O’Leary makes YouTube pledge to ‘significantly improve’ service

New year’s message encourages passengers to get in touch

Ryanair will roll out a series of measures to improve its customer service over the coming year, chief executive Michael O'Leary has said.

Mr O’Leary acknowledged earlier this year that the airline had an image problem and said he would work to improve customer service.

In a new year message on YouTube, he said Ryanair will move to "significantly improve your customer experience".

This will include a new Ryanair.com home page, a simplified booking process, a My Ryanair passenger registration service and country-specific websites.


Greater understanding
There will also be a 24-hour grace period for minor errors on bookings, a second, free, small carry-on bag, lower boarding card reissue fees and lower airport and baggages fees.

From next week, the cost of turning up with a bag to be put into the hold of the aircraft will be cut from €60 to €30.

In addition, allocated seating will be made available to all customers from February 1st, with improved family and business services in the spring.

A new booking service via smart phone and smart phone boarding passes will be available from April, with a new Ryanair app in May.

Mr O’Leary encouraged customers to get in touch with the airline via its Twitter account or the Ryanair website if they had other ideas to improve the airline’s service.

“We hope you are as excited about these improvements as we are and we look forward to welcoming you and your family on board in 2014,” he concluded.

After years of adopting a combative approach to everyone from passengers to regulators, Ryanair signalled a change in corporate culture at its agm in September, at which the chief executive acknowledged that its reputation was more than partially down to his own style of management.

He pledged to “eliminate things that unnecessarily piss people off . . . 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.”

Separately, the company announced in October that it will be appointing a new director of customer sales and marketing who will take over from Mr O’Leary as the airline’s public face. That appointment has yet to be made.

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy is a news reporter with The Irish Times