Ryanair Boss: You Want Service? Try Another Airline
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 1, 2009 7:27 AM CDT
Ryanair chief Michael O'Leary gestures while speaking during a media conference in Brussels.    (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo )
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(Newser) – The budget-airline boss who's thinking about charging passengers to use the bathrooms on his planes wants you to know that he doesn't feel a bit bad about it. If you expect to be coddled, Michael O'Leary tells the New York Times, Ryanair's not for you. O'Leary—famed for his rudeness and his readiness to tack on every possible extra charge to keep ticket prices low—is just about the only airline CEO who has anything to boast about these days: Ryanair expects passenger numbers to jump from 58 million to 68 million this year while rival airlines flounder.

This despite what the Economist calls "appalling customer service, misleading advertising claims and jeering rudeness.” O'Leary is unrepentant: "Our customer service is unlike every other airline, which has this image of, ‘We want to fall down at your feet and you can walk all over us and the customer is always right,’ and all that nonsense." O'Leary says all that counts is low fares, a good on-time record, few cancellations and few lost bags. Speaking of bags, he's mulling the idea of making passengers carry their luggage out to the plane.