Why Ryanair Can Get Away With Calling Itself 'Europe's Number One Airline'
Ryanair is Europe’s most notorious airline among students, backpackers, and budget-conscious travelers. But, in vengeance, some passengers tried to fight against the airline’s claim to be “number one” in Europe.
The Advertising Standards Authority received 13 complaints over Ryanair’s TV, radio, and subway ads that claimed the airline was “Europe’s number one airline.” Those who complained said the ad was misleading, as Ryanair canceled nearly 645,000 flights last year.
After deliberation, the watchdog agency ruled in Ryanair’s favor, saying that their advertising claim was based in fact.
“While we acknowledged some of the complainants’ views of Ryanair were that it was not their personal number one airline due to the recent flight cancelations, we considered they would nevertheless still interpret the claim to be an objective statement about the number of passengers who had traveled on Ryanair flights compared to all other European airlines,” the ASA said in its ruling.
According to Ryanair, the “number one” claim comes from the International Air Transport Association World Air Transport Statistics 2017 report, which found that Ryanair was the world’s largest airline for international flights and Europe’s largest for both international and domestic.
Ryanair also said that its highly publicized cancelations last year (caused when the airline “messed up” pilot vacation time) affected less than 0.5 percent of passengers and does not dethrone its “top airline” claim.
However, this does not mean that the airline is free from legal troubles. In October 2017, a legal firm which specializes in flight compensation accused Ryanair of “defamation, harassment, and unlawful interference” of passengers seeking reimbursement for canceled flights.