Ryanair, Europe’s “Walmart of the Sky” and semi-official airline of the stag party, keeps finding new and exciting ways to irritate its passengers. Sure, there are the classics: Universal wheelchair fees, checked baggage charges, no windowshades, tight seats, questionable safety training, and a wacky CEO (pictured) who seems a bit too intimate with the seatback and the tray table.
But with the days of the 1-cent fare seemingly numbered, somehow Ryanair still manages to come through with new and exciting features:
The Sleeping Flight Attendant
Flight attendant Virginia Redmond allegedly blocked a row of seats for herself to lay down and nap during the flight, after reading a “fiction type book.” (I believe the word they’re looking for is “novel.”) Her co-workers say she didn’t participate in the safety checks, either. Ryanair is coming under fire, not only for the attendant’s performance, but for not disciplining her sooner. She was even allowed to work beyond the date of her termination letter.
Travelers on Ryanair flight 233 from Alergho, Sicily to London-Stansted were shipped off to a different airport — London-Luton — but weren’t told about the change until they were already midair. The crew knew that Stansted was closed to them, but didn’t inform the customers. Very nice. Would a short announcement over the PA system have used too much precious electricity?
Ryanair will test cellphones in flight. It’s a love-it-or-hate-it issue, and the airline is going for it. Since passenger comfort is really not an issue for the airline, it’s all about revenue streams: Ryanair naturally gets a cut of the roaming fee, or other charges. Both voice and text-messaging will be available.
Gluttons for punishment, people still fly Ryanair. So much so that they showed record profits last quarter.