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One of the world’s best airlines (when comes to ancillary revenue) is getting ready to add another option for you to tack onto your flight total. Fair warning that this is still very much speculation, but Ryanair just might be flipping the switch on in-flight WiFi sooner rather than later.
There’s no decision yet, and they’re still working behind the scenes to determine what company would even provide the in-flight magic. It does sound like LiveTV is just one of the groups in the running for the contract. Apparently, Ryanair isn't exactly sold on the idea as they don’t know if the installation costs will be totally worth it in the long run.
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The European Union is considering changing the regulations that govern how airlines have to compensate/assist/not-screw-over passengers that they've stranded. Whether it's because they don't like their airline industry or because they do like their passengers is an open question, but changes they're nonetheless making.
The E.U. is already a relatively OK place to be a passenger. Under EU261, airlines have to refund ticket prices for cancellations and long delays, plus there are all kinds of rules about how geographically close airlines have to get their passengers when flights are diverted to alternate airports.
The implementation of those rules is admittedly imperfect. The refund rule sometimes ends with passengers taking airlines to court, and the geography regulation has its own loopholes (Ryanair once kind of hilariously met the rule by dropping passengers off on a nearby island rather than the one they were bound for. Close enough!) But at a minimum, the E.U. has been trying.
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Ryanair does not necessarily have the best PR and communications shop in the airline industry. The Irish LCC has been known to respond to negative press by throwing childish hissy fits, and its understanding of social media outreach involves insulting customers.
Part of the problem is that Ryanair PR is one of the hardest jobs in the world, since they've got to justify nonsense like instituting intentionally grating fees and selling heart attack-stricken victims soda. But it's hard not to suspect that another part of the problem is simple bad staffing. No one says the job is easy, but surely this stuff isn't helping. Right?
This. This right here. This is what we're talking about when we say we're giving up on the debate over Ryanair and its aggressive douchebaggery. The airline goes out of its way to insult its customers, and yet finds itself rewarded with consistent profits. So why shouldn't it treat its own staff in the same disrespectful way?
The question kind of answers itself, doesn't it?
When Ryanair-of-North-America Spirit Airlines decided to raise their fees in anticipation of the American holiday season, we declaredtruthfully, albeit perhaps with an unnecessary touch of coarsenessthat we just couldn't bring ourselves to give a fuck any more. They gleefully exploit holiday travelers and those same travelers return to the LCC and boost its profits? There's not much we can do.
And now that the actual Ryanair has pulled pretty much the same trick - introducing a new 2% booking fee for credit card users as the holiday season gets underway, we can't muster anything more than the same meh we had for Spirit. This is Ryanair. Of course that's what they did.
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Our favorite European LCC we love to hate has revamped one area where they score a few extra bucks in the air. Ryanair is now flying with an upgraded in-flight menu, meaning you may not need to "fast-food up" in the airport before boarding, thus ending the Scent of McDonald's in the cabin.
Should you choose to dine on the refreshed menu, named The Getaway Cafe, you'll find it isn't your typical snack box selection. Finally, something more than a short-stack of Pringles! The menu is chock full of "hot" and kitchen-prepared food, including ham & cheese croissant sandwiches, fresh pastries, chicken nuggets and hot soupsbecause there are no blankets on-board.
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The shop, which sits on Manchester's high street of Piccadilly, invites potential flyers to stop in and attempt to beat Ryanair's ticket prices by searching other airline sites. If they do manage to score a better deal, then Ryanair's shop staff will pay double the difference to the person. Additionally, TravelMole notes that "one customer will win return flights every day, some of which are to destinations you might have heard of."
Still, the international news appeal of this lies in Ryanair's willingness to put actual human representatives back into contact with their travelers, after removing such contact bit-by-bit until flyers had to pay through the nose just to talk to a real person. We wonder how many Mancunians will show up just to have a good yell at an airline that likely screwed them with extra fees in the past.
[Photo: @RouteExchange on Twitter]
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Gather around children, as we spin a fable about the magic that is European airline industry regulation. In early 2011, the European Union was in the midst of an airline merger blocking spree. Regulators rejected a proposed merger between Olympic Air and Aegean Airlines because they declared it would leave the resulting airline dominating the Greek market. Then Olympic went out of business because it was unsustainablehence the need for the merger in the first placeputting a lot of people out of work and leaving Aegean dominating the Greek market anyway. The End.
It bears mentioning that around the time when regulators were putting Olympic on a path to insolvency, they also rejected an attempted takeover of Aer Lingus by Ryanair. Now Ryanair is trying again and forecasters predictperhaps in light of the Olympic fiasco or perhaps because of the challenging economy or perhaps simply a function of the changing industrythat its odds "of clearing competition hurdles...have improved."
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Ryanair, the most hated European budget airline, is known for advertising low fares and then hiking up the actual cost with fees for luggage, food, and priority boarding. Most Ryanair passengers know what to expect when traveling on the airline, but the company recently made some of their most faithful customers angry: musicians.
Many musicians, particularly those based in Ireland (Ryanair's home country), rely on the airline to get them to the continent when they're playing gigs or going on tour. However, new fees for musical instruments have made the cost of flying so expensive that musicians are struggling to afford it, and are even forced to turn down gigs.
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When it comes to inventing new fees and in-flight purchases for their passengers, it goes without saying that Ryanair is a leading... innovator. Sometimes those fees are so egregious they get ruled illegal, so the Irish LCC has to continuously brainstorm. There's a reason that the airline is swimming in profits.
Last time it was porn. This time it's audiences with Pope. Where it not for how simply tiresome this entire act is becoming, we'd almost admire Ryanair's utter disregard for even the barest hint of shame. Almost.
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For many companies, creative ways to positively effect the bottom line sets the more successful business apart from the less successful. Airlines are no different. Frankly we are kind of fed up with hidden fees and, with the recent federal guidelines for airfare advertising, some much needed transparency is returning. This transparency is crossing the Atlantic and being adopted for the European Union as well. Now, Ryanair and Spirit ("the Ryanair of North America"), have a whole lot more in common.
Earlier this month, Spirit Airlines stomped their feet and imposed a ridiculous tax for their passengers. In addition to adding a $2 "unintended consequences" fee, the airline will now charge $5 for an agent printing a boarding pass. This is in addition to digging deep to print your own boarding pass from a self-service kiosk. You guessed it, another two bucks.
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Hey, remember when journalists started weirdly declaring that everything was fine with the airline industry? And then travelers took that to mean that good times were here again while the government swooped in with expensive new regulations? And then remember how American Airlines went bankrupt and then Spanair shut down and then Hungary's Malev shut down? Good times.
There's not much to say about this latest casualty of the global economic crunch. Hungary really, really wanted to keep Malev operating, with the government declaring the airline to be a "priority objective." But they just couldn't make the carrier viablespecifically, they couldn't convince suppliers that the government would be able to pay them for servicesand thus ended the Malev's 66 years of almost continuous service. Sad.