Ryanair cuts fees and gives customers a ‘grace period’ on bookings in unprecedented charm offensive

Ryanair cuts fees and gives customers a ‘grace period’ on bookings in unprecedented charm offensive

Just days after Michael O’Leary, chief executive, carried out a Q&A session on social media website Twitter, he said the package of measures showed the airline was “actively listening and respondsing to our customers”.

From November 1, customers who book on Ryanair.com will be given a 24-hour grace period to correct spelling mistakes, names or routing errors in their original booking. Before 8am and after 9pm there will be no on-board marketing annoucements such as scratchcard sales pushes so customers can “snooze”.

But the change in tone is seismic for an airline that has forged its reputation on being ruthless over levies, charges and a no compromise attitude to customers who make even the slightest mistakes with their booking or packing.

When asked once if all the sales pitches and bingo meant the planes were too noisy, Mr O’Leary said people should book with British Airways, as there were so many empty seats it would be much quieter.

Industry insiders claim Ryanair’s about turn reflects the gathering momentum at easyJet, which is this year expected to make more money than its fierce rival, £500 million. Ryanair is also seen as having under-invested in its website functionality for far too long.

In a statement today, Mr O’Leary, Ryanair chief executive, said: “We are very excited at these significant improvements in what is already Europe’s No.1 customer service airline.

“As we implement our plans to grow from 80m to 110m customers per annum over the next five years we are actively listening and responding to our customers so that they can continue to expect low fares and on-time flights with Ryanair.

“We hope our passengers will enjoy these service improvements.”

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