I’m very sorry…

It’s 6.30 in the morning and Ryanair is transporting me, very efficiently as it happens, across the Irish Sea to Dublin, for a week working in the capitol.

But I want to tell you about two apologies I heard, one this morning that worked and one on Saturday, that didn’t.

First, let me tell you about the apology that worked. Now, I’m not exactly Ryanair’s biggest fan, but I’m not one of those people who throw their hands up in disgust at every scheme the airline comes up with to extract an extra Euro or two from us poor passengers… I’m quite happy to go the loo before I get on the ‘plane.

However, on occasion, I have been critical of the service delivered by the airline, especially when things go wrong. Not today, though. Ryanair impose some pretty strict restrictions on cabin baggage, in that you can only take on board one bag and if, for example, you have a handbag, it needs to go inside your other bag or one of them has to be checked in… at a cost of £35.

To be fair, if you get to the gate with more than one piece of baggage you probably haven’t been paying too much attention to the announcements, notices and information throughout the airport… which is exactly what had happened to one lady who had reached the gate with no less than four, yes four, pieces of carry on baggage.

I can tell you what they were if you like…

  1. Suitcase
  2. Laptop bag
  3. Handbag
  4. Bag of duty free

The poor lady got pretty irate when she was told that she couldn’t come on board with more than one bag. After much heaving, squeezing and wheezing she managed to get her handbag and the duty frees into her laptop bag but that was it. So, the Ryanair gate lady (not sure what her official title was) politely but firmly told the lady she would have to check one of the bags in.

I have to say there was, what can only be described as an explosion. But the member of staff stuck to her guns and with real understanding apologised for the upset but explained the reason for the rule, showed the lady where she had to go and left no doubt what was going to happen.

Brilliant… nicely done, but firmly and with genuine thought for the passenger… or so it seemed.

Contrast this to Saturday. I bought a new NetBook on Saturday from the UK’s leading PC store that has the words PC and World in its name.

I chose my new PC and was offered a choice of colours… pink with a white keyboard or black. Now, I’m a bloke of certain age, in touch with my feminine side, but not that in touch, so I opted, very much for the black.

When I got my PC home, guess what colour it was.

Yep… pink with a white keyboard. Fetching but not really me.

As I needed the NetBook for this week it was back to PC World for an exchange, which they did without quibble. It was the way it was done that made my raise my eyebrows. The Customer Service Operative asked to see my receipt (fair enough) and then went to see the guy who went to the warehouse to get the PC for me.

When he came back, this is what he said: ‘The confusion happened because you were passed from one Adviser to the other… and the guy passing you over didn’t explain everything he needed to!’

Talk about a blame culture!

Clearly both businesses have a process and clearly the process was being applied, but how it was applied was very different.

Perhaps the training was lacking a little?

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