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VINE VOICEon October 5, 2004
I bought this book in Ireland and read it on the way back on Aer Lingus. The author writes well and does an in-depth study of the airline and how it came into being. She gives all the right personalities their due and carefully details the airline's move from its Ireland UK routes to its expansion in Europe. She effectively strips Michael O'Leary of his PR star status making him out to be juvenile, abusive, deceitful yet an effective swashbuckling airline buccaneer. When I came to the part about the way the Ryanair mistreats the disabled by charging them for the use of wheelchairs and making them claw their way up the plane's steps on the tarmac, the thought rocketed into my mind that I would exercise my rights not want to fly Ryanair even - if the price was free.
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The story of how discount airfares came to Europe is no fairy tale. This book is a disturbing story about the underside of deregulating Ireland's airline industry. It's a tale of temperamental executives, overspeculation, greed, government intervention, mistreated customers and the challenges of free market operations. Given a wealth of material and an exciting industry, author Siobhán Creaton delivers a well-written, engaging corporate tale. The cast includes a combustible mix of powerful personalities who sometimes, but not always, tolerate each other. There is also a revolving door of top executives who serve the company's purposes and leave, as well as horror stories about how cost cutting created festering customer relations. Creaton packs this into an exciting story that moves quickly, though it rambles now and then. We recommend this compelling profile to anyone interested in corporate case studies, executive management or modern aviation.
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on January 17, 2013
I hate reading books normally but Ijust find out how amazing ryan air can be so successfull with the motto the c ustomer is never right at ryanair loL! must read book if youre interested into these aspects
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on January 5, 2005
Thanks to Amazon I could read this book because it was not available at any book shop in Portugal.

The author cleverly writes about all that happened from the very beginning giving a very good idea of how Ryanair was born. She points out the way that CEO Michale O'Leary achieved the control of the company by adopting new ideas and giving great motivation to the Ryanair employees.

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on January 7, 2005
This is a great book that I couldn't put down until I read it entirely!

As a frequent Ryanair customer, saving big money every time I travel, I always tried to imagine how such a great airline could charge so little for airfare and continue to make a profit(or stay in business). As a school project (Economics) I chose to research Ryanair's success story and discovered this book. I even drove 4 hours (round trip) to get a copy! This book answered all of my questions and I am still fascinated with this company!

Regardless of Ryanair CEO, Michael O'Leary's 'colorful' personality and his ability to stir up the media, his tenacious efforts continue to drive the company to the top of the airline industry. Some of his comments, outbursts, and responses that are quoted throughout the book, had me rolling with laughter! The humble beginning Ryanair endured through the 1980's is a very inspiring story of persistence that brought radical changes to the way we travel today.

Not only is this a good read about this company, however anyone interested in overcoming great adversity will be inspired and motivated to never give up on their dreams.

A great book that is worth the money (as well as a 4 hour drive)!
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on January 6, 2008
This is an excellent, well written, well edited brief history of Ryanair, and by default, Michael O'Leary. Creaton does not pull any punches when describing O'Leary's methods for dealing with conflict, but she does not take sides. Love him or hate him, O'Leary took a near-bankrupt airline and turned it into a legimate world-class carrier.

Creaton also spends a great deal of time explaining the role of Tony Ryan, and how O'Leary intially advised the Ryan's to close the airline, and only at Tony's incessant goading did O'Leary agree to take on the task of making the airline successful. Tony Ryan is as much a part of the airline as O'Leary, although much more low key.

Michael O'Leary is a lot of things...and he would be the first to admit it. When accussed of being Tony Ryan's bagman, O'Leary replied, "I've always been Tony Ryan's bagman!"

Creaton clearly conducted extensive interviews and an enormous amount of research to write this book, and it shows. Give it a read!
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on May 29, 2008
Siobhan Creaton, the former Finance Correspondent of the Irish Times newspaper, did a stellar job in writing this book. Very well researched, detailed and fast paced, this story is about the bumpy but enormously successful journey of an Irish low-budget, cut-throat airline who beat the odds to become one of the most profitable airlines in Europe.

Tony Ryan, a wealthy Irish businessman who originally worked for Ireland's national carrier Aer Lingus, founded Ryanair in 1986. He had a vision of a low-budget, no-frills airline: "If people want a cut of tea or coffee, let them pay for it. If they want to buy tickets let them stand". During its first few years of operation, the company recorded heavy losses and was on the brink of bankruptcy in the late 1980s.

In 1988, Ryan hired Michael O'Leary, a confident 27 year old accountant and school friend of Ryan's sons Cathal and Declan. Sceptical about the airline at first, O'Leary later took on a heavier workload and became more interested in all aspects of the business, after Ryan agreed to his proposal "If I make 2 million pounds will you give me 10 per cent?". O'Leary went about aggressively cutting costs and in 1994 became chief executive.

In the mid to late 90s, Ryanair was turned around to become very profitable and a major player in Irish aviation. By this time, O'Leary was fantastically rich. He continued heavy cost-cutting and expanded Ryanair's routes all over Europe. His business model was based on Herb Kelleher's Southwest Airlines, a widely successful low budget in the US.

Creaton gives countless examples of Ryanair's careless treatment of customers, O'Leary's rude and aggressive management style and the airline's horrible treatment of its own staff. Numerous times the Irish carrier has made headlines for not helping disabled passengers board a plane or charging them for using a wheelchair. When ice suppliers bumped up prices, O'Leary refused to pay the higher cost and the airline simply stopped serving ice with drinks for some time before a deal was eventually made. When asked about how Ryanair deals with customers seeking a refund on their tickets, O'Leary once replied "We don't fall over ourselves if they say 'My granny fell ill'. What part of 'No Refund' don't you understand? You are not getting a refund so f*** off".

Given all Ryanair's flaws, reading about the airline's successes made me appreciate just how much the company has revolutionised aviation in the UK and other parts of Europe. These days many flights are offered free - travellers only need to pay the airport tax (usually around 20 pounds for a return flight) - an amazing feat for an airline that in the late 1980s was in danger of folding.

Siobhan Creaton has written a fantastic book - an exciting, insightful and inspirational business story.
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VINE VOICEon December 19, 2006
Ryan Air is the southwest airlines of Europe and has done very well against the inefficient Flag Carriers over there. This book is the story of how that came about and is done very well. My biggest complaint of the book is that the print is way to small. The information is great and the stories told about O'Leahry are very entertaining. If you are looking for a sense of how no frills airlines will succeed this is a great book to read. It really explains the airline business in Europe and is a great comparison for southwest airlines.
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on August 6, 2008
There is a real problem with Ryanair charging for the extra weight for baggage on their flights. Do not fly Ryanair, these are bad people. If your luggage weighs more than 6.9lbs you are in for a rude awakening. (Think about when you buy groceries equaling 6.9lbs or 15kgs. I have bought a roast weighing this much.) My flight with paying for extra baggage plus priority seating and other fees originally came to $462. The additional charge for my baggage came to $624. My round trip in total was $1082. I thought I would be paying $462. The British Airways flight on my way to and from London originating from JFK in New York didn't charge me a penny extra for baggage. Take a connecting flight through a different country to reach your destination. Fly a professional airline. Do not fly Ryanair.

How would you like to fly yourself or better yet send a college age child overseas with Ryanair and have them find out at the check-in counter that they owe an additional $312 each way or they can't get on the plane. The luggage was in a regular 28 inch Travelpro suiter with just clothes. Do not fly Ryanair. Fly through Germany, Prague or somewhere. I am appalled that the British transportation authorities allow Ryanair to rip people off in this way. I hope they go out of business.
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