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Ryanair Hits Reputation Turbulence; Apparently Doesn’t Care




ryanairI really don’t know what’s worse. A Ryanair employee getting busted for leaving an abusive comment on a blog, or the official–and equally abusive–statement from the airline Ryanair.

I’ll let you read the full details, but long story short, a blogger finds a bug in Ryanair’s booking system and blogs about it. He then receives an anonymous comment–which he later tracks down as a Ryanair employee:

jason!
you’re an idiot and a liar!! fact is!
you’ve opened one session then another and requested a page meant for a different session, you are so stupid you dont even know how you did it! you dont get a free flight, there is no dynamic data to render which is prob why you got 0.00. what self respecting developer uses a crappy CMS such as word press anyway AND puts they’re mobile ph number online, i suppose even a prank call is better than nothing on a lonely sat evening!!

Instead of any kind of apology, Ryanair officials threw themselves on the reputation sword with this official statement (emphasis added):

“Ryanair can confirm that a Ryanair staff member did engage in a blog discussion. It is Ryanair policy not to waste time and energy in corresponding with idiot bloggers and Ryanair can confirm that it won’t be happening again.

“Lunatic bloggers can have the blog sphere all to themselves as our people are far too busy driving down the cost of air travel”.

My first reaction is O…M…G!

My second reaction is to spell out (the obvious) ways that Ryanair screwed-up, and outline a strategy to ensure employees don’t go putting their foot in the corporate mouth. Something which Datadial has already provided.

But, what’s the point? You and I both know that the above stance is borderline insanity, right? We both know that–even if you hate the guts of a blogger–you don’t throw a gallon of gas on a small spark of controversy.

So, instead of dishing out advice–that Ryanair will likely ignore–we’ll just sit back for a few weeks, let this all flair-up, then take satisfaction in saying “we told you so!”

(hat-tip Garrett)

  • http://www.pechangacalifornia.com pechangacalifornia

    My first 100 reactions were: OMFG!!!

  • http://www.adoperationsonline.com Otilia @ AdOperationsOnline.com

    CNN has just published a feature on this: http://edition.cnn.com/2009/TRAVEL/02/25/ryanair.blog/ . I bet Jason’s inbox is more than flooded :-)
    As for Ryanair… well, what can one say but OMFG WTF and so on.

    Otilia @ AdOperationsOnline.com’s last blog post..Mojiva and Billing Revolution Partner to Support ?Single Click? Purchasing from Mobile Advertisements

  • http://www.MediaTwoPointOh.com Michael Hubbard

    My first reaction was similar to everyone else’s… My second reaction was – who is this Ryanair I’ve never flown on? The unfortunate part is the next time I see their name on a flight schedule, I’ll recognize their name – I just hope I remember why I recognize them. This smells PR stunt everywhere.

  • http:/blackethos.wordpress.com Black Ethos

    What!!!

    I can’t imagine what he was thinking…

    @ blackethos

  • http://blackethos.wordpress.com Black Ethos

    let’s try that again…

    Black Ethos’s last blog post..Are You Being Googled?

  • http://www.frankthinking.com Frank Reed

    Ok I am reversing my previous take on there is no such thing.as bad publicity. Ryanair has certainly opened my eyes to that. I wonder if they are trying to be irreverent like the Southwest employees are but taking it a step further by resorting to name calling etc.

    Imagine their flights. “Welcome to Ryanair. if you are an idiot blogger we will not serve you but your money spends like the rest”.

    Frank Reed’s last blog post..Free Internet Marketing Education Series from Frank Thinking, Inc.

  • http://www.marketingpilgrim.com Andy Beal

    Thanks to all for your thoughts. There’s always the theory that Ryanair wants an edgy reputation–although this is taking it to the extreme.

  • http://www.jaankanellis.com Jaan Kanellis

    Whoops by Ryanair, but still Jason was trying to steal airline tickets and show his blog followers how to do it. I would understand a knee-jerk response like this because of that fact…behind closed doors.

    Jaan Kanellis’s last blog post..Canonical Tag From Google: So Simple and Smart

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  • http://tropicanaandlasvegas.com Tropicana LV

    They deserve anything that comes to them…

  • Mick

    Congratulations to Ryanair, their reputation for straight speaking strikes again.

    Lets be honest , the majority of bloggers are cranks venting their frustrations to anyone who will listen (and I’m amazed that Google give blogs such importance)

    Opinions are like a**holes everybodies got one but most should keep them to themselves. Unfortunately blogs and the internet let everybody expose theirs (opinions that is ) to the world.

    I’d like to apologise in advance to the minority of people who write useful blogs who will be offended at this post.

    P.S. I do not work for Ryan Air

    I just noticed the commentluv thing here, no good to me as obviously I dont blog :)

  • http://www.avatar-web-solutions.com/blog Tony

    What a storm in a teacup. I suppose this is viewed as free advertising by Ryan Air, and will deflect attention from their new extra charges for cabin bags, or whatever new fine they’ve been given by the EU for misleading the public.

    Tony’s last blog post..The Canonical URL tag – No more duplicate content!

  • Paul

    Anybody who lives in the UK or Ireland knows that Ryan Air love this sort of thing. Non customer service is there speciality. There whole attitude is if you don’t like us don’t fly with us but you won’t find anybody cheaper. And the truth is this attitude seems to work as have probably been the most successful airline in Europe over the past 15 years. I’m afraid Andy, as far as reputation management, is concerned ‘they are the exception that proves the rule’.

  • http://www.gadgets4nowt.co.uk PS3

    I’ve seen the boss of Ryanair on the media here in the UK, he certainly doesn’t mince his words!

  • Paul

    They are planning to charge passengers £1 to use the toliets on flights.

  • http://www.e-crm.co.uk Richard Hill

    Ryanair just believe in telling it like ‘they think it is’. Have a look at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/3443739.stm to see how they have behaved to the disabled and this http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/investing-and-markets/article.html?in_article_id=414306&in_page_id=3 for some classic Michael O’Learyplain speaking.

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