Ryanair in trouble over ads

(click on both to enlarge)

Irish discount carrier Ryanair is facing a bit of trouble after recently running two advertisements. The first features French president Nicolas Sarkozy with his girlfriend, French singer Carla Bruni. "With Ryanair," thinks Bruni in the advertisement, "all of my family can come to my wedding." This is a reference to the rumors of marriage between the two. A Ryanair spokesperson called it a "humorous comment on a matter of great public interest in France" and said that the airline apologizes "sincerely for any offence caused", but that's not satisfying either Sarkozy or Bruni: they're suing the airline separately for 1 euro and 500,000 euros in damages, respectively.

The second advertisement, touting "hottest back to school fares," apparently caused the British Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) to receive 13 complaints about it. "We considered that her appearance and pose, with the heading 'Hottest', appeared to link teenage girls with sexually provocative behavior and was irresponsible and likely to cause serious or widespread offence," the ASA said. Ryanair was ordered to recall the ad. But Peter Sherrard, head of communications for Ryanair, remained defiant: "It is remarkable that a picture of a fully-clothed model is now claimed to cause 'serious or widespread offence', when many of the UK's leading daily newspapers regularly run pictures of topless or partially-dressed females without causing any serious or widespread offence... This isn't advertising regulation, it is simply censorship. This bunch of unelected self-appointed dimwits are clearly incapable of fairly and impartially ruling on advertising."


Axelll said...

It's not the first time, when will Ryanair learn?

poor passenger said...


Ryanair is certainly to be AVOIDED... Unless you like flying a bus.

This is my letter of complaint sent to their Customer Service. You'll find afterward their absurd answer, and finally my reply to their answer. There we go:

(This is me:) How can a cabin luggage corresponding to what you state on your website (40-55-20cm, under 10kg) do not fit into the seizer at the registration desk? It seems that a correction must be made on your web site, otherwise this lack of coherence in your service is taken as an organized robbery.

-My hand luggage fulfilled all Ryan Air’s requirements. How can the lady of the registration desk oblige me to check it in? I insisted on measuring it together. This request was ignored. Instead, I was cynically advised to give up flying by the same person. This is an insulting suggestion. I hope this obvious intimidation practice is not an instruction given by Ryan Air to its employees. Some passengers fly for pleasure, some HAVE to fly.

-I asked to see a supervisor. The answer was that there wasn’t one for the Company. Is this information right? After so much insistence (I remained about one hour at the registration desk) a supervisor was called, and stated not being at all responsible for Ryan Air but for the whole Beauvais airport.

I don’t think you are aware of how much chaos exists at BVA. The lines of passengers in my situation were enormous, due to what the registration for the flight lasted until 20 minutes prior to departure.

Another surprising fact is that we boarded an aircraft which had just landed. Isn’t there a minimal span of time to be respected between flights? Is an aircraft safe when treated like a bus?

I think you are relying on incompetent and insolent employees.

This is their nice answer, it seems Missis McIvoy is paid to write such nicities to passengers:

Dear Mr XYZ,

I acknowledge receipt of your letter dated 15th May 2008.

On behalf of Ryanair, please accept our apologies for any inconvenience suffered whilst checking in for your recent flight from Beauvais Airport.

Please be advised that the hand luggage sizer at any of our airports are all the same size. I have been informed that the sizer is slightly bigger than the dimensions shown in our Terms & Conditions by approximately 2cm in each way to allow for bags that have wheels to fit comfortably.

Given the above, the dimensions provided on our website are correct and bags do fit within the sizer comfortably, providing they are not over-packed. Therefore, we are unable to consider your refund request.

Furthermore, we pride ourselves upon the high standards of service and professionalism provided by all of our staff and as such we do expect the same level of professionalism from our handling agents. We maintain these standards with regular retraining programmes which ensure that not only our own staff but also our handling agents are constantly reminded of their most important function; to be friendly and professional at all times. I do sincerely regret that this was not reflected to you on this occasion and as such I have forwarded your comments to our Operations Manager at Beauvais Airport to ensure that such a situation does not recur.

Additionally, please be advised that there is a turn-around time of 25 minutes, which is sufficient time to get all pre-flight checks and preparations done. Therefore the safety of the passengers is not at any time being compromised.

Whilst your comments and dissatisfaction have been noted, we regret that we are unable to be of further assistance on this occasion.

With renewed apologies.

Yours sincerely

For and on Behalf of

Naomi McEvoy
Customer Service

Now, please read my reaction to theirs:

Naomi McEvoy
Customer Services Department
Ryanair Head Office
Dublin Airport
Co Dublin – Fax +353 1 8121230

Dear Missis McEvoy,

Your reply arrived immediately after my complaint was sent. I sincerely thank you. After the Beauvais events, such a kind letter remains unexpected. I have enclosed a copy of my original fax as well as one of your reply, so as you can easily keep track of our previous correspondence.

As I mentioned before, my hand luggage -corresponding to what your Web Site states- didn’t fit into the sizer regardless the 2 additional cm. It wasn’t over-packed, it wasn’t over 10k. I insisted to call a supervisor to verify all this, but gave up when I understood that I was about to miss the flight. Therefore, the only possibility left is that something is wrong at Beauvais where the queues of people in my same situation where enormous. Passengers wouldn’t prefer to pay twice more for their bags at last minute… Through your letter you don’t seem to have analysed these elements.

“Furthermore, we pride ourselves upon the high standards of service and professionalism provided by all of our staff and as such we do expect the same level of professionalism from our handling agents”, but in fact Ryanair doesn’t have its own supervisor to control what ACTUALLY takes place at different airports! Definitively, handling agents at Beauvais don’t seem to be willing to defend the reputation of the Company. On the other hand, I don’t find neither honest nor professional to pride on imaginary or virtual qualities.

You mention that my comments about Beauvais have been forwarded to its Operation Manager. I would like to be informed of her/his reaction. Could you forward me the mailing address and phone number of the person you contacted at BVA?

I talked to several passengers, who said not being able to write to the Company because of the language barrier. I understand that you can’t afford having a multilingual team to answer to complaints, but would like you to know that I am not the only passenger astonished by chaos, insolence and robbery.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Yours sincerely,


I leave you to your own conclusions.


Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

Having for the first time experienced Ryanair, I am completely disgusted by the dishonest marketing!! When you list a flight as a price, it should be that price regeadless of the ridiculous fees. As I am from the US I understand being nickel and dimed to death, however, 40€ for a boarding pass should never be allowed!! Install kisosks which allow travelers to print without using staff. You reputation will be what keeps you in business, and at this point, it will be a short life if changes are not made. I will never fly your airline again and I will happily tell everyone how outrageous your service is!!

sue the airline said...

sick, and very disturbing. sounds like a few lawsuits will be coming their way shortly...