Ryanair Cuts Bag Fees as O’Leary Extends Service Review

Ryanair Holdings Plc plans to slash luggage fees and allow a second carry-on bag as Europe’s biggest discount carrier adjusts practices that had become synonymous with the airline’s notoriously abrasive style.

Fees for bags not checked in online will fall by half to 30 euros ($41.45) at the bag-drop desk and 50 euros at the boarding gate from 60 euros starting Jan. 5, the Dublin-based company said in a statement today. The airline will also trim the amount customers pay to have boarding cards re-issued to 15 euros from 70 euros if they have already checked in online.

“These are the first in a series of customer service improvements which Ryanair is actively working on to make our low fare services easier to access,” Caroline Green, the director of customer service, said in the statement.

The airline is reviewing an approach to flying that’s delivered Europe’s lowest air fares at the expense of only rudimentary perks. With an eye to the digital marketing success of rival EasyJet Plc, Ryanair last month embraced Twitter, now offers its mobile-phone app for free and is planning a range of enhancements to its web site to make it more user-friendly.

Onboard, Ryanair said it will begin operating quiet flights before 8 a.m. and after 9 p.m. when announcements will be kept to a minimum and lights will be dimmed. The carrier also said it will allow passengers to bring a second hand carry-on -- a small purse or shopping bag -- from Dec. 1.

“We are actively listening and responding to our customers,” Chief Executive Officer Michael O’Leary said in the statement. The executive will field questions for a second time on Twitter today. More than 1,500 questions were submitted during O’Leary’s first exchange with customers.

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