I’m sat at home slightly confused as to the point of The Panorama ‘Why hate Ryanair?’ programme that I’ve just watched. The truth is, I’ve been left feeling as though I probably could have used that particular half hour of my life in a far more useful fashion.
The reporter, Vivian White, investigated the airline’s “cost-cutting measures”. From adverts about the show during the past few evenings I expected some dramatic, insightful expose to be unveiled in front of me. Surely this couldn’t be yet another documentary on Britain’s most famous airlines which would simply repeat what countless other investigations had shown us in the past?
But Panorama, the self-proclaimed “world’s longest running investigative TV show”, simply did not deliver on my expectations this evening. Two of their biggest finds were the fact the Ryanair charges extra for bookings made on all debit or credit cards apart from the VISA Electron and another was that you can buy a sandwich on their planes for £4.50.
Not only could I have easily found this out for myself simply by flying with the airline, but I was also sat there slightly baffled as to what the reporter’s point was. No one has to fly with Ryanair and pay extra for using their debit card. No one has to buy a sandwich on one of their planes. It’s not like they ‘trick’ you into doing either of these things. In fact, the things being pointed out simply made good business sense to me.
Other ‘exclusives’ the show may claim to have reported were interviews with Ryanair staff. And quite frankly, in the midst of the credit crunch, a few staff whining about how they are worked too hard, treated like numbers and not compensated enough is hardly going to initiate gasps of shock and compassion from the audience.
Overall, the program came across far more as How To, as in ‘How to run a business very effectively’, than the shocking, insightful expose which I was hoping for.
So, the answer to your question BBC is that I don’t hate Ryanair, I’m actually left rather admiring them after your documentary.
By Sophie Hudson