Editor's comment: £1 for O'Leary's thoughts

Why does Ryanair appear to give so little thought to either its marketing or its customer service? Its behaviour is just so out of sync with that of most other companies, which place both at the heart of everything they do, that the majority of marketers cannot get their head around the airline's actions.

The comment by the airline's chief executive, Michael O'Leary, that it might start charging passengers £1 to use the lavatories on its planes was met with outcry last week. Ryanair may have subsequently sent out a statement saying it is only considering the move, adding that its boss was 'possibly just taking the p***', but the general reaction to the statement was not positive. Many commentators asked how much more the airline can push its luck with its passengers before they take their custom away.

Clearly Ryanair thinks its can push a lot further. We see evidence of this all the time. It believes that all the coverage generated by O'Leary, as well as its controversial advertising, garners it valuable free publicity. Certainly, if I am asked to name a low-cost airline, Ryanair is the name that pops into my head first, ahead of easyJet, for example. However, it is not the first airline I would choose to book with, because my last attempt to fly with the carrier was such an appalling experience that I have not flown with it since and have no plans to do so.

So, will Ryanair's behaviour ever come home to roost? Many branding experts think it will, but I don't. Even though I will not fly it again, I also accept that I do not represent the majority of passengers on Ryanair's routes. These are the customers who rely on it to get them to airports to which few other carriers fly directly for a fair price. Therein lies a saving grace - at least Ryanair does not use its monopoly on the routes to charge excessive prices.



Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now


Virgin, Baileys and Camelot join the line-up at Media360
MasterCard renews Rugby World Cup sponsorship to push cashless message
Lynx unleashes £9m 'Peace invasion' campaign
Social Brands 100 Youth: Pizza Hut most social youth brand in UK
Cheryl Cole is wild and arresting in new L'Oreal work
Morrisons told not to show alcohol ads during YouTube nursery rhymes
O2 head of brand Shadi Halliwell departs after 23 years at company in restructure
Tesco hit by further sales decline as it turns to digital Clubcard and social network
Branding guru Wally Olins dies aged 83
Duracell short film captures epic Transatlantic voyage
Ash runs Tinder experiment to show smokers are less desirable to opposite sex
British Airways teams up with Gerry Cottle Jnr for summer of rooftop film screenings
Arklu says 'girls can be superheroes too' with doll design competition
Coke enters squash market with Oasis Mighty Drops
Virgin Galactic signs up Land Rover as space flight sponsor
Motorola marketer Andrew Morley departs as Google gears up for sale to Lenovo
US Airways apologises after tweeting obscene image at a customer
Mumsnet admits users' emails and passwords accessed via Heartbleed bug
Thetrainline.com backs 'rubbish' mobile app with TV ad
Powerade launches global World Cup campaign
Subway considers taking fast food to fast lane with F1 sponsorship
Burberry's flagship Shanghai store facade responds to weather changes
Ikea splurges 'grey' Belgium with colour
Grim outlook for Tesco boss Philip Clarke ahead of expected profits fall
Thomson to create first crowd-sourced wedding decided by Facebook fans
Currency wars meets origami in Alpari FX trading ad campaign
Amazon rumoured to launch 3D smartphone in September
Facebook to allow European users to store and transfer money on site, claims report
Unilever pilots multi-brand advertising with YouTube beauty channel
Lego, Coca-Cola, Net-a-Porter, Bitcoin and AOL: the digitally creative brands