Ryanair is known for being the ultimate ultra low cost carrier. Not only do they charge for everything, but they basically use the plane as a shopping mall to sell things to people. Ryanair’s CEO has even said that he hopes that in a decade airline tickets will be free, and that they just make money on fees.
Ryanair also has an interesting employment arrangement for their cabin crew. They don’t work directly for Ryanair, but rather are contracted from an employment agency, presumably to minimize the bargaining power that the crew have against the airline.
For most airlines in the west, it’s quite difficult for cabin crew to be fired. Typically people can bid for flights based on seniority, and unless they screw something big up, they’re not going to be punished too badly.
Well, that’s not the case at Ryanair, apparently. Ryanair is punishing cabin crew who don’t sell enough items onboard, including scratchcards, perfume, and alcohol (because when I think of the scent I’d like to have, Ryanair is the first thing that comes to mind).
The Telegraph has the story of how a flight attendant at Ryanair received a letter regarding his/her underperformance in onboard sales, which includes the following tidbits:
“On 100 per cent of the 251 flights in this period you operated you sold no cosmetics,” the letter, seen by the Telegraph, says. “On 73 per cent of the 251 flights in this period you operated you sold no scratchcards… On 86 per cent of the 251 flights in this period you operated you had revenues of less than €50.”
The letter, signed by Grace Meehan, deputy HR manager, reads: “This performance is not acceptable and it is clear that you are simply not doing your job onboard.
“Whilst there may be occasions from time to time where circumstances prevent you from providing service in the cabin to our client airlines customers (turbulence, medical emergencies, etc.) this simply cannot be the case given the vast number of flights where you have drastically underperformed.”
The punishment? The cabin crew member will be losing his/her current roster, where s/he works five days and then get three days off, which is described as “the best roster in the business.” Instead s/he is being put on reserve, where the schedule will only be revealed on a week-by-week basis, to fill in whatever gaps are necessary in the base.
But that’s not all. If the onboard sales don’t improve, further action will be taken, and the cabin crew member could be subjected to disciplinary proceedings.
So if you’re flying Ryanair and feel like you’re at a timeshare presentation, now you know why…