Lately there has been a flood of articles with some fun, interesting facts about the most “loved” of all airlines – Ryanair. While some of those were truly amusing, others had some… discrepancies between reality and what’s claimed in the article. So we decided to address some of the issues and add a few more fascinating facts about Ryanair. Here we go.
- Ryanair has never had a fatal accident… but quite a few near misses
The current claim is claimed that the only harmful Ryanair accident happened in 2008, when a plane had to make an emergency landing. Eight passengers and two crew members were brought to the hospital with minor injuries.
Unfortunately, people tend to forget about a few more similar cases. Just this year, a Ryanair plane had to make an emergency landing after it lost cabin pressure, leaving 33 passengers in hospital. At least 23 more people were injured because of turbulence, loss of cabin pressure and other incidents since 2010.
But “near misses” are not all about injuries. Since 2012, there have been 7 times plane engines shut down in flight or had problems. There were 5 near collisions, too, the latest one happening on the 2nd of October 2018 when two Ryanair planes almost collided.
- Employee treatment
It’s a public secret that Ryanair is not the best employer out there. It is said that flight attendants have to pay for their training and uniforms, and that their performance is evaluated by how much sales they make on flights.
2018 marked a year of strikes of both pilots and crew members. Ryanair was presented with a detailed list of 34 demands that included salary increases, better pay for sick and parenting leave, and more stable work schedules.
Ryanair resisted the demands, claiming that the salary was competitive and thus not to be increased. In response to the latest strike in late September, Ryanair closed two German bases, letting go pilots and crew members.
- The sexy Ryanair calendar
The calendar, showing flight attendants (only ladies, no male attendants) was a real thing until it was discontinued in 2014 after people protested the sexist and objectifying practice.
The calendar for the year 2012 was extremely controversial. Over 8000 people came together to protest the calendar and the spokesperson for Ryanair said: “This proves only that there are 7,000 prudes.” A few angry Ryanair passengers, who dubbed the company as “Lyingair,” also released a calendar on the same year. They tried to reach the company end encourage them to take care of their customers in a way that would resonate with them – sexy pictures.
- Ryanair’s online presence
Ryanair frequently appears in the headlines because of issues with their website. People are having troubles with an online check in, printing of boarding passes, etc. Their latest trick was to announce a massive one-day-only ticket sale and have the website go under maintenance the same day. Smart.
- Ryanair’s biggest markets
In 2017, 36.3 million passengers took off with Ryanair from Italian airports, leaving the UK in the second place and Spain in the third.
Unfortunately, the numbers in 2018 might not be as great. As mentioned before, strikes blossomed in Europe and hundreds of thousands of passengers were affected by them. Ryanair’s biggest markets weren’t an exception. Passengers from all three main market countries had their flights cancelled. Ryanair is not willing to pay out moral compensations as they insist that the stoppages are beyond Ryanair control and says any such claims will be rejected.
- Beds and … blowjobs?
In 2008 Ryanair held a conference in Germany in regards their future plans. CEO Michael O’Leary announced the intention to move into the long-haul market. He explained that Ryanair would use cheap airports within commuting distance of the larger American cities and that there would be two classes – economy and business.
The economy class was explained as extremely cheap, “10 euros or so,” and would require the passengers to pay for any additional services, like food and water. The business class, on the other hand, would get all the perks for free and. According to the CEO himself, “beds and blowjobs” would be included. Weirdly enough, he did not mention what kind of “extras” there would be there for the ladies.
At the same conference O’Leary also showed dissatisfaction with the fact that the German translator did not translate his remark. Classy.
- Ryanair’s difficult relationship with alcohol
In the summer of 2004, Ryanair decided to encourage passengers to bring alcohol abroad by selling „Bullseye Baggies” – plastic bags for alcohol. The item was later discontinued after a lot of criticism.
In 2017, there were rumors that flight attendants were encouraged to sell as much stuff as possible on the flight. Alcohol was special in that regard: if a flight attendant didn’t sell enough booze, he or she could get into trouble – from worse working conditions to even getting fired.
In 2018, Ryanair decided to change its tune and started campaigning against alcohol use. Firstly, they banned passengers from bringing duty-free alcohol on board while flying to a few specific destinations. All duty-free purchases of alcohol would have to be put in hold or left behind.
Later in the year, Ryanair began taking action against alcohol use in airports, pushing for no alcohol use before 10 AM. They also suggested a two-drink policy per passenger, which would be monitored by scanning boarding passes. Let’s hope that they are planning on discontinuing alcohol sales on planes as well. What do you think?
- Money Hungry
Research from IdeaWorks shows that Ryanair made 28% of its 2017 profits from “ancillary revenue” – a cool phrase used to cover everything but the seat. This comes up to over 2 billion euros. The company charges for almost everything – from sitting next to each other on your flight (passengers are usually “dotted” around the plane, to encourage them to pay for seats) to water if you feel ill during the flight.
If, for some reason, you forgot or were unable to check in to your flight online, make sure to reach the airport more than two hours before the flight. Otherwise, you’ll be fined 55 euros. If you did check in, but did not print out the boarding pass, you might need to pay 20 euros.
Since the 1st of November, Ryanair changed its baggage policies. Now, even the carry-on luggage has to be paid for separately. The company claims that by paying for the ticket, you pay only for the flight itself. Luggage is an extra.
At some point there were talks that even going to the bathroom on the plane would no longer be free of charge. In one interview, O’Leary revealed that they looked into the possibility of putting a coin slot on the toilet door. People would need to spend a pound to use the toilet. That could mean that, for example, pregnant women or families with kids would have some additional expenses by just having some needs that others might not have.
In 2017, Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary spoke about the possibility of passengers flying with Ryanair for free “in the next five to ten years.” He claimed that the company will be making money from sharing the airport revenues „of all the people who will be running through airports.”
Call me a pessimist, I think they would introduce some new, creative fees even if the tickets were free. Maybe a “cabin pressurization” charge would be next?
- Illegal terms and conditions
In 2015, Ryanair decided to make a change in their terms and conditions in an attempt reduce the amount time a passenger would have to file a claim from 6 years to 2. Fortunately, courts got involved and ruled that the airline cannot dictate the time limit on flight delay compensation.
In 2016, Ryanair came under fire because of a terms and conditions update. Why? Well, the new rules were basically illegal.
The update stated that “Passengers must submit claims directly to Ryanair and allow Ryanair 28 days or such time as prescribed by applicable law (whichever is the lesser) to respond directly to them before engaging third parties to claim on their behalf.
Ryanair will not process claims submitted by a third party if the passenger concerned has not submitted the claim directly to Ryanair and allowed Ryanair time to respond.”
This rule stripped passengers from having a choice of going to a third party company to seek help with the claim. Unfortunately, it’s still in their terms and conditions.
By now, following the news about Ryanair can be considered a form of entertainment. So many scandals, so many policy changes… Ryanair – it’s like a gift that keeps on giving.
And if that gift turns out to be a delayed, cancelled or overbooked flight, claim flight compensation with Skycop! You stand to gain up to €600 in compensation!