11 FEBRUARY 2019
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Channel 5 delivered a confusing hour on TV last Thursday concerning what it claimed was “Britain’s most hated airline”.
History has shown that people follow the masses whatever the consequences. Ryanair (FR) passengers seem to go along that route.
One person was missing from the programme except from archive film. No Michael O’Leary. The man who once said there is no such thing as bad publicity was not to be seen. What is perhaps forgotten, but is fact, is that the airline’s founder, Tony Ryan, grew to loathe him, and it was not O’Leary who delivered the eulogy at Ryan’s funeral, but PJ McGoldrick, O’Leary’s predecessor at the Dublin-based airline.
Fiona Phillips fronted the Channel 5 programme, which tried to compare Ryanair and easyJet (U2), the Luton carrier easily winning on a so-called family challenge from Manchester suggesting that FR did not fly to Venice (it goes to Treviso, 20 miles from the city) and U2 does. Venice airport is four miles north of the city on the mainland.
Simon Calder had the final word, saying O’Leary had more than anyone else “bound together Europe as a concept”, which is disputable. Other airline chiefs have produced the same without resorting to verbal aggression, the O’Leary way of doing things. The Evening Standard rated the programme three-star. Generous.
All comments are filtered to exclude any excesses but the Editor does not have to agree with what is being said. 100 words maximum
Jan Lindborg, Bilbao, Spain
Low fairs can open up routes and markets. While I love the idea of super-cheap tickets, I will try not to use Ryanair because they think it's OK to treat passengers poorly. Sadly, many other carriers are doing the same now with coach/economy class as it's seen as OK. No - we're all paying passengers. Many of us have to travel economy for business because of company policy. As BA once said "we know you have a choice"
An interesting programme, but padded out to fill 60 minutes. I don't recall the current Ryanair team being asked for comment, so objectivity a skewed to say the least.
Graham Greenwood, REDDITCH
I watched this programme with interest, in my view, it showed that Michael O'Leary certainly attracted customers by offering very low fares, but ruined it by charging too much for so called 'extras', which in many cases were essentials. His worst failing is the treatment of his employees, he obviously has no employee management skills. Not valuing his employees as some of the companies most valuable assets. That has put me off the prospect of flying Ryanair.