Sunday 26 March 2017

Ryanair receives fewer complaints than Aer Lingus

Michael O'Leary, chief executive officer of Ryanair
Michael O'Leary, chief executive officer of Ryanair

Jane O'Faherty

Michael O'Leary's plan to be nicer to his customers appears to be paying off as Ryanair received fewer complaints that Aer Lingus for the second year in a row.

Figures from the Commission for Aviation Regulation (CAR) for the first six months of the year reveal Aer Lingus is lagging behind Ryanair in relation to complaints about cancellations, delays and denying boarding to passengers.

Between January and June 2015, the CAR received nearly 50 complaints in relation to flight cancellations by Aer Lingus but received less than 20 similar complaints for Ryanair.

Nine complaints were made about being denied boarding to an Aer Lingus flight, while four such complaints were made about Ryanair.

However, the gap was less significant when it came to long flight delays. Some 75 complaints were received about delays to Aer Lingus flights, compared with 72 for Ryanair. Both carriers received one complaint each for downgrading customers.

The same period in 2014 marked a departure from trends between the two airlines, as complaints against Aer Lingus exceeded those against Ryanair for the first time since 2011.

The CAR received 420 complaints between January and June of this year. According to the report, 97pc of complaints that fell within the CAR's remit were resolved by the beginning of November.

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A Ryanair spokesman said he was "not surprised" by the report, adding that the airline's improvement campaign since January 2014 had led to a better customer experience.

Aer Lingus was unavailable for comment when approached by the Irish Independent.

The report comes as Dublin Airport welcomed almost 22 million passengers since the start of 2015.

The airport said that, with the rest of November and December still to come, it expected to break its record of 23.5 million passengers in 2008. Passenger numbers are up 15pc so far this year.

Irish Independent

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