Full Episode | Flights And Fights – Inside The Low Cost Airline | BBC Documentary

Full Episode | Flights And Fights – Inside The Low Cost Airline | BBC Documentary


now ladies and gentlemen I would like to ask for everybody’s attention please low-cost airlines have revolutionized the way we fly easyJet now carries more passengers than British Airways and the giant of the low-cost carriers is Ryanair see the wizard commercial visitor bombs Michael O’Leary is its boss the pheasant he may not look like a tycoon but he’s built a multi-billion pound business that’s all-time in Amsterdam Georgia budget airlines are private by making their planes and their staff work harder for passengers to air travel sometimes feels like hard work I think people don’t like being treated like cattle even the cattle in their lorries get free water and and they don’t have to cope with these things well good evening music this is Talia speaking how can I help the Battle of the low-cost airlines has been a clash of big personalities this inside story our Greek and an Irishman for to turn the airline industry on its head now have a chance to experience more of the world than they used but air travel has the middle of its glamour we do thank you very much indeed to your attention ladies and gentlemen and we hope you have a pleasant flight this afternoon easyJet has 200 planes each makes up to four round trips every day their crews meet up around 6:00 a.m. morning how are we all alright Fitzroy yes outstanding um three colleagues for the day and puts them through their daily tasks of safety Kevin you noticed a milky white buildup on the wind what might we think that this buildup is I would think that it’s a rime ice absolutely it’s bought at the table next to them their pilot and co-pilot check their flight plans and the weather is fine announced fam windy into Gatwick and wind into Edinburgh Gatwick is just one of 22 airports where easyJet faces its planes right so Gavin online yet morning so the issues this morning clearly well the first flights get underway at company headquarters at the Luton Airport senior management meet to review yesterday’s operations ok so we have a challenging weekend so Saturday we’ve had eleven hundred and twenty sectors flown we also have some snow closures in the evening so the daily ops meeting is the one place where the right people get together who can take decisions about the day-to-day operation of the airline we’ve got about five or six engineering issues during the course of the day everyone knows what they’re doing why they’re doing in how they’re doing in so it’s an operation I think that is wrong in a militaristic fashion stelios a Jaguar noon started easyJet with five million pounds from his dad a Greek Cypriot shipping tycoon stelios no longer runs easyJet but he still its biggest shareholder now all told has been a great investment for me I made about a billion pounds in the process so it’s a significant investment I keep an eye on today Stelios also keeps an eye on other businesses he owns and charities he bonds between them stelios a Greek Cypriot and Michael O’Leary from rural Ireland have transformed the way the British fly it probably does take you maybe their Greek mentality and an Irish mentality to kind of come at it from a slightly different angle I think you know I think it was logical that somebody growing a low fare airline business would emerge out of Ireland I think it’s to be fair to Stelios it’s much more impressive that the son of a Greek shipping billionaire who could if he wanted to been spawning around the world in executive jets has made another fortune by offering reasonably priced air travel it’s just not as reasonably priced as Ryan here the low-cost rivals are fighting for traffic all over Europe Katowice in Poland is getting a lightning visit from O’Leary he’s taking in three Polish airports today getting Ryanair’s name in the media I think what I like most today about Poland is your rubbish football team that are even more rubbish than the Irish football team and that’s setting the bar pretty low in terms of rubbish O’Leary has business in his blood he’s the son of an Irish entrepreneur who’d had both successes and failures were you ambitious to make money yes I think one of the great things you learn if your father has made money and lost money a couple of times the great lesson you learn is the not having money and you don’t remember the good times you’ll remember the times when there wasn’t money there and you generally it breeds the determination not to repeat that in your old life Ryanair was founded by tony ryan in the 1980s ryan was a successful businessman who hired O’Leary this is personal assistant in the early days the airline was small and very traditional it was good old-fashioned customer service if there was flight delays we give them food and drink and all the rest work and you get passengers coming up to you who are not delayed had no delay at all and they’re queuing up for their food and everything like that just thanking us it’s Ryanair it’s feeding time at the zoo Ryanair was losing money but tony ryan hoped that deregulation which had helped American aviation would soon come to Europe he sent O’Leary to meet one of the industry’s pioneers he said we’re gonna have one last goal where I go to the states meet Southwest Airlines he arranged to meet he would Herb Kelleher and it was the kind of road to Damascus Morman herb Keller has Southwest did everything Airlines thought they shouldn’t do that they wanted to make money ambassadors take any seat on the plane just like on a bus or a train it didn’t serve full meals just drinks and snacks it made its planes and its crews work more flights per day it just seemed to be blatantly obvious that this was the way forward and that’s what started the revolution in low fare air travel in Europe please go immediately to gate 112 gate 1 1 2 back at Gatwick at 7 a.m. easyJet’s first wave of flights since elites and gentlemen a very good morning to you all and a warm welcome on board this easyJet flight to Amsterdam do you have a special voice yes I do my friends and family always ask me to do my work voice and show them what I say on board and they’ll find it highly amusing the easyJet story began almost 20 years ago travellers between Scotland and London will now be able to make the trip for as little as 29 pounds on a new airline called appropriately enough easyJet but the airline’s young founder business wasn’t privileged upbringing I was suffering from the rich Sun syndrome so whatever I was doing people said it really is really a father’s doing I’m eternally grateful that at the age of 28 he actually gave me the opportunity to do this amazing thing yes son go and prove yourself and of course it wasn’t a guaranteed success maybe wouldn’t have worked it would have been very embarrassing to go back and say in a dad of lost it all psycho leering Stelios made the pilgrimage to Texas to find out how to run I had a big advantage because I’ve never worked in an airline before so I literally travelled a bit on Southwest read a couple of books and the Harvard Business School case study on it and then said okay you know let’s let’s see how we’re gonna make this work Richard Gooding was the manager of a small unprofitable Airport north of London at Luton when he got a visit from a keen young man who said he wanted to start an airline we had seen many people who wanted to start Airlines and they had a sort of common ingredient that they’d been to the bank who’d laughed a lot and then come to us to say but would we lend them the money to get started and he was less interested in planes than in selling tickets he had a theory of something called the ignition price and his his view of the ignition prices if you can get your price down to the what that is the market will explode this was very interesting innovative thinking for us in aviation I know it had happened in other retail industries but in aviation we hadn’t thought like that stelios hired a couple of flames and Lewton what would make easyJet different was its branding stelios felt he wanted to own a color he wanted a color that nobody else was using and orange was his idea and we sat behind a computer screen until we arrived at the most shocking vivid shade of of orange we could find which was Pantone zero to one see I think which is using jet orange orange was telling us his idea for selling tickets easyJet’s call center will take bookings direct from its customers no longer would travel agents get a hefty slice of every airfare it was suddenly possible to cut out the Commission of the travel agent cut out all the accounting of tickets and and save you know the best part of 20 percent I didn’t know what I was doing remember it could have been possible that I could open the airline say we only take bookings over the telephone and the planes could have been empty but I was the right place at the right time good evening is it judge this is tell your speaking how can I help you the low fares Revolution had begun twenty years ago it would have been unheard of for a group of lads to pop off to Eastern Europe for a stag party today it’s nothing special going to Riga in Latvia it’s makes like do and cheaper than Prague is so traps down so there should be should be a good craic don’t forget lower fares have changed attitudes to travel passengers there are in many cases indifferent to where they go so long as it’s sunshine destination or a historic destination depending on what their personal preferences so if it’s Krakow or Prague it really doesn’t matter or if it’s Alicante or Malaga it doesn’t matter it’s the place that determines that to man when you can travel to somewhere like you know flowers we’re on a plane different country different culture for the same price it’s at you to get up to somewhere like Manchester or Liverpool then yeah it’s a bit of a no-brainer really the arrival of low-cost airlines has created work in Riga not least the police soon as we had Ryanair for example we had more and more Brits coming here it’s very easy to find here some cheap entertainment that they concern to go some striptease maybe even prostitution and that it was easy available that brought here a lot of youngsters Riga responded to the influx by setting up a special police department just to deal with the new tourists they were all taught English which they would meet on their nightly patrols the tourist police have learnt how Brits like to enjoy themselves and the night there are many Brits having these tech parties there was one British guy dressed as a spider-man it was like fat spider-man it’s how they enjoy their time here Richard and his friends are already impressed with Regas nightlife not going on lots of different ways you can see it’s really texture specifially favorite box has been really good many locals see the new tourists as a gift from low-cost airlines local sales have been doing really good thing because they are bringing money here a bunch of the tourists come just for the weekends here and they are leaving spending a enormous money only when dawn breaks will the casualties be revealed yes it usually happens some British guys wake up somewhere they don’t remember where they’ve been where are their friends where are they staying so it takes takes and hours to find the place where his thing low-cost airlines are certainly a boost to Regas economy but perhaps not the kind that locals would have chosen all these stag parties going to Eastern European cities do you feel you owe any apologies there I think you’re look wait we’re in low fares airline we carry 80 million passengers a year the overwhelming majority of the passengers we carry each year are families going on holidays businesspeople I think yet the apocryphal stag or hen party is a tiny proportion of the business and I think you’ll find that in most Eastern European cities are in Dublin or in the cities where we bring that stag party or hen party business they’re very grateful for the business the stag parties have to go somewhere inspirational visit to Southwest Airlines just over a year later Tony Ryan offered him the top job as chief executive of Ryanair I really didn’t want to do it I didn’t want the the profile of it and eventually you know I was persuaded to do it O’Leary got to work turning Ryanair into a low-cost airline it was a very simple choice close the airline or cut the costs it was brutal in terms of changing model but it changed dramatically and quickly and Michael was the driver behind that to be low-cost you really have to eat sleep drink and believe in low cost no more stuff for free and when you took away the free stuff guess what lots of people started buying a couple of litres and 200 bags even better than cutting costs was turning a cost into a profit it worked beautifully with the orange juice Finch’s orange juice were trying to break into the UK market so it was very valuable for them even as a marketing tool for people going from Ireland to the UK to be drinking Finch’s orange juice so at the start we were buying that product from them but we had to have a conversation with them then we’ll say we can’t afford to do this and they said ok well we still want to be on board so we give it to you for free and then we discovered that this probably was a marketing opportunity for them so they should pay for the privilege and if they didn’t want to do it we get somebody else so they said ok with papers and then we said you can why don’t you give us the glasses as well Ryanair was soon offering more flights and lower prices of Ireland the fare Lingus and British Airways high prices have kept families apart so now even God was back Ryanair Ryanair was really surprised that they found a powerful marketing agent in the Catholic Church because the priest started preaching from the pulpit reminding their congregations that you know that now they suddenly was cheap flights to Ireland so if they did want to go home and visit their families they could afford to do it and that they should check out Ryanair today easyJet and Ryanair still follow most of the original Southwest formula for how to run a low-cost airline thanks very much thank you thank you Thank You Carly by day thank you very much very welcome thank you about the fight they both rely on quick return its history in a 25-minute stop there’s no time for cleaning staff to come on board so that’s up to the crew it’s amazing what gets left behind even easyJet’s copilot helps out more engine this team has landed in Amsterdam but it doesn’t make much things to them that’s all time in Amsterdam ten minutes and the passengers if you turn around already it’s my time to go whatever passengers might achievement no prospects and mostly blind younger players than the rest of the industry each airline flies only one time easyJet only flies Airbus planes and Ryanair only flies Boeing’s it’s another part of the original low-cost model the older our pilots can fly all the planes we are any one Bangka spares for all those planes the cabin crew when they get onboard know that all the galleys and everything will be in exactly the same spot so it’s simply replicating our simple formula and making it simpler and simpler the more simple we can make it the more lower-cost and efficient it will be there’s a final key part of the Southwest formula that easyJet never adopted but Ryanair has embraced it’s the use of smaller out-of-the-way apples you’re going to Frankfurt they’ll bring you to Frankfurt Han which is about an hour and 20 minutes away you can go to Paris but you go to Beauvais with Ryanair which is a good Arab from Paris so their model has been to develop secondary airports they’re mainly disused old air bases that they got scattered around Europe so this is what you put your cheap flight with Ryanair will get you Connor McCarthy helped set up Ryan as European Network we just lined up these small airports maybe 10 at a time and then did a bake-off try to pick the top three and basically competitive tension did the rest hrus most of those airports had never seen anything like it in the past but the prospects of them getting a daily flight to London was just far too mouth-watering for them to ignore so how do airlines make money from low fares at Ryan Air it’s a strategy of pilot high and sell it cheap Howard Miller is one of the company’s deputy chief executives and its chief accountant our objective is to keep our planes full as much at a time as we possibly can so to that end we are always aggressively targeting the maximum number of bones on seats and every flight we’re less worried about what the average passenger pays on the basis that we have a very low break-even load factor and the fact that every passenger spends about 13 euros on other things such as hotels car houses etcetera Ryanair’s average fare is 40 pounds but that additional revenue including in flight sales it brings the total per passenger up to 52 pounds excluding and passenger taxes on the cost side fuel comes 220 pounds and here’s where being a low-cost airline really counts everything else including the staff the planes Airport charges and financing comes 226 pounds which means there’s a profit per passenger of six pounds keeping costs low enough to make a profit on low fares is hard work the staff in Ryanair’s old cramped offices it means a battle for everything that costs money there is a head of stationery and you you go upstairs and you request what whatever item you want and you usually cross-examined as to whether you actually need them and if it’s a pen you’re encouraged to go to the local hotel and get them and if it’s a if it’s staples they’re given out by line rather than box so I do banners buying by rolls for the staff in Ryanair and I’m happy to supply hotel pens whenever I can I need a pen from the the silver silver’ Hotel in Katowice O’Leary keeps tabs on the bigger items from his desk at the end of the office every Monday at 8:30 senior management is summoned you had a list of items to complete you had a date beside them when the items were given to you if you haven’t achieved what’s what’s on the list then you’re in big trouble O’Leary adopted the practice from his mentor Tony Ryan along with some of Ryan’s personal style razor-sharp mind easy razor-sharp mouth and you need the ability to decimate somebody fairly quickly if if they weren’t thinking in the right direction it was always going to be somebody’s turn and if the hate beam came in your direction it wasn’t a very pleasant experience the word is that you’re pretty aggressive at those meetings I think isn’t that there’s some of that is sort of firm but he call it water font talk you know I think we tried to have a very open culture in Ryanair I would be critical of people who don’t accomplish what they’re supposed to accomplish but people are equally critical of me you know and we I think tried to foster a culture in Ryanair where I think the person who gets criticized most at the London morning meetings is me I don’t think so maybe he saw that way but no I think it was a pretty one-way traffic yeah initially I suppose I’ve been in that meeting for 10 years now so I didn’t like the kind of loudness of some elements of the meeting but yes I’ve long long I can’t remember the last time I cried in the meeting we’ve had a few shouts and stalling out but yeah they’re very interesting I don’t think she’s unique I think there be quite a few people grown-man include us I mean nobody added to my knowledge has ever cried at her Monday morning manager meeting including myself but you know we don’t we don’t hang around it’s we don’t have this you know it’s all we don’t hold hands and sing the company song despite being on the receiving end of O’Leary’s anger many of his managers have continued working with him for years you could have had the worst gouging of your life at half-past 9:00 in the morning and perhaps 211 he’d be sitting in or in your office having a cup of coffee he’s not out there to upset people but it’s certainly a life experience and I’ve developed 2g as a manager because of Michael by 1998 just wait the rest Larry had done well personally too after negotiation with Tony Ryan for almost a quarter of the company’s shares do you feel like you’ve made enough money now I made enough money a long time ago I don’t know what is enough after the elation of easyJet’s inaugural flight there was a drastic fall in to get sales Stella started getting worried you know we were two months in it wasn’t looking good and at that point Stella’s pulled out his checkbook and said spend spend spend in fact I think he said spend a million pounds this week or you’re fired Andersen splurged a couple of million in six weeks producing a blitz of orange advertising in the press and on television we had to fill the planes we had to fill the plane he was very very basic at that stage we have no reputation we had to advertise the telephone number so people would call and get on there and the flight to fill the plane when you spend those sorts of sums of money you expect an effect and we got nothing the public responded the public got the message people could see that we have substance with easyJet making a splash and Ryanair already established the big elements started getting interested in these new rivals it was the first time that we got some acknowledgement of the business model until that moment the discussion was well these things they don’t really work they might not be safe how can they do it for such a low price are they maintaining the aircraft so we went from rubbishing the constant basically to saying it is a valid business model and one who copied British Airways appointed one of its star executives Barbara Cassone to create B A’s own budget airline she began by studying the competition we felt that Ryanair was I mean I call it a flying pub it was just all kind of chaotic and a little bit dehumanizing to customers and easyJet was too orange to my taste I thought you know how much orange can one person take British Airways budget airline go study of us took British Airways to court claiming go back Amish easy gentlemen I was trying to put his airline out of business take nothing away from me so Jeff but I didn’t copy them and in fact what we did was we we looked at all of the low-cost airlines on Southwest in the US as well as Ryanair and easyJet etcetera and we created her own a third one goes inaugural flight it was Stelios who had the last laugh I was wandering around the call center as the folks were taking bookings and one of them came over to me and said you won’t believe who I’ve just taken a booking for Studios had booked 10 seats for himself somebody called the police the police just laughed we got on the flight and Stelios walked up and down the aisle talking to the passengers we decided to give away free easy jet flights to the passengers we’ll go and I think that took the edge out of it because you’re giving people something for free people take it enjoy after a couple of years Kassar knees go started making money but it never got a chance to prove itself da sold it to venture capitalists who in turn couldn’t resist the offer made to them by none other than Stelios all the stars aligned for easyJet and they very shrewdly took out their most effective competitor by allowing go and easyJet to be merged ba really created a huge competitor for itself which was most unfortunate and and I think the British flying public lost a great product have reversed traditional pricing of air ticket in the past if you waited till the last minute you might get