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The Bulletin

Ryanair, with its awful customer service, promises change

Posting in Transportation

In the United Kingdom, it doesn't get much worse than Ryanair when it comes to customer service. Of the 100 biggest British brands, the no-frills airline -- infamous for its absurd cost-cutting measures -- was voted this week as having the worst customer service of them all, with just a 54 percent customer satisfaction rating.

But could customer friendliness -- a novel concept, I know -- be Ryanair's latest money-making scheme? Yes, if you take Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary at his word.

“We should try to eliminate things that unnecessarily piss people off,” said O'Leary at the company's annual general meeting, as reported by The Irish Times.

Among the proposed changes include an easier-to-navigate website, a new team dedicated to responding to emails, and the removal of a policy that fines customers even if their carry-on bag exceeds size restrictions by millimeters.

Will it be enough for Ryanair to gain customer satisfaction? It's too early to say, but for the man who once called his customers stupid and considered charging passengers to use the restroom, there seems to be a realization that no-frills customer service doesn't have to mean no-class.

"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," O'Leary said.

It sounds good, but I'll believe it when I see it.

Read more: The Irish Times

Photo: Flickr/Bram Donkers

— By on September 20, 2013, 12:33 AM PST

Tyler Falk

Contributing Editor

Tyler Falk freelance journalist based in Washington, D.C. Previously, he was with Smart Growth America and Grist. He holds a degree from Goshen College. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure