Ryanair’s social media team went to town on one passenger who took to Twitter to share his experience about the airline’s inflight Wi-Fi – or rather, Ryanair’s lack of inflight Wi-Fi.
“Absolutely mind blown to find out there’s no wifi on Ryanair flights, absolute madness,” wrote the Twitter user known as Adam. In another tweet, he continued: “There’s also no seatback pockets.”
But rather than apologising for the lack of Wi-Fi or explaining why Ryanair doesn’t offer the service, the airline’s Twitter team decided to mock Adam instead.
“Absolutely mind-blown to find out that water is in fact wet,” the tweet from the airline in response to Adam read.
In fact, Ryanair does offer a form of inflight Wi-Fi which allows passengers on select flights to connect to a local network in order to access Ryanair’s inflight magazine, order food and drinks and rent a small selection of movies on watch onboard.
The system has been trialled since last December after COVID-19 restrictions meant cabin crew couldn’t spend so much time in the aisle selling off the trolley. As a result, Ryanair started losing crucial ancillary revenue sales so decided the extra investment for the necessary equipment to create a local Wi-Fi network was worth it.
But chief executive Michael O’Leary remains unconvinced that a full-blown Wi-Fi solution that would require installing expensive satellite equipment and regular maintenance is right for Ryanair.
“On average, flight distance is still only an hour and 15 minutes and the vast majority of people now are getting on board our aircraft, they have already downloaded Netflix and whatever else it is,” O’Leary told The Sunday Business Post in 2019.
“They don’t need wifi and they’re unlikely to pay the cost of it,” he continued.
“If it isn’t revenue generating, frankly, we wouldn’t be introducing it.”
Twitter users seemed to agree with O’Leary’s attitude, saying they could live without internet access for a few hours in return for cheap flights.
Rival low-cost airlines easyJet and Wizz air don’t offer inflight Wi-Fi either but Norwegian went so far as to offer free Wi-Fi on its short-haul European services before the pandemic. Unfortunately, the service was painfully slow and also racked up huge expenses for the airline.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.