Archive for the ‘Air Travel’ Category

Ryanair – Is the biggest crisis the attitude?

October 1, 2017

Ryanair - Always Getting Better

Early last week we were asked to comment by the publication Fora.ie about the whole Ryanair fiasco and what we thought of how they handled their crisis.

In a crisis situation we always advise –

  • Don’t hide
  • Quickly establish the facts
  • Be 100% truthful
  • Always provide a solution (or a least be honest about working hard to find one)
  • Don’t be afraid to say sorry (as long as you mean it)
  • Don’t be shy about telling people the good things you are doing

This can be achieved with a combination of holding statements, follow up statements, interviews and implementing any necessary changes.

In the case of Ryanair there wasn’t really a formal apology but Michael O’Leary was door stopped by reporters and did say it was “clearly a mess” but he went on to point out that it was just 2% of their passengers that had been affected. I think Michael is missing the point here about focussing on the good things!

On their website where they have a page dedicated to the cancelled flights they also remind people of this “2%” as well as listing the flights that have been cancelled. They also provide a ‘link’ to a page that directs people to an EU legislation document about entitlements to refunds and compensation.

The words “sorry” or “apologise” don’t appear anywhere!

Ryanair - Cancelled Flights

Understandably customers are irate – Ryanair are not helping the situation by drip feeding news about cancelled flights, their customer contact lines not being managed efficiently and are still overheating their situation by promoting flights at “€19.99”.

Furthermore, they have been denying that part of the problem is pilots leaving to take jobs in other airlines.

This scenario has got even worse with pilots going public with their gripes and painting a pretty awful picture about what life is like working for the ‘low care’ airline.

All of this comes at a time when the airline has been trying to refocus it’s brand with their “Always Getting Better” campaign.

A different scenario? 

So – would it have made a difference if Ryanair were upfront, issued a formal apology and showed genuine empathy with inconvenienced customers and were honest about solutions and assurances going forward?

The answer would be a big “Yes” but there is also a big “But” to contend with.

The effectiveness of this approach will depend on what people feel about the company when embarks on such a course –

  • Do people feel warmly towards the airline?
  • Do they believe that there is a genuine concern for customers?
  • Do they believe that staff at the airline are treated well?
  • Do they believe that this company does charitable work?
  • Do they believe there is a strong moral compass at the airline?
  • Have they communicated the great things (if such things exist) they have been doing to the general public and stakeholders?

Maybe realising this Michael felt there was no point pretending to care?

In a crisis a robust process will definitely help but the best preparation for a crisis is to be good and do good things and communicate this effectively – it is only then that people will be willing to listen to your apology and accept it.

Leopards don’t change their spots and not caring will bite you in the butt eventually.

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications, a full-service agency that offers Crisis Consultancy Services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

Finding the Right Fit – Part 2

September 7, 2017

Norwegian Airlines - Cork to Boston

Five years ago I wrote my first blog which looked at the importance of finding the right fit for your requirements.

This is something I still firmly believe in, and which was reinforced this summer when I travelled on the new Norwegian Air direct flight from Cork to Providence in Rhode Island.

Some people were a little sceptical of this new option, which was billed as a more affordable way to get from Ireland to the USA; saying things along the lines of:

That’s not bringing you directly into Boston, Providence is miles away… a completely different state in fact!” and

But you have to pay extra for your bags and meals.”..

..and yes, they are correct in saying those things; however for me, the flight into Providence was exactly what I was after as I was holidaying in Rhode Island.

And better yet, we travelled for that very reasonable price we kept hearing about!

So what am I getting at here?

I could have chosen to fly in a little “more comfort” with Ireland’s only 4 star airline, directly into Boston; but it would have meant a two hour or more journey to either Shannon or Dublin on this side of the Atlantic, and a similar transfer at the other side; all the while costing me more.

That wasn’t the right fit for me on this occasion, whereas this new option did and so I was more than happy to give it a go and if necessary, learn from my mistakes.

I think the same goes when choosing business partners to work with.

You may have people “advising” you, saying things such as:

You must work with X, Y or Z – everyone who’s anyone works with them” or

They’ve been around for years, they must be the best.

..but at the end of the day, what it really comes down to is whether or not they are going to be able to fulfil your requirements and bring you where you need to be, via the most direct route, and of course, at the best price for you!

