Ryanair 2: trying too hard and not hard enough

So: Michael O’Leary, under pressure from shareholders, seems to have entered a confessional stage.  At a general meeting with shareholders in September, he said: “We should try to eliminate things that unnecessarily piss people off,” adding, “I’m very happy to take the responsibility of a macho or overly abrupt culture. Some of that may well be my own personal deformities.”

Cue new website launched today.

You can see what’s going on.  Smiley faces.  An attempt at a happier, more accessible Ryanair brand.  And a prominent (top right) navigational link to – you guessed it – “Customer Service”. Just to be sure that we believe there is some.

But: when you click on this link, there is still no way to phone or email Mr O’Leary (or anyone else from Ryanair). In fact, under a tab, amusingly entitled “Compliments or General Complaints” there is (a) no phone number and (b) a load of messaging about how behind Ryanair is with its correspondence. You can amuse yourself here.

Overall, the new site is true to the old brand (looks cheap, offers no real interactivity or access) and is laughably transparent in its half-hearted attempts at warmth and customer-centricity.   Sadly, those “personal deformities” (his words, not mine) are still all too apparent.

Feel free to disagree.  Below: