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Ryanair changes image as demand weakens

Published Tue, Oct 29, 2013 · 10:00 PM
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[LONDON] Charging 60 euros for carry-on bags deemed too large to go in the cabin. Assessing a penalty of 70 euros for not checking in online. Bombarding passengers who take a 615 am plane with in-flight announcements hawking everything from snacks to lottery tickets to smokeless cigarettes.

Michael O'Leary, the chief executive of the budget airline Ryanair, has vowed to address the criticisms that have made his carrier, Europe's biggest and most profitable, its most reviled.

It is a change of heart motivated mainly by pragmatism. Even as Ryanair has added new routes every few months, Europe's weak economy has taken its toll. Simply put, the company can no longer afford to risk losing customers who would rather pay more to fly on another carrier than endure Ryanair's cattle-car approach.

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