Flying with Ryanair

Flying is said to be the safest means to travel; but what if the airline available for your tight schedule has a history of questionable safety operations?


Some months ago, Ryanair, an Irish low-cost airline was investigated for its air worthiness after it had 3 emergency landings last September 2012 – even leading The Sun newspaper to publish what Ryanair deemed as a defamatory article. According to Ryanair, all three of those planes had the required minimum and reserve fuel of 30 minutes (300 miles) flying time but just encountered technical difficulties that resulted in the unplanned landings.

Is this good, more so reassuring?

Technical Problems. One emergency landing is tolerable provided it has good reasons to do so. But then, it’s not just one, and 3 emergency landings is alarming. Okay, fuel reserves may not be the issue; however, having “technical difficulties” as a reason is indeed worth digging up. In this case, incompetency may be out of the question but some areas may have been overlooked. A leading question would then be – are the planes properly maintained?

Sometimes the saying “why fix when it ain’t broke” is detrimental to sustainability and growth. Everything becomes stagnant or prosaic.

Innovation. Amid this controversy (including Ryanair’s desire for Aer Lingus), many may not be aware that Ryanair has actually thought of many innovative ideas only to go kaput – like “standing tickets” on flights. Nevertheless, one of its recent ideas was to have “bigger than usual doors” on its planes; one that could accommodate two people at a time to speed up boarding and disembarking, thereby shortening the changeover time for planes.

Included with this proposition are the redesigning of baggage holds and the trimming of the galley to mirror that Ryanair does not serve hot meals on its flights.

Sounds good. More space mean more movement. But faster? Not totally. Has Ryanair considered broadening the plane’s aisles even for just a fraction? Sure it would affect its seating capacity but only to a certain extent. Not to worry. Traffic growth would come as such innovation would only perk up passenger interest.

Customer Relations. When you are in the service industry, like transportation, customer experience becomes even more valuable; therefore, Ryanair should strive to “perfect” this aspect as no amount of publicity, whether online or in print could overrule a customer’s word-of-mouth.

See, Ryanair’s websites can only say so many nice things about itself but if its customers get off its planes unsatisfied – it would not help Ryanair outrun high fuel costs towards greater profitability.

What’s your take?