[Brand reputation] According to my LinkedIn, Ryan Airlines is the best and the worst – and they might both be true!

Estimated read time: 3 minutes

Communication and public relations can be interesting. As you know, I like to travel – in part because of all the stories you get from it. But this somewhat of a travel story, I didn’t even leave Cedar Rapids for. Due to the In the News feature on LinkedIn I saw the news that Ryan Airlines, which I’ve never flown, called itself Europe’s Favourite Airline while it was also crowned the worst of the United Kingdom.


They even added the “favourite” to their LinkedIn name, which is why it’s showing up right above the headline in the media calling it the “UK’s worst airline.”

I know why marketing teams like to add things like that to headlines, website copy and everywhere. People believe it, but marketing website copy just has to be backed up by something. Read this: Do this when website copy throws around superlatives.

There is plenty of negative coverage and commentary about the airline online:

Why I don’t mind flying Europe’s most-hated airline

Top 10 ways to survive flying Ryan Air

The reviews on Yelp are overwhelmingly low:

Interestingly, American Airlines’ ratings are even lower and as you know, I have great experiences personally with American and lots of people fly them, too. Ryan Airlines, according to the Evening Times of Glasgow is calling itself “favourite airline” not because the service is so good, but because it’s the largest.

“… the claim was based on the most recent International Air Transport Association (IATA) World Air Transport Statistics 2017 report for air travel in 2016, which found Ryanair was the world’s largest airline for international flights and Europe’s largest airline for international and domestic flights combined.” Source

So that’s two different things:

Ryan Airlines says it’s the biggest, but according to The Guardian it’s also becoming the airline more and more people are refusing to fly.

In the latest customer service survey:

“passengers gave the airline the lowest possible rating for boarding, seat comfort, food and drink, and cabin environment.” Source

But it also made $2.2 Billion in a recent year!

So they are measuring two different things here and I can’t say I blame the airline for doing that. If it was really that bad, stop flying them! But from a brand reputation perspective I still find it amusing that they have the favourite airline thing so prominent that it’s even in their name and shows up in people’s feeds that shows positive AND negative news stories of people and companies that we follow. It’s just interesting and kind of funny.

My recommendation to companies would probably be to not overdo the chest bumping and just use their name only in the name field on social media. I know, I know, it seems to be working as plenty of people fly them and they make a ton of money, but from a public relations standpoint, it might be a bit much.