a standby ticket at a bargain price Ryanair aims to sell at least 80% of its seats you see we launched route in January and the first flights were in June we will monitor the bookings each month as we go along and in order to have any 80% of the seats sold by the time the first flight us is flown we will know four to five months out the experience of similar routes that we’ve had for a number of years that we need to have 5% so by the end of January 15 percent by the end of February and so on we will know whether we’re over and are below that target and if we’re above it we can increase the fares because we need to slow down the rate of booking or offer below it we need to reduce the fares we track the prices of three flights from London to Berlin as the flight date approaches fares rise but when a flight isn’t selling well enough prices are cut to increase sales in the last few days before these flights the British Airways fare rose dramatically leaving Ryanair the cheapest with easyJet in the middle lovely countryside lovely people lovely food Brenda is one of many British expats in the region there’s areas that are almost like a little England with lots of activities lots of enjoyable things and I’m sure that community wouldn’t have been as large if we weren’t near an airport and the low-cost airlines weren’t available nearby Limoge airport 80 percent of the traffic is to and from the UK passenger numbers have trebled in the past 10 years and the French talk about a revitalization of the area thanks to the British exit I even boasts its own English cafe if the low cost airlines weren’t around my business would definitely suffer for example there are there are lots of Brits who have second homes here so they’ll often pop out for the weekend we wouldn’t see them I don’t think if they had to drive each time just for a few days Sheila Pickering moved to France more than 20 years ago before you could fly cheaply between England and limos it really changed family life because they can just pop over that the family can pop over if we’re having an anniversary over the weekend this would never have happened before you know gun ahve the days when I trust you to go down to the cellar fell 500 pounds the stands have gone with the moving on and we’re moving on very very fast I think the greatest contribution of the concept of the low-cost airline in Europe at its most idealistic if you like is that it creates an environment where people can cross cross borders easily and frequently however balding may sound it promotes peace if the low-cost revolution has led to peace it’s only been achieved through conflict Ryanair and easyJet have argued over which is the cheapest and Ryanair has always admitted it chases controversy as an alternative to paid publicity core of our marketing strategy is always to spend as little money as possible advertising we don’t have an advertising agency we don’t use any advertising agencies we designed them all ourselves with a group of young kids who get together once or twice so we can come up with ideas for new ads and the more controversial the funnier the more humorous they are the better a classic Ryanair ad featured the Pope whispering to another the 4th Secret of fátima Ryanair paid for it to appear in just one newspaper that ad went all over the world kind of annoyed a lot of people offended some Catholics and it was seen as a you know a really cheeky and I’m kind of pushing the bullshit boat out but you know for the publicity it garnered it was probably the best ad Ryanair has ever placed in in its history tonight on watchdog the boss of Ryanair who says he wishes he could charge extra for fat people and she used the loo budget airlines get plenty of publicity they don’t have to pay anything for the BBC’s consumers show us send it more than one complaint a day easyJet and the same for Ryanair hello and good evening and welcome to watchdog tonight so many people get caught out and it’s very common for the complaints we get to end with you know I will never fly with them again and I want to warn anybody else not to make the same mistake we did Michael O’Leary the rider boss has been listening to all that as long as you’re talking about Hasan I know we’re doing a good job okay you’ve done away with check-in desks what’s next in many ways Michael Leary is a journalist and a broadcasters dream because he just comes out with fantastic quotes but I think all of us have to be a word that he is very media savvy and he will use us for his own ends if you like height fares don’t book Ryanair if you want the guaranteed lowest fares in Europe fly Ryanair it’s a very good commercial now welcome to our very special Ryanair right I’m sorry it’s a bit O’Leary makes journalist its jobs easy by coming up with stories that write themselves whether or not they’re true we are as you know working hard on a plan to charge for the toilets so that we can take myself microreel under them we arrived in to Gatwick and Michael needed to use the bathroom of course we’ve no money no change so we had to go and buy a can of coke in order to get the money in a course then somebody asked about hidden charges well actually tell you about hidden charges I go to charge to go to the bathroom and of course love Michael says something like that that media coverage is absolutely enormous so it’s not it’s not what actually the message is is the fact that you’re in the media generating lots of free publicity that we’re using ultimately to convert into substantial profits Caroline greed must deal to the fallen from O’Leary’s remarks he might make a comment in the press whether it’s putting porn on the aircraft or toilet you know paying for the toilets or some other he’s standing up on aircraft people think they’re ridiculous but they do believe it to a certain extent but we all know that that’s what my clears and you know I would prefer that the some of the