Ryanair undergoing a ‘Customer Friendly’ revolution?

The Independent newspaper from the UK has a story by Simon Calder about Ryanair. At the moment I cannot find a link to the article. However, the interview with Michael O’Leary seems to offer some clues that Ryanair is trying to be more customer-friendly, a lot like their main competitor, Easyjet.

(As an aside, two friends who flew Easyjet last week were pretty impressed – as long as you pay for advance boarding and reserved seating, they rated the only differences between their trip and BA was a free drink and a few Avios points.)

So the highlights of the article are the following:

  • Passengers are going to be allowed to take a small second bag on the plane. Until now this would have attracted a charge to check it at the gate for £60. The bag must be no bigger than 35cm by 20cm by 20cm. This starts in 1 December.
  • The fees you’ll pay to check a bag at the desk halves from £60 to £30 and at the gate from £60 to £50. Still pretty expensive if you try to get an out of size bag on the plane. This starts on 5 January 2014.
  • Customers using the Ryanair web site will have a 24 hour window after booking to correct minor errors such as mistakes in names. This starts on 1 November.
  • One the nastiest charges is that to print a boarding pass at the airport. £70 is the current charge if you don’t use online check-in and print at home. This is coming down, from 1 December, to £15 if you have checked-in online but either lost or been unable to print your boarding pass. If you simply fail to check-in, the £70 fee remains.

An interesting aside is that Mr. O’Leary would like to start transatlantic services, in 3-4 years, from 20 European locations to 20 US locations for as little as £10 plus fees. We shall see!