Taking the Michael…Ryan Air standing room seats a PR stunt?

I often wonder what it would be like to work on some of the trickier PR campaigns. Politicians trying to change their public image, failed pop stars seeking another comeback etc but I have to say, there’s never a dull day in the Ryan Air press office.

Michael O’Leary’s gift for getting media attention (or one of his very smart colleague’s gifts) is incredible. There was the mooted “Fat Tax” which was met with extreme hostilty, a plot to remove the number of toilets and now we have them floating the idea of a standing room only seat. These will be cheaper and maybe even free.


It was communicated (as ever by O’Leary) in simple, dynamic, “what’s wrong with that?” style and I have to say the idea appeals to me. As a taller gent of around 6ft 4-ish I regularly feel uncomfortable sitting down/hovering between the armrests and would love to be able to stand up, I can almost feel the threat of DVT retreating as I type.

So, is this a genuine offer, designed to cut costs and reduce the fares even further or is it a PR stunt? O’Leary spent nearly as much time on-air (Sky News) talking down British Airways as he did talking about this latest scheme which seemed at first glance a gimmick to allow him to announce Ryan Air’s continuing surge in sales.

Whatever it was, I’m sure there’s plenty of folks right now talking about it, once again ensurring that Ryan Air and their maverick boss get their share of media attention and even more.


Standing room only with Ryan Air
Standing room only with Ryan Air
Ryan Air’s Michael O’Leary plans standing room only