IT WAS meant to be a grilling, but Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary has gotten away with being lightly sauteed in his first ever live Twitter chat.
And that was despite the event starting an hour earlier than advertised, with Ryanair having forgotten that the clocks are still on summer time.
Mr O'Leary did reveal that the airline would be introducing electronic boarding passes from next year, as well as a frequent flyer scheme.
But anybody hoping for any meaningful response to any question at the 'GrillMOL' hashtag would be left waiting. While the Twitter chat won over many, it was largely an exercise in how many humorous one-liners the chief executive could muster within 80 minutes or so.
Ryanair has embarked on a campaign to improve its image, trying to make itself softer than the macho attitude Mr O'Leary confessed it might sometimes portray. He was pictured in advance of the Twitter chat sporting a large furry leprechaun hat at Ryanair's office in Dublin Airport.
The outspoken CEO was bombarded for more than an hour with hundreds of tweets, probing him on everything from the inane to the serious.
He still managed to neatly sidestep all the tough questions, but entertained most of the twitterati with his responses to those he did answer.
"What is your favourite place in Europe to travel?" asked one.
"Costa del Gigginstown, 10km outside Mullingar, Co Westmeath, far outsida Dublin," answered Mr O'Leary, who breeds cattle and keeps horses on his estate there.
"Any chance of a child-free area in the plane, even child-free flights ... Would pay extra for same," said Jennifer Dore of Midleton in Co Cork.
"As a father of four under-sevens, I'm with you on child-free flights, but Mrs O'L says no way Jose! Sorry," was the reply.
The questions and answers are invariably abbreviated to enable them to fit the 140 character maximum that Twitter allows for each comment.
"What naughty words are we allowed to call him?" posed one questioner.
"Call me genius, Jesus, Superman, or odious little s**t, whatever takes your fancy as long as you fly Ryanair!" replied the airline chief.
Plane speaking: Top tweets
@digital_times Don’t you just hate moaners and proles? #GrillMOL What plans have you to make @Ryanair even more uncomfortable for people?
@Ben_Yates I’ve sent one #GrillMOL tweet to @Ryanair and already an invoice for £18.50. Or £18.25 if I take their credit card.
@TripeUK How far is Ryanair Frankfurt to Frankfurt to the nearest 100 miles? #GrillMOL
@AdamParsons So #GrillMOL is yet to take off. Now running more than ten minutes late. @Ryanair’s punctuality under scrutiny again
@jamesrquinn Worth pointing out #GrillMOL wasn’t 10 mins late – it was 1 hour early – advertised to be 4-5pm GMT! Ryanair can’t get anything right
@andymcgeady Hi @Ryanair. How much will Michael charge per reply? And are you charging me to send this tweet? #GrillMOL
@andrewtheplane #GrillMOL Why do you abandon passengers at airports and tell them to leave when flights are cancelled?
@Ball00n_knot Are you tempted to make rude unhelpful replies, like your staff? #GrillMOL @Ryanair
@realhatsmatter#GrillMOL Do you have a valid export license for your cattle business?