Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Ryanair and the TV scare

I've never flown on Ryanair. I know, kind of remiss of me despite my fair share of cheap, low-cost flights over the years.

I'd already picked up on the bad press over the years and sort of made a mental note never to fly Ryanair.

  I've flown EasyJet and that's so far never proved a problematic experience, although fundamentally I know that the economics of cheap flights probably means there is little between them.

That said, Channel 4's 'Dispatches' programme last night was the final nail in the coffin, which showed appalling security lapses and poor standards. You wouldn't buy a used car from Ryanair let alone get on one of their planes. The catalogue of shortcuts the programme managed to uncover during its investigation is probably only the tip of the iceberg, so why risk it.

A quick poll of the Brand Republic office (so wholly scientific) revealed the following: everyone would rather fly with another airline, with the most acerbic comment being "I'd rather walk than fly Ryanair", which considering how far out of town you might get dumped that might actually be an option.

In response to last night's scathing documentary, Ryanair has launched an aggressive marketing campaign, with ads launching today.

The ads, there was one in The Times today, do not directly refer to the programme, but carry the headline "An apology".

Of course, it's not a real apology, its another "free flights" deal (free meaning you pay for baggage, booking, and taxes). A real apology might have been a braver idea, but Ryanair doesn't seem to be that kind of company. Posted by Picasa

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