comments weren’t made but that’s that that’s publicity we are still married to clear up once and for all some of the myths you want to charge people to use the point thoughts you want to have people standing up at the back of the plane is that still it’s never been a plan would you like to know is there a rule against Orion air staff charging their personal mobiles in the office yes it’s one of the great PR initiatives does anybody a paid ban no they all charge at their mobile phones but makes for great PR if man we’re so focused on not wasting money that we don’t even allow people to charge up their mobile phones today easyJet is launching a new route to Moscow while they’ve always been seen as rivals easyJet and Ryanair mostly slide at different hours only a small proportion Brits now they’re diverging even more easyJet wants to appeal to business travelers Russia’s outside the deregulated EU so this route needed government approval what was really good it was that we were awarded this and I think it showed that we have the credibility to fly the route and it is predominantly a business route so I thought it said quite a lot about east jet today the goal is making the most of us last year easyJet started offering the science seats instead of the usual low-cost practice for finding a seat when you board the called annuities make an easyJet more like a traditional airline and moving away from the low-cost we are completely a low-cost airline in our operating model completely we are also a low fares airline to the passenger so what I think a passenger doesn’t say is I’m going to fly a low-cost airline today they just don’t use that terminology they think yeah low fares good value great service I’m off I’ll try you jet in Moscow easyJet’s party of journalists and business people are entertained at a local restaurant the highlight is a performance by a couple of easy church cabin do not the things appear to be going well for easy jerk its despite the long running battle over different visions of its future surprisingly its easyJet’s founder who’s skeptical about how much more can be achieved he’s worried that rising fares caused by rising fuel prices and higher charges by airports are eroding the company’s profitability you know the the available opportunity to grow this business must have gone down because the costs have gone up as easy Jets biggest shareholder he wants to stop the company buying new planes every airline at the end of the day goes back because it buys one aircraft too many that flies on one unprofitable route and multiply that by a hundred and fifty and you end up like Pan American TWA and other great names of the sky stelios his fears are at odds with easyJet’s management the airline not buy any more planes we would be in decline and we believe that we can continue to grow as I said to grow profitably and deliver returns to shareholders welcome easy and for their first flight and more opportunities for more Russians come and see more president much more scope is that the load was all days to grow well average rim now makes more than three or four flights a year in France it’s less than two and in Poland it’s less than one flight every two years in place if the rest of Europe starts flying as much as the British low-cost airlines should continue to do well but Stelios has his doubts I mean some of these countries that display very low propensity to trouble is because they live in a very beautiful country in the first place remember you live in the UK and you’re sort of conditioned over the last three four decades that holiday means getting on an aeroplane and going to the Sun mostly away from your country because your country doesn’t have Sun but this doesn’t happen in the South of France and in Spain and in Portugal they live in the Sun already McCall insists easyJet can keep growing and beat its biggest low-cost competitor in the all-important opinion of customers the difference between these generally is that we have really good service on board and on the ground and we care about our passengers there’s a big difference there you don’t think Ryanair cares about a passenger I’ll leave you to judge that I think I think we’re the airline that people love to hate here there’s the sensationalism that comes out of Michael’s interactions with the press but underneath the covers were an incredibly efficient airline we’re today announcing and celebrating four new routes here at candidature both easyJet and British Airways the strategy remains what it’s been since they Larry took over we cannot offer a little fair without having a really little car space so that means if we have to get up in the morning and have a fight with everybody we will we’re absolutely determined to do that any of the carriers that we have seen that have failed have all lost one thing they lost control of their car space and you do that in this industry at your peril this is a very very competitive industry very very capital-intensive and if you’re not in control your car space you’ve got lots of problems coming your way Ryanair has demonstrated its confidence in the future with an order for a hundred and seventy-five new planes from Boeing I still have this vision that in time the flights would be free but we’ll get paid for all the other optional services around now we’re not quite at that level yet but you can really begin to say to people around the UK and Europe your flight will cost twenty quid in five years time but it costs ten quid and then in ten years time it might cost five quid then we’ll be carrying five hundred million passengers and why not a realistic ambition and one of the most successful executives in the business or just another piece of O’Leary’s spin you decide how many more cities today then two more cities today we do next is Wroclaw and then back home Dublin should be back in the office by about four o’clock these work has to start

