RyanAir ‘Bans Burkas’: Cheeky Bikini-Clad Stewards Are the Future
MICHAEL O’Leary, chief executive of Ryanair, has a few things to say:
He’s not stressing out passengers; he’s toughening them up:
“I’m certainly not a new man. Neanderthal more like. What the hell’s a man bag? I’d never use moisturiser, I prefer the rugged look.”
He’s seen the light:
“If you go to the gate with the wheels of your bag sticking out it shouldn’t matter. People who have lost their boarding card shouldn’t have to pay seventy quid at the airport.”
You want a feckin’ seat?
“You have this mythical scrum at the boarding gate. People told us they are terrified they won’t get a seat on board. We have to eliminate that.”
Failure to navigate the hard-sell website leads to a premium rate call to HQ:
“It’s painful to go on. We make you go through 17 clicks to book a bloody ticket.”
Being rude was just an accident:
“What we have done in the last few years is alienate loads of people by unnecessarily stressing them out and antagonising them…we were cheeky chappies.”
The RyanAir steward ripping up your boarding cards, barking at you, splitting up families and refusing to get you a drink of water as you wait in a baking hot plane for two hours on the tarmac was just being cheeky.
Treat everyone as a liar you must not help:
What about the man who had lost his family in a fire and was charged £70 to change his ticket?
“Actually it was £110 . . . afterwards we said that, of course, we would refund the money but, not to put too fine a point on it, a lot of people show up and say, ‘My granny just died, can I change my ticket?’ Well no, sorry, not really.”
“We’ve done more for European integration than any other company. We’ve probably prevented wars breaking out because we make it easier for young kids to spend time travelling abroad. That’s what unites Europe, not some bloody policy thing from Brussels.”
Everything has a price:
“The only reason we continue with the [bikini] calendar, apart from the fact it raises £100,000 for charity a year, is that the cabin crew love it… Then the humourless harpies say, ‘Why aren’t there boys?’ Because they don’t selI.”
Ladies… but that’s not gentleman:
“We actually have one of the highest proportion of female board members, two out of nine, 22 per cent. That’s better than most. We are not having them for a gender balance but because they are good. One thing that is driving our customer improvements has been the arrival of two ladies on the board who say, ‘We need to soften this, we need to be less aggressive and macho’.”
Mr Enlightened “certainly wouldn’t allow an air stewardess to wear a burka”:
“I think we should ban burkas here in the UK. If you go to Saudi Arabia and they say the ladies have to veil up, you respect the local culture. Over here we are leaning over far too much for some of these minority religions. If you want to come and live in Western society, I don’t think you should be allowed to walk around with some inalienable right to cover yourself up with only your eyes looking out.”
Come to the lands of the free and we’ll tell you how to dress. In Ryanair UK burkas would be £10 extra.
Spotter: The Times