When it comes down to it, a business option that compares to Norwegian Air’s offering, where you can pick and choose add-ons as required, is something definitely worth considering – you may find they’ll bring you exactly where you need to be.

Alison O'Brien, Fuzion CommunicationsAlison O’Brien

Alison O’Brien is an Account Director with Fuzion PR, Marketing & Design, who have offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

So you can teach an old dog new tricks after all!

May 22, 2017

Michael O'Leary - Ryamair

I’m still reeling from the shock of the great customer service I just experienced from Ryanair!

I found that there was a simple error on my flight booking for our summer holidays. Without much hope, I got onto the Ryanair “live chat” and after a relatively short wait, someone came on and solved my problem without an issue and – wait for it – are you sitting down? – without any additional charge – even though I had my credit card in my hand!

The Ryanair experience has improved so much that even Greg, my other half, isn’t complaining (well, not as much as usual) that we are using the airline to get us to Italy this year – in previous years he prefered to take an Aer Lingus flight to Paris and then take the train to Milan (beautiful journey by the way!).

So Michael, I applaud you, you turned the big ship (or plane) and set Ryanair on a new course towards good service, putting the customer first and you gotta be reaping the rewards…..

I think this is a big lesson for all of us.

Just because we do something one way, a way that might have built the success of the company, it doesn’t mean we have to stay doing the same thing, just because it’s the way we always did it.

It’s refreshing for everyone to change things up, it’s good to really listen to your customers and even more important, your potential customers and even if it goes against your original core values (or some might argue, lack of them in Ryanair’s case), consider adapting to suit your market in this very changing world.

When you are ready to make that change – the Fuzion team can be there with you every step of the way to help you 😉

Deirdre 

Deirdre Waldron - Network Ireland PresidentDeirdre Waldron is the founding partner of Fuzion

Fuzion Communications is a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design firm with offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

 

Cumulus Clouds and First Women.

August 4, 2016

Aer Lingus - Captain Grainne Cronin

I was having a super meeting with a new client last week, you know those round table moments when everyone is on the same page and all getting excited about the strategy and the jobs to be done to bring this to life.

We started discussing “Leaning In” and progressed to the first Aer Lingus female pilot. I recalled a conversation long ago with my Dad, who trained Aer Lingus pilots. Avoiding answering the question about what I had achieved in school that day, I pushed back to Dad and enquired what had he achieved?

He started talking about how he was training the first Aer Lingus female pilot, and that they had been working in the Simulator that day. Months later I saw a shot on the front of the paper (her first flight was in January, 1978) of Captain Grainne Cronin, sitting in the cockpit proudly, after receiving her wings. (the pic above was a retirement pic in 2010 after 33 years as a pilot)

I headed off to chat to Dad; “Was that the same girl that he was in the Simulator with?” “Yes”, he replied “ and what is going to make her so great is that she saw beyond the Cumulus clouds and really worked hard to achieve her goal. Sometimes when you are a woman you have to push yourself even more to grab hold of your dreams”.

Because of Captain Cronin’s dream and hard work breaking the mould, many other women were empowered to follow their dreams, and Aer Lingus now employs more female pilots that the global average of around 10%.

So let us ladies take a moment and celebrate the ‘first women’, those who break new ground and make the rest of us realise that we can go as far as our capabilities allow: Presidential Nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton, President Mary Robinson, Attorney General Maire Whelan and Chief Justice Susan Denham.

Ladies and Gentleman fasten your seat belts we are going through the Cumulus clouds, Have a safe flight!

Aisling White - FuzionAisling White 

Aisling White is an Account Director with Fuzion PR, Marketing and Graphic Design based in our office in Dublin, Ireland

Things you didn’t know about Ali O’Brien!

July 9, 2014

In this series of blogs we thought it might be a good idea to let you know some of our team a little bit better…that could be scary!

Last time round we had Edel Cox and this time we have Alison O’Brien who was the very first person to join the Fuzion family after Deirdre and Greg of course!

My favourite holiday..

would probably have been one of my many trips to Orlando. I’m a massive Disney (and in particular, Minnie Mouse) fan, and have been going there since I was a little girl. I even managed to squeeze in a few days there on my honeymoon last year.

Minnie MouseIn my opinion Disney is a brand that doesn’t set a foot wrong – it knows its USPs, and has remained true to its values over the years.

