably seen the story already, but just in case you haven’t the short version is that a blogger found a bug in the Ryanair site which appeared to allow consumers to book flights for free. However, in reality it did not work as despite displaying the price as £0.00 when you tried to book it was not possible to do so. The blogger in question, Jason Roe, decided to contact Ryanair about the bug and received a response calling him “an idiot and a liar”. Then in a further communication with Travolution Ryanair goes further referring to bloggers as “lunatics”. This is why I say Ryanair has personality.
Naturally there has been outrage across cyberspace and a general airing of opinion regarding Ryanair which is certainly not all positive. I understand this to a certain extent as the company’s response to Roe’s comments where, in my opinion, unnecessarily rude and aggressive. That’s not to say I think Roe was in the right. In fact I do not. If he was concerned about the possible implications of the bug on the site then why not simply report it to Ryanair? After all what is the use of sharing this information when it does not actually mean a consumer can book a flight for free? Personally I’m in agreement with Alex Bainbridge when he suggests that Ryanair is quite right to try to keep the cost of tickets down rather than attempt to maintain a constantly perfect website. After all who wants all the hassle of no frills flying if the ticket price is too high? And where would we be without Ryanair and its contemporaries keeping air travel more affordable . . . ?