From a customer’s point of view, I had a certain amount of satisfaction reading about the outcome of the “Pinocchiogate” court case this week. I’m sure you would have heard it in the news, but the topline is that Ryanair ran some advertising in the press featuring Stelios Haji-Ioannou with a long Pinocchio nose and implying that Easyjet flights are usually late which is why they had not updated the “flights arriving on time” statistics on their website.
Having suffered numerous delays and other perceived injustices at the hands of both of these airlines more times than I would care to remember, the publicity surrounding this case made me smile for the following reasons:
Firstly, Michael O’Leary had to apologise “unreservedly” to Stelios for the slander (and pay him £50K plus court costs). That must be the first time Mr O’Leary has said sorry to anyone who has been wronged by Ryanair without adding words to the effect of “we’re the cheapest airline and Europe, so like it or lump it”. Must have been pretty hard for him to get those words out of his throat without choking I would imagine.
Secondly, even though Stelios won the court case, there may be a certain amount of negative publicity generated by the whole affair with people thinking “no smoke without fire” concerning Easyjet’s punctuality. My personal experience with them is that if you get the first flight of the day at 6am you’re generally going to arrive at your destination on time. If you get a flight in the evening though, well that’s another matter.
I’m now eagerly awaiting the next stage of their public relations war with bated breath.