My dream car is..

a black convertible Mini (maybe it’s a subconscious connection to my love of Minnie Mouse!). I have a black Mini already and I love it, but if I won the lotto I’d upgrade to a brand new one.

The part of my job I love most is..

seeing my clients in the media and putting a smile on their face. I understand that for any client, undertaking a PR campaign is a big commitment and may even be a little daunting; so it’s great when a client really gets a return for their investment in PR.

My best habit…

at work is probably my persistence…. I’ll keep plugging away if I see the potential in a story/ hook for my clients until I get a result. I’m also very organised. which is useful in this job because more often than now I have to keep a few balls in the air as at any one time as I’ll be working with a number of clients in a variety of sectors.

My worst habit…

I’d prefer if this question asked what is my weakness? I’d certainly say jellies!

Kylie MinogueMy first album was..

Kylie Minogue’s first album ‘Kylie’ on tape!

My hobbies are..

tennis, and I guess I can say running (or jogging more like!) now that the Fuzion girls have completed the Cork City Marathon Relay.

Describe yourself in 5 words..

Happy, positive, organised, competitive, and committed.

If you could be invisible for a day what would you do?

I’d sneak onto a plane and head off somewhere exotic…. Of course I’d let all at Fuzion know that I’d be missing for a few weeks just so everything is covered off while I’m away… but also to make them extremely jealous!

If you were stranded on a desert island what three items would you bring?

Sunscreen, bug spray , and my husband Eoin (he would be my ‘Wilson’).

The best advice I was given was..

“Be good, and if you can’t be good, be good at it!” – take from that what you will 😉

Alison O’Brien

Alison O’Brien is a Senior Account Director with Fuzion PR & Marketing which has offices in Cork and Dublin, Ireland

Vacations and waiting for the Big Idea?

June 3, 2012
Varadero Cuba

Big Idea …Where are you?

I know that whenever I get a break new ideas start coming to me.

The minute you step off that treadmill of “doing“, the minute you let your mind settle and unclutter those ideas come to you. It’s as if all the other “stuff” is a block that prevents that clear thinking that is needed to come up with those fresh ideas.

So what’s happening? … I’m here sitting on the beach in Varadero, Cuba, sipping on a Mojito listening to the waves roll in gently. I’m surrounded by holiday makers lying on the beach, some asleep, some reading, all of them relaxing. A few of the energetic ones are in the water and some are walking the fabulous beach in their bare feet.

I’ve been on holidays for nearly a week now , I’ve managed to unwind (at least I think so) pretty much fully so where are you?

Come on big idea , major insight, incredible revelation…. I’m waiting!!

Maybe the Big Idea is I need to take more breaks!!

If that big idea comes over the next few days, I’ll let you know!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Aer Lingus celebrate 75 years by bringing back the Peanuts!

May 23, 2011
Aer Lingus celebrate 75 years

Peanuts anyone?

Aer Lingus celebrate 75 years by bringing back the Peanuts!”

Can you imagine a headline like this?

While it would seem like a terrible way to celebrate 75 years (On May 27th 1936 Aer Lingus launched its first ever flight between Baldonnel and Bristol, with just five passengers) for me it would be the best possible news to come from our famous airline.

Do you remember the days when flying was a treat and when the smiling hostess would genuinely look after each of the customers with water, orange juice and peanuts?

In so many businesses the level of service has increased but in the airline business the exact opposite has happened with a horrible race to the bottom. The level of service has reduced to such an extent that air travel is now a right pain in the backside.

Aer Lingus seem to be caught in no man’s land trying to compete with the “Low Care” airline Ryanair – I honestly get really cross when I hear people waxing lyrical about the great businessman, Michael O’Leary who proudly boasts about his brand of lousy customer service. While they might make record profits (€401M in the last 12 months), Michael will use every situation and every trick to squeeze a bob out of you – listening to jingles on board selling tickets is not my idea of a good time!

When we plan holidays it will never be to a route serviced by a Ryanair flight – plenty don’t mind so who am I to argue? I don’t want to travel with anyone who values customers in such a way.

Ryanair
Tickets for Ryanair charity anyone?

So, Aer Lingus – go for it … bring back the peanuts, that extra little bit of customer service, take a premium on the price and stop chasing Ryanair to the bottom.

What have you got to lose?

Happy 75!!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion


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