Ryanair credits customer service changes after passenger bump

Ryanair’s attempts to shake off its reputation for poor customer service appear to be paying off after the airline reported record passenger numbers for December. 

Ryan Air
Ryanair carried 5 million passengers last month, a December record.

Ryanair carried a record 5 million customers in December up 4 per cent on a year earlier. The increase helped bump up its total for 2013 by 2 per cent to 81.4 million.

The budget carrier’s ‘load factor’ – a measure of how full its flights were, remained on 81 per cent, however.

Ryanair has introduced a raft of customer service improvements to woo disgruntled customers that have switched to rivals following two profit warnings in 2013.

Changes already introduced include a 24-hour grace period to change minor booking errors, the introduction of early morning “quiet flights” with nothing other than security announcements, a cut in baggage fees and relaxation of hand luggage rules. 

It has said it will switch to allocated seating on all flights and improve business and family services later this year as well as relaunching its website with responsive design and introducing a “significantly better” mobile app.

Robin Klely, Ryanair’s head of communications, claimed the changes had boosted passenger numbers.

“Ryanair carried a new record of over 5 million customers in December, thanks to the success of our lower fares, easier to use website and customer service improvements.”

The increase in passenger numbers is in line with December YouGov data that showed consumers’ intention to book with the airline on the up as well as improvements in how the brand is perceived. 

It is looking to boost perception further by hiring its first marketing director.

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