In case you missed it across the pond, Ryanair just experienced the biggest strike in its history over the weekend. Now angry passengers across Europe are vowing to “bring down” the airline through a sustained boycott.
Strikes at Ryanair bases across Europe on Saturday left over 35,000 people stranded. Many learned only upon reaching the departure gate that their flight was cancelled. Now passengers are banding together across social media to encourage a boycott of Ryanair.
One furious passenger who spoke to the UK Sun essentially sums up what thousands have experienced:
After cancelling our flight on our way to our dream holiday, we were forced to pay for flights with another airline as Ryanair couldn’t get us on anther plane for six days. The last minute flights cost us a year’s worth of savings, on top of what we had already paid out for the holiday, and the costs we incurred due to the delay.
Then they have the cheek to deny us the compensation we were lawfully entitled to and take two-and-a-half-months to refund the cancelled flight. These crooks will never get our money again.
I’ve written about Ryanair’s summer of woes several times:
- Ryanair Finds The Perfect Way To Make Customers Hate It More
- Ryanair Spits In The Face Of Customers
- The Sudden Collapse Of Ryanair
- Ryanair Strikes Expand Across Europe
The situation seems to be getting worse, not better.
A Non-Credible Threat
But if I were Michael O’Leary, Ryanair’s Chief, I would not be too worried…at least about this consumer threat. Passengers will not put up with a permanent cycle of abuse, but over and over we see that customers truly are price-sensitive most of all. A round of fare sales and sincere apologies will bring customers back.
But the labor problems…oh the labor problems. That’s what will not solve itself and will only get worse. Ryanair blames unions for acting unfairly while unions blame Ryanair for being greedy. It’s the same old game and the truth, as it often does, lies somewhere between. Even so, Ryanair cannot sustain strike after strike. It simply cannot.
While the customers may flock back, if strikes make the company so operationally inefficient it cannot profit, it doesn’t really matter. Ryanair must make peace with its labor unions or faces extinction.