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Friday, 24 August 2012 10:44

Ryanair is taking on social networking

Written by Nick Farrell



PR disasters are becoming public

Ryanair, which has a policy of charging you for sneezing on its flights, is starting to find itself at odds with huge blocks of social networking sites. While the company is pretty cheap, it seems to make up its cash by annoying you on your flight with adverts, and attempts to sell you stuff, and hitting you with lots of charges for carrying anything more than a towel in your luggage.

In the good old days, Ryan Air might have gotten away with these sorts of things, but lately it is finding itself having to argue against blocks of social networking protests. The latest case was a Ryanair passenger who was angry at being charged for failing to print out her boarding passes.

Suzy McLeod was charged £236 by the budget airline when she and her family arrived at a Spanish airport having failed to print out their boarding passes for a flight to Bristol. Ryanair imposed a charge of 60 euros per person, adding up to 300 euros for herself and her family, to print out the passes at the airport. To be fair the airline warns passengers who do not print their boarding pass before travel will be charged. But the passes are only made available to customers to print 14 days before their flight and McLeod left Britain 15 days before their return flight.

Ms McLeod, from Newbury, Berkshire, complained on a Ryanair Facebook page and her post was "liked" by more than 360,000 people and commented on by 18,000 users. Basically this means that 18,000 people agreed that Ryan Air was pretty evil by doing this, Ryanair managed to get her post removed from its Facebook page yesterday.

Ryanair spokesman Stephen McNamara said: "As is clearly outlined in the terms and conditions for every Ryanair passenger, Mrs McLeod agreed at the time of booking that she and her fellow passengers would check-in online and print their boarding cards before arriving at their departure airport, and she also accepted and agreed that if she failed to do so then she would pay our boarding card re-issue penalty of £60 per passenger."

Of course what Ryanair does not understand is that it can never win these sorts of wars with social notworking sites. Reacting this way to a whole lot of hacked off customers is a good way to lose them forever.

Nick Farrell

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