Ryanair to slash charges and allow extra baggage in customer service revolution

Low cost airline Ryanair appears to be making good on its promise for a customer service revolution. On Friday Ryanair announced it would be cutting charges and allowing extra baggage on flights, in order to address customer concerns over poor service.

Ryanair will allow passengers to bring a second piece of hand luggage onto its airplanes without being charged, and has promised to correct booking errors within 24 hours. The fee charged for reprinting boarding passes for passengers who checked in online will be cut from £59.63 to £12.78. Ryanair's infamously expensive baggage fee will be slashed from £51.11 to £25.55.

The move comes as part of Ryanair's new customer service strategy which began a little over a month ago. So far the new approach appears to be yielding positive results, giving Ryanair a better image in the minds of UK customers. Stephen Shakespeare writing in City A.M.:

Ryanair’s UK Buzz score, which measures what consumers are hearing about the brand, is up five points, going from minus 33.6 to minus 28.7.

This still means people are hearing more bad than good about Ryanair, but it is a big improvement, particularly in such a short period of time.

Also, the number of British consumers who say they would consider flying Ryanair has risen from 13 per cent to 15 per cent. The percentage of people who say they will buy Ryanair tickets has also modestly increased, from 3.4 per cent to 4.4 per cent.

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Despite an improving public profile, Ryanair still has a mountain to climb in terms of reaching its target passenger number of 110m in the next five years, and is facing fierce competition from rivals such as EasyJet.