Ryanair News

Ryanair Wants You to Pick the Next Fee You Pay

Posted March 20, 2009 by Carl Unger

Ryanair safety cardIrish discount carrier Ryanair, known mostly for its cheap flights, also has a knack for getting free publicity. Recently, the airline's CEO Michael O'Leary said Ryanair might begin charging passengers to use the bathroom, a suggestion that whipped travelers and industry analysts into a frothy frenzy. About a week later, O'Leary effectively said, "just kidding," and joked that "bureaucrats" would never allow him to charge for restrooms anyway.

But the amount of free PR generated by O'Leary's comments was not lost on the folks at Ryanair. The carrier is now running a competition that offers €1,000 (about $1,356) to whoever can come up with the next fee Ryanair should charge. If you’re like me, your first thought was: This is like someone saying, "I'm going to punch you, but you get to pick where."

When I read Ryanair's list of the "best suggestions" it has received so far though, I realized this competition may be less serious than it had seemed at first:

Charging for toilet paper – with O’Leary’s face on it
Charging €2.50 to read the safety cards
Charging €1 to use oxygen masks
Charging €25 to use the emergency exit
Charging €50 for bikini clad Cabin Crew

If these are the best suggestions, my guess is that Ryanair is looking for something silly as opposed to honest business ideas. So, readers, let's hear from you. What are some oddball services Ryanair could charge for? How about a €5 no-snoring-seatmates fee, which guarantees the flight attendants will jostle the guy next to you when he starts to snore. Perhaps a €10 no-kid-kicking-your-seat fee, paid in advance, to make sure no rambunctious children can be seated behind you? Share your ideas below.

And if you want to enter Ryanair's contest, email them at competition@ryanair.com. And let's all hope this really is a publicity stunt, otherwise the oxygen masks may one day come with a coin slot.

(Photo: Ryanair)

Violinists Sound off about Ryanair’s New Instrument Charge

Posted February 22, 2008 by Zak Patten

Ryanair If there’s one thing I hate about air travel, it’s figuring out how to pack my violin. OK, I’m just fiddling around. I’m not a musician. But if I were, I’d be as peeved as any of the folks over at Violinist.com.

According to Kristian Rahbek Knudsen (who’s going to doubt someone with such a great name?), Ryanair wouldn’t let him board with his violin case in hand, instead requiring that he purchase an additional seat for his instrument at a cost of €300 ($436 as of this morning). Knudsen says he bought his own seat for just €100. In the carrier’s defense, if Knudsen has an antique Stradivarius, he might not want to cram it in the overhead bin with the next passenger’s dirty vacation laundry.

But it does seem that Ryanair really has it in for violins. Maybe the airline’s CEO is holding a grudge because his parents forced him to take lessons for years and his playing still screeched like fingernails across a chalkboard. 

I’m just surprised Knudsen wasn’t able to “pull some strings” so that the flight attendants would look the other way. Maybe he just doesn’t have enough pluck.

(Photo: Boeing Photo)

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