London - It likes to claim it is the “world’s favourite airline”, but with its notorious hidden costs, brusque cabin staff and aggressive sales tactics, Ryanair has taken the phrase “no frills” to unprecedented heights.
Now an investigation by The Mail on Sunday has exposed astonishing details of the tactics the airline uses to squeeze pounds and euros from its no-frills passengers, including:
l Special cash incentives for ground staff who identify overweight or oversize hand luggage and charge passengers up to £60 (about R900) a time.
l Incentives for ground staff who sell “priority boarding” passes.
l Deliberately targeting boisterous stag and hen parties with drinks and gifts.
l Pushing nicotine-filled “e-cigarettes”.
l An extraordinary training manual of hard-sell tactics that cabin crew must master, a key element in Ryanair’s booming profits. Disillusioned Ryanair crew who spoke to the MoS revealed that they and their colleagues were told to meet “almost impossible” sales targets from the gifts and drinks trolleys, and that they depended on sales bonus money to top up their wages.
The company has attracted particular criticism for its draconian policy on the size of hand baggage and the high fees it charges if bags are judged too big to take on board. Now it can be revealed workers can be rewarded for enforcing the tough rules.
Our investigation comes just days after Ryanair was taken to task by many of its own pilots who claimed in Channel 4’s Dispatches programme that they had concerns about the airline’s attitude towards safety.
Ryanair fiercely denied the allegations and immediately dismissed one of its long-standing pilots, Captain John Goss, who openly criticised the airline in the documentary.
Ryanair is hugely successful and this year will carry more than 81.5 million people – with more international passengers than any other airline in the world – to 180 destinations in 29 countries.
In May, the company reported a £477-million profit – a 13 percent year-on-year rise.
The hard-nosed sales tactics which helped them earn these extraordinary profits are laid out in a 34-page training manual, seen by this newspaper. It sets out a series of sales tricks that cabin crew should use to increase their monthly bonus and, more importantly, create revenue for the airline. - Mail on Sunday