Richard Aldous: Is O'Leary going to put the cheerful back into cheap?
Speaking at Ryanair's annual general meeting yesterday, chief executive Michael O'Leary told shareholders that the airline would rethink its "abrupt culture" and "try to eliminate things that unnecessarily piss people off".
This comment comes after readers of consumer magazine 'Which?' voted Ryanair the worst of the biggest companies serving the UK market. A new friendlier approach to customers is something that Ryanair founder Tony Ryan would have welcomed.
When Ryan started the airline in 1985, he wanted it to be a cheap competitor for Aer Lingus. But he also wanted it to be cheerful. Advertising campaigns were tongue-in-cheek. There were regular PR stunts in the airports. Everything about Ryanair shouted that you could pay more money to fly Aer Lingus if you wanted, but whoever you were, you'd have more fun on Ireland's new airline.