Het is (alweer) oorlog tussen Ryanair en de BBC. Maandag zond de Britse omroep een aflevering van Panorama uit met de titel “Why hate Ryanair”. De Ierse luchtvaartmaatschappij was op de vooravond van de uitzending al zo overtuigd van de aanwezigheid van false claims, dat het beloofde 100.000 gratis zitjes uit te delen per leugen. Zo gezegd, zo gedaan: 1,1 miljoen zitjes voor 11 leugens. De laatste claim luidde:
Panorama claimed that “O’Leary is a bully” – this is clearly false when the whole world knows that O’Leary is a kind and gentle, caring and thoughtful, sensitive and saintly human being widely beloved by all Ryanair’s 6,500 people and its 66m passengers.
Minstens even leuk leesvoer is de PDF met daarin de volledige correspondentie tussen BBC en Ryanair die aan de uitzending voorafging. Een greep uit de vele mails:
BBC: What market do you have in mind for the “Free” seats which you regularly offer?
Ryanair: Is this a trick question? The “market” we have in mind for free seats is any consumer in Europe who wants a free seat. Is this not blindingly obvious?
BBC: Please can you confirm how much a cabin crew member has to pay to train; and what if any guarantees are they given about future employment and contract lengths with the company afterwards?
Ryanair: People who wish to be trained as pilots or cabin crew pay for their own training themselves and then apply to work for Ryanair when they have qualified. I presume you paid for your journalism degree and not the BBC.
BBC: I understand that the Annual General Meeting of Ryanair is on September 24th., 2009, and that this is open to the Press. Please may we attend ?
Ryanair: No. We have no intention of facilitating yet another BBC hatchet job.
BBC: Is there an “ideal” Ryanair customer?
Ryanair: Yes. Any human being with a brain, a pulse and a credit card, who doesn’t want to be ripped off with BA or Easyjet’s high fares and frequently delayed flights.
BBC: A number of people have told us that Michael O’Leary once said of his stsff (sic) that they are “lemons…. we cut them in half, we squeeze the juice and then we throw them away…” Please would you confirm that Michael O’leary has made a remark broadly in these terms?