100 thoughts on “Full Episode | Flights And Fights – Inside The Low Cost Airline | BBC Documentary

  1. If they are not very careful you will go the same way as WOW and Norwegian. Growing to fast will kill you very fast.

  2. Mr O’Leary has to be one of my best CEOs in business along with people like George Hots and Elon Musk. Stellios looks to be just as most other rich elite yea he started a budget airline but it was and is only about the money for him.

  3. now that human life has a value ( its $200k btw) now Capitalism can factor that in and cut corners so long as its more profitable then that human life figure…. Big pharma and food companies do it the most… but airlines do it on maintenance

  4. A greek-cypriot? not worth it….I support the Turkish side. The greek junta could not interfere, the British for some reason did not respond , as one of the guarantees so it was Turkey which did their part…somehow the Greek side tricked it's way into the EU.

  5. Jet planes are destroying the environment with pollution from fuel. Destroying the environment should never be cheap nor affordable.

  6. Apart from the sound insufficiency, this documentary lacks information. It seems to be a lopsided praise in favour of both RyanAir and EasyJet. The downsides are left out. Not one, not ten, but all of them. For instance, where do these airlines cut costs? What about the personnel? While it is hinted at that they do things differently, there is not the slightest insight into that. Yet it would have been vital for any serious documentary.
    Instead, this movie is obviously just another marketing stunt, native advertising at its worst. Well, I am not in a position to object to the British people paying for such immense ad campaigns they are inundated with as this one — I am not one. But I recall the BBC as being one of the, if not the sole, role model(s) of informative documentaries. Back in the days. When broadcast ethics werre still in effect. I do not understand how an institution such as the BBC can spread such hardly disguised advertisements.
    I am not an opponent of those companies (I even reckon them pretty good, from a customer perspective), I am just an opponent of highly corrupted media coverage.

  7. Can you imagine if Stelios had told them to spend 1billion pounds sterling in that one week or be fired?

  8. And I thought United sucked. Eventually Ryanair will just hand people a parachute and open the back door.

  9. That just leaves me to wonder what will both of them do once the United kingdom leaves the EU and with it the common airspace

  10. The staff of those airlines are suffering Stockholm syndrome – a condition which causes hostages to develop a psychological alliance with their captors as a survival strategy during captivity.

  11. How do you have $5 million in the airline industry?

    Start with $10 million and work you way down…..LOL

  12. A very interesting experience for me was to watch most of the YouTube videos which highlight difficult landings due to weather, in most cases high wind at angles across the runway. To my surprise, the budget airlines appear to have the most capable pilots (Ryanair and Easyjet. I know this is a small sampling and in no way properly represents airlines staff proficiency but having observed the relative skills demonstrated by major airlines in number of go-arounds and the skill in setting aircraft down safely in extreme conditions I would happily fly with Ryanair or Easyjet.

  13. Contrary to most comments here, I think it was a good watch from a business perspective. Good job @BBC

  14. Lol is prostitution illegal now that brits want some? Or is it just the money rising ur not being able to tax??

  15. 10:07 still couldn't of started without dads money yes it worked out but not without the money for daddy to start

  16. I bet Ryan air flys planes that are not safe and that’s were these shit airlines cut costs as well one off the planes will end up in a bottom off a ocean

  17. South west have around 1000 planes and they treat employs really good. Not like these two! Also they only hire highly skilled pilots. Thats how you run safe low cost airline

  18. The music, the music. Who's working the mixing desk on this show. Turn down the music BBC so that we can hear what's being said!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. freaking tone down music while orating. I stopped watching at 6.42. I was looking forward to see the video but couldn't tolerate any longer.

  20. I mean sure it's low cost and you get nothing on board, but who cares, the flights are short, relatively cheap and fast, it's basically like a bus.

  21. Even flying across the US I seldom eat anything. It's silly for shorter flights to expect any food. British people are like we Americans–to fat anyway!

  22. These “wize” CEO’s are making money over the employees shoulders with a excuse of being a “low cost” airline. A first officer cleaning the airplane? Come on! Trash companies!

  23. I've used all the low cost airlines from the UK…..yes it's basic and you get what you pay for….but Ryanair is the worst by far. The worst airline in the world without a doubt….(and I've tried some rough ones in Africa, Asia and South America)….haven't touched them in four years.

  24. Nice BBC doc, but I prefer american NBC short doc style. Why should I wait for a 50 minutes video instead of a 15 minutes one to know what I need. It's obsolete like British Airways.

  25. Really interesting how markets differ. In South Africa, low cost airlines owned by legacy airlines rule the market. In fact, Mango, the budget airline owned by state owned South African Airways is the only part of the company actually making any money. Its biggest rival, Kulula, is owned by Comair (which also operates British Airways domestic flights in SA) is the only airline in the world that has made a profit for every single year of its existence.

