I can see every single day how Ryanair treats their passengers – and that gives me more than enough reasons to write an open letter to the boss of Europe’s most delayed airline. – Eve Buechner, CEO and founder of refund.me

 

Dear Michael,

You did it. Ryanair, your airline, has become Europe’s largest airline. It is even bigger than Lufthansa with regard to transported passengers. 

You predicted it many years ago, when nobody took you seriously. Today, more than 100 million people fly with Ryanair every year. This is a great success. It is your success.

But it is also your employees’ success. They work very hard for you, but you don’t treat them the way they would deserve to be treated.

Eventually, it is also your passengers’ success. You should be grateful because they appreciate low fares and are ready to put up with inconveniences. For example, they put up with frequent delays.

It is striking how unpunctual your flights are. And I suspect I can tell why.

My name is Eve Buechner and my company is refund.me (https://www.refund.me/). We assist airline passengers in securing compensation for flight delays, cancellations, overbooking or other reasons for missing flights. Under an EU regulation covering the air passengers’ rights (https://www.refund.me/airline-passenger-rights/ ), they are eligible to up to 600 EUR compensation. 

More and more people contact us because they heard that we are doing a good job. We receive the most complaints because of delays or cancellations of Ryanair flights.

I don’t think this is a coincidence. I think you are well aware of these delays because you want to make even more money. At the expense of the people who trust you to get them to their destination safe and sound – and on time!

That’s why I sat down to write you a letter.

Please don’t get me wrong. Just like you grew up in rural Ireland, I grew up on a farm – in the GDR. We both know what it means to work hard and save money. Not always everything works out the way we want and I take my hat off to what you managed to achieve in your life. Heading an airline with international destinations is an enormous challenge and very often, the circumstances make it even harder. Bad weather, strikes, terror warnings, sick pilots and so on. 

I have the greatest respect for what you have done.

You yourself are said to own assets worth several hundreds of millions of Euros I think everybody has a right to wealth, in particular when it was not gained at the cost of other people. Of course we all wonder how it is possible to get rich in a fair and decent way. And I think it is possible.

Dear Michael, but I am afraid you are not among those who played fair after all.

Many of your pilots are said not to get paid when they get sick. There are rumours that some of them earn less than 1,000 Euro per month. Moreover, there are allegations that you coerce the majority of your pilots into bogus self-employment. For this reason, Ryanair is suspected of tax fraud and evasion of social security contributions in Germany and France. There are also many flight attendants who get paid only for the hours they spend in the air. When the aircraft is down on the ground and the cabin crew has to wait, they don’t get paid. 

And there are rumours that your pilots are forced to fill as little fuel as possible since you want to save on this, too.

I am not the only one who considers this risky, but aviation experts agree with me, too.

“Bye-bye, Latehansa,” is what you once said. But according to our statistics, Lufthansa is less delayed than your airline. Your statements made me laugh for quite some time. Announcing toilet charges and extra fees for overweight passengers were quite effective PR jokes. But your allegation that “Germans would crawl bollock-naked over broken glass to get cheap airfares” is disrespectful.

There are fewer and fewer things about Ryanair I still consider funny. If exploiting employees is so clearly part of the business model and when frequent delays (https://www.refund.me/flight-delay/) are so obviously part of the calculation, it gets very nasty.

I am a German businesswoman, and a mother who tries to raise her three sons to become respectful, decent and at the same time successful men. It is of great importance to me that my boys develop a sense of fairness and diligence. But what should I tell them once they understand that someone like you doesn’t care about fairness and still keeps getting rich despite his behaviour?

Michael: Ryanair and your ego – you are both big enough now. You should behave in a way that is fit for a market leader when dealing with your crew and customers. I think only once your profitable business will become a responsible business you will be a real, unbeatable leader.

All the best,

Eve

 

About Eve Buechner

 Eve Buechner studied business administration, graduated from the Henri-Nannen-Schule for journalism and worked as a news anchor (Sat.1, ntv, mdr). After her first son was born, she quit television and founded refund.me (https://www.refund.me/) the global service provider for travel compensation for airline passengers who are entitled to compensation under EU legislation (EC) 261/2004 covering delays, cancellations, missed connections or reroutings. refund.me (https://www.refund.me/) has more than 40 employees all over the world. Eve Buechner and her three sons live in Potsdam, Miami, and Palo Alto (California.)

 

About refund.me

 Founded in 2012 by entrepreneur Eve Buechner, refund.me (https://www.refund.me/) assists individual airline passengers and business travel buyers in securing compensation for flight delays (https://www.refund.me/flight-delay/), cancelations, missed connections, and re-routings under European Union (EC) 261/2004 legislation.

 

Caption:

Eve Buechner, former anchorwoman and founder of refund.me (https://www.refund.me/)