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Ryanair is ringing the changes - but it will keep the 'Sex Pistols attitude'

New uniforms, new planes, new menu – it’s all happening.

Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary
Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary
Image: John Phillips/EMPICS Entertainment

RYANAIR WILL FIX its apps and booking system, offer more legroom on its new planes and rework aircraft interiors and staff uniforms this year as it launches a new customer charter.

But the airline’s marketing boss has said the low-cost carrier won’t lose its “swagger” – and isn’t setting out to be “loved” by its customers.

The company today unveiled its strategy for this year and into 2016, including a new menu and lower charges on some of its most-criticised fees.

The airline has predicted it will carry more than 100 million passengers for the first time this year as it continues adding planes to its fleet and airports to its departure list.

Chief marketing officer Kenny Jacobs said one of the airline’s main moves would be to increase “transparency” in its booking system in response to complaints from passengers.

This is a Ryanair that has quickly fallen in love with listening to customers,” he said.

The airline has previously fallen foul of regulators for its customer service, with Italy’s anti-trust body fining the carrier for running service lines that charged high rates but provided minimal help.

Ryanair Press Conferences O'Leary and Kenny Jacobs Source: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

Some of the changes the airline announced today include:

  • The ability to “hold” a fare for 24 hours for €5
  • Lower penalties for airport check-in (down from €70 to €45) and missed departures (€110 to €99)
  • Redesigned aircraft interiors from March and more legroom in new planes from October
  • New uniforms from October from a “young European designer”
  • A new menu with the ability to pre-order hot breakfasts on some flights from November

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Ryanair will keep the ‘swagger’

But despite the new charter, which has been signed by company boss Michael O’Leary, Jacobs said the budget airline wouldn’t compromise on chasing the cheapest fares as it overhauled its customer service.

“I don’t think they need to (love us) – it is a functional thing that we do,” he said.

There is a great thing about Ryanair – it has a bit of a swagger. We are still going to have a bit of a Sex Pistols attitude.

Johnny Rotten Sex Pistols singer John Lydon, aka Johnny Rotten Source: AP/Press Association Images

I think you are never going to see us being boring, I don’t think you are ever going to see us fading into grey like has happened to other airlines. We don’t want to be loved.”

A recent UK survey rated the airline the country’s fourth most-hated brand, behind only the UKIP and Conservative political parties, and Marmite.

READ: Like sun? Like beach parties? There’ll be a tonne of new flights from Cork to Ibiza this summer >

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About the author:

Peter Bodkin  / Editor, Fora

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