  26. i didn"t see my family for a decade but thanx to low cost fair i have finally been able to visit . it got me from point A to B and that's all i care about.

  27. Folks never change. They want everything cheap but then complain that it's not first class caliber. Wait for it! You get what you pay for.

  28. Yes, low cost. Low expectation. Negligible customer respect and service. REALLY uncomfortable seats(planks of wood are more comfortable), no leg room at all, useless staff especially at Gatwick and Stansted

  29. I left a book on a Canadian Airlines plane in Hong Kong once. Got me a weekend with a flight attendant 🙂

  30. People don't like being treated like cattle but they sure don't complain about the extremely low fares. You can't have champagne caviar on a beer bottle budget

  31. I've flown all my life on all kinds of planes to all kinds of destinations. I got to each one alive. So I don't understand the pissing and moaning of plane passengers. It's not going to be for the rest of your life to sit in that seat. You're going to get where you're going eventually. What possible good does it do to get upset? Just get on the plane, sit down and shut up. Read a book, sleep, listen to the free music and watch the clouds around you and in a bit – voila! – you're there. A miracle. What's the problem?

  32. Ahhhh, the brits… the only ones that can give us yanks a run for the money for most unwelcome tourists.

  33. The government-funded BBC tirelessly attacks all competitors to their government-funded buddy–British Airways.

  34. As long as the head of this airline don’t take monies for their own pocket and ensure aircraft go through the required checks , cracks etc and don’t skim on maintenance then their real staff on the front line don’t loose their lives

  35. I would say there is a big difference between Southwest's use of alternative airports v. Ryanair.
    Most of the time Southwest uses alternative airports that happen to be just as, if not more, convenient than the major airport. For example, Chicago Midway, Dallas Love, Houston Hobby, Burbank, Long Beach, and even Oakland. I'd argue that BUR, MDW, and sometimes OAK are better airports than LAX, ORD, or SFO for access to the urban core.
    Ryanair basically gets you to the right country.

  36. So EasyJet is courting business travelers. Yeah, right, I can just picture some poor "road warrior" having to travel on EasyJet or Ryanair. After a few trips he or she would flee for their lives. If you have your company people traveling a lot you need to do a few things for them to keep 'em on the road, and traveling by LCC is NOT one of them.

  37. Ryanair seems like a ruthless employer. The office staff have to beg for supplies, are you kidding? Berating all levels of staff even the management? No wonder customers are treated like shit. But you get way you pay for I guess… I think I'd rather go with easyjet. But they're right, I'll usually pick the lowest fare (depending on the layovers).

  38. All these European's complain about these Airlines, meanwhile in the U.S. I wish we had an airline like Ryanair so we could travel a whole lot more often.

  39. I was a bit upset when I knew EasyJet wouldn't fly to Russia any more. But BA were actually pretty good 👌🏻

  40. If you . . . the customer, demands service WITH a low initial price . . . gonna have to pay extra . . . GUARANTEED ! 😱💋🍀

  41. Hopeless BBC not able to make a documentary without a lousy music on the background. Even amateurs wouldn’t fall into this trap. What’s next with BBC? Last to watch if ever to know anything in the real world, propaganda first of course.

  42. Herb Kelleher really led the way. he equated flying to busses in the sky and that's how he operated it. He was right to this day the number one thing passengers care about the most is cost. Southwest, Easyjet and Ryanair all follow the same platform, very cheap seats if booked way in advance and the fill every seat and ignore every complaint because no ones paying enough for a ticket to afford voicing their opinions

  43. After watching this,I have changed my mind.In recent months,I have heard negative propaganda against Ryanair.In Portugal especially,the employees are trying to force the management to succumbe to their demands by going on strike.It´s obvious they dont value their jobs.The unions are trying to destroy free enterprise.It´s better to get unemployment,obviously.I wish both Ryanair and Easyjet all the best for the future and thanks for making flying so inexpensive today.

  44. cattam air flys 737 max into the united states 787 in europe and greenland
    a318 -a319 in cuba jamica st baths st kitts st lucia domiocan republic st martain antiega

  45. If I lived in England, I'd never be home…..low fares to see Europe….I'm there. I'm not flying for the staff or snacks…I'm flying to go somewhere I've never been.

  46. I didn't see any money going into maintenance of those planes. If they will low ball office supplies they sure aren't going to pay a quart of a million for a fuel part. It's just a matter of time before this "low cost" is going to cost lives and millions to the airlines and owners. You get what you pay for. Not only that the guy the runs it isn't the kind of person I would support, low cost or not.

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