Ryanair calls bloggers idiotic and lunatic: Reckless PR threatens results in a major row

Michael O‘Leary has already been named among the worst corporate leaders of 2006 and if you want learn a quick lesson on “˜what not to do as a company head and how not to deal with PR issues‘, then the latest controversy coming from Ryanair Airlines is a fine example to look at.
Image courtesy of clav
It all started when Jason Roe of Dublin, Ireland wrote a blog post saying that while trying to change the timings of his flight, a bug on Ryanair’s website seemed to allow him to book airline tickets for £0.00. What would a “sane” company do? Attend the issue and either thank the guy for bringing that up or ignore it completely. Yet, the company staff went on with a tirade of angry, violent comments on his blog calling the guy an idiot for pointing out the glitch.They even “laughed” at him for using WordPress …

“We very well know about these anomalies (sic) and unless it is not critical we are not going to sacrifice time to this. If you would be a serious programmer you would know these things and would not post any of this on the web.”

And the saga goes on.
Instead of apologizing for their rude and uncivilized behavior, the company‘s top heads decided to issue a statement that really pissed a few of us … “Lunatic bloggers can have the blog sphere all to themselves as our people are far too busy driving down the cost of air travel”.
If this was Ryanair trying to show up online blogging and hoping for mainstream media support, then the strategy backfired big time. Seems like the utterly poor handling of PR has hurt Ryanair dearly for now.
So are you going to fly low cost on Ryanair from now on? That’s what I thought …