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Ryanair CEO says airline must end 'macho' attitude

Sept. 21, 2013 at 11:09 AM

DUBLIN, Ireland, Sept. 21 (UPI) -- The top executive at Ireland's discount carrier Ryanair said the airline will step up efforts to respond to customer complaints.

The airline recently found itself at the very bottom of a Which? magazine list of 100 of Britain's largest brands in terms of customer satisfaction, the BBC reported Saturday.

"I am very happy to take the blame or responsibility if we have a macho or abrupt culture. Some of that may well be my own personal character deformities," Ryanair Chief Executive Officer Michael O'Leary said in a speech at the airline's annual shareholder meeting.

The BBC said O'Leary addressed a few concerns, including customers complaints about paying fines for carry-on luggage that exceeded the weight limit by a fraction.

"A lot of those customer services elements don't cost a lot of money," he said.

He announced the company will set up an office to deal with complaints sent in by email.

The airline responded this week to a newspaper article that described a customer who was charged $254 for changing his flight plans due to a family crisis. His family, the BBC said, had died in a fire.

The grieving passenger, Muhammad Taufiq Al Sattar, said he burst into tears as he conveyed his story to airline personnel.

Ryanair said it will return the flight transfer fee.