I’ve had enough. Unless there is absolutely no other alternative, I’ve had my final Ryanair flight. A sign of getting old and grumpy? It’s possible. But I don’t think thats the issue. Do I care? Not a bit.
It’s the first time in my life I’ve got so irritated by a business service that I’ve decided to spit the dummy and boycott even if it means some serious inconvenience. I’ve moved on from stuff before that I’ve felt is falling short of where it could be, to a better alternative. But never with a vow never to return. For example, I finally went from Microsoft to Mac after several years of hoping Microsoft would get good enough to make me want to stay. I got fed up waiting. But if they get good again, I’m not bitter and I would look at them again. It’s perfectly forgivable not to be leading the race all the time.
But Ryanair, in my world, are history.
Maybe eight years ago, lots of people had good things to say about them. They seemed to be really working hard to make things better for us. In the past year that regard has finally slipped into loathing every move they make and grudging every pound we spend on them. I haven’t talked to a single recent user of their flights who hasn’t felt the same.
For any of you who regularly fly with them and especially those like myself who work around Europe, I don’t need to go into why this is. For those who don’t and are curious, some stories are here. But it boils down to capitalising on the fact that folk are busy, are creatures of habit and can’t always research the alternatives and using that to make opportunistic raids on the wallet once you are backed into a corner (at the airport). Also, leveraging an infrastructure and weight in the airline industry to bully us into doing travel their way.
I’ll watch how this story unfolds with interest from the sidelines. I’m highly curious to know if this massive company have gone off the rails and are throwing away everything they’ve built up for the sake of greed, arrogance or foolishness, or do they really know what they are doing?
I would have thought that starting every other customer’s flight by hitting them hard in the wallet from behind as they reach the airport would be something customers would hold long in the memory? Especially when you make them stand in a massive queue to make them pay and give them plenty of time to deepen the hatred. How can this make business sense in the long term? It will be interesting to see.
When they go bankrupt I’ll smile. If they are still as big in five years time I’ll shake my head in amazement at the courageousness of this experiment in bold business. Good luck to them, I think they’ll need it.
Full disclosure/update: I’ve still got enough fizz to write the above post over a week after the flight in question. So it’s not rage, just deep dislike of what they are doing. A quick google of ‘we hate ryanair’ demonstrated I’m far from alone in my frustration and led to me becoming the 2623rd member of the ‘we hate ryanair’ facebook group LOL!