Yesterday Ryanair “officially” announced that they will start offering child-free flights starting in October. Is this real or another free-publicity tactic by Ryanair? Well, the catch is that Ryanair might be crazy enough to do this. However, the fact that it is April Fools day tomorrow, makes me suspect this might all be a ruse. Also take into account that they have a history of pulling April Fools jokes in the past, from providing moon flights, offering first class seating and selling porn on board, Ryanair has been a fun little jokster.
Don’t get me wrong, this is genius marketing. First you get media outlets to report on the story, creating buzz and free advertising. Then, after it is announced it was a joke, there is another round of free advertising, saying it wasn’t true and how silly Ryanair is being. I was able to get an official copy of the press release, but I haven’t been able to get any confirmation from them that this is an April Fools joke. Sure, maybe this is real, but I am willing to bet that it is not. Since the press release itself is so entertaining, I want to share it with you all:
RYANAIR TO INTRODUCE ’˜CHILD FREE’ FLIGHTS
Ryanair, the world’s favourite airlines, today announced that it will introduce ’˜Child Free’ flights from October (winter schedule) after a Europe-wide survey of 1,000 passengers showed that half would pay higher fares to avoid other people’s children. The survey showed that a third of passengers (36%) have had flights ’˜ruined’ by other people’s noisy kids with one in five passengers (18%) urging Ryanair to restrict the number of children on flights.
While the survey found that passengers would prefer to avoid other people’s children, it placed ’˜blame’ firmly with parents with top gripes being:
- 50% Parents who expect ’˜special treatment’ because they have children.
- 25% Parents who allow children to annoy those in seats behind.
- 15% Parents who board late and expect others to accommodate them.
- 10% Parents who allow children to run in the aisles or kick seats.
Ryanair’s Stephen McNamara said:
’œWhen it comes to children we all love our own but would clearly prefer to avoid other people’s little monsters when travelling. While half our passengers would like us to divide our cabins up into ’˜adult’ and ’˜family’ areas it is not operationally possible due to our free seating policy, with optional priority boarding. However, with clear demand for ’˜child free’ flights Ryanair will introduce child free flights on high frequency routes from the start of our winter schedule in October.’
So what do you think? Real or fake? Would you like to see child free flights?