A bloke who was so miffed at Ryanair that he set up a website called ‘I Hate Ryanair’ has been ordered to hand over the site’s name to the airline.
According to AP, Robert Tyler, of London, set up the site in 2007 – he intended it for disgruntled Ryanair passengers to share their horror stories.
Ryanair could have looked at the site as a way of interacting with customers and finding out what really miffed them. Instead, Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary decided that all Ryanair’s angry customers would suddenly be happy if they didn’t have a place to complain about his outfit’s service.
In April he slammed the website as “vitriolic and highly disparaging” and he moaned to Nominet which manages the web address.
Despite the fact that the website made clear it had no official links to the airline, Nominet said that the website had to be handed over to Ryanair because Tyler had made money from the site.
To cover the cost of the server, Tyler had put advertising on the site and made the grand sum of £322.
One of Nominet’s experts, Jane Seager said if the domain name used a company’s brand it “must be wholly devoted to honest criticism and open discussion and not potentially tainted by commercial concerns”.
Ryanair said the site had taken unfair advantage of its brand name and made defamatory statements about the airline’s service and safety standards.
Of course it didn’t stop Tyler. He just set up a new website, ihateryanair.org, which he stated on the hompage would “continue to provide you with all the latest” on “this pathetic excuse for an airline”.
He may even appeal the Nominet decision. “It costs around £3,000 to do so, which could be used instead to buy 16,000,000 Ryanair flights (not including booking fees, credit card fees, baggage fees, bus from the airport in the middle of nowhere etc).”
Ryanair’s cost-cutting measures are starting to worry people. Most recently O’Leary suggested the airline might do away with co-pilots by training flight attendants to fill their role.
Other ideas include charging passengers to use the bogs on board aircraft, installing ‘standing room’ seats and have passengers carry their own checked luggage to the plane’s cargo hold.