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A Kinder, Gentler Ryanair Will Safeguard Your In-Flight Nap

Ryanair's self-service check-in at Stansted Airport, U.K.
Ryanair's self-service check-in at Stansted Airport, U.K.Photograph by Matthew Lloyd/Bloomberg

The European airline famous for its bargain-basement fares, brusque customer service, and fondness for airports far from major cities has been spreading a decidedly different message in recent weeks. Ryanair has combined its new appeal for business travelers with a request from Chief Executive Officer Michael O’Leary for customers to send him suggestions on how to improve the airline’s notorious service.

Today, the Ireland-based airline introduced a slew of new customer-service initiatives, the most stunning of which is a 50 percent cut in the price of checking a bag at the airport luggage drop, to 30 euros ($41) or 30 pounds ($48.50) beginning on Jan. 5. Ryanair likewise cut its checked-bag fee at the gate by 10 euros, to 50 euros ($69) or 50 pounds ($81). The airline said it would eliminate a security code from its website booking process, a time-consuming hindrance that irritated many shoppers. Customers will also be granted a 24-hour “grace period” to correct errors in a booking, such as misspelled names or an erroneous destination. U.S. regulators, meanwhile, recently imposed this provision for tickets sold domestically, drawing complaints from some carriers.