Ryanair pledges to end ‘abrupt culture’ and revamp its website
O’Leary vows to address customer service ‘issues’ after voted worst in UK poll
Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary said the company plans to revamp its website and concentrate more on its mobile and social media strategy. Photograph: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg
No-frills airline Ryanair has announced its plans to transform its “abrupt culture” and revamp its website, admitting for the first time that it had a significant problem with customer service.
The airline said it would become more lenient on fining customers over bag sizes and overhaul the way it communicates.
“We should try to eliminate things that unnecessarily piss people off,” chief executive Michael O’Leary told the company’s annual general meeting. The airline was this week voted the worst of the 100 biggest brands serving the British market by readers of consumer magazine Which.
Mr O’Leary said it would stop fining customers whose carry-on baggage exceeds minimum sizes by a matter of millimetres. “A lot of those customer services elements don’t cost a lot of money ... It’s something we are committed to addressing over the coming year,” he said.
Ryanair is also rethinking its digital marketing strategy after admitting rival EasyJet’s website was better.
The company said it planned to make its mobile app available free of charge from October 1st, and would engage with customers via its @Ryanair twitter account.
Ryanair pledged to make it quicker for customers to complete booking, with a redesign of its booking flow to go live in December and a registration service scheduled in time for next summer.
It also plans to remove the security feature Recaptcha, which uses distorted text to prevent automated access to services , for individual bookings, although it will stay in place for high volume users such as larger travel agents.
“Our primary focus this winter will be to significantly invest in, and improve, the Ryanair.com website, our mobile platform and our interaction with passengers using social media,” chief executive Michael O’Leary said. “ We are pleased to remove Recaptcha from November for individual passengers, although the security feature will remain in place for high volume or multiple IP addresses in order to deter larger travel agents, screenscrapers and others who flood our website seeking fare quotes, and diminish our website’s accessibility for individual passengers.” - Additional reporting: Reuters