Michael O’Leary rules out Ryanair frequent-flyer perks

Michael O'Leary rules out Ryanair frequent-flyer perks
"If you want the lowest air fares in Europe, fly Ryanair,” the CEO told The Independent (Image credit: Yaya Photos/Adobe Stock)

Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary has ruled out the prospect of frequent-flyer perks telling passengers that if they want loyalty benefits they should “buy a dog”.

In an exclusive interview with The Independent, O’Leary stated the budget airline will remain apart from its rivals by not providing customers a loyalty scheme.

Low-cost carriers and Ryanair competitors easyJet and Wizz Air operate paid loyalty schemes that offer benefits for frequent flyers in return for a subscription.

The former offers annual easyJet Plus membership for £170, providing benefits including a free large cabin bag and the ability to choose the best seats on the aircraft at no additional charge.

Meanwhile, Wizz Air’s Privilege Pass offers a similar option – for which the annual subscription is £214, as well as a paid-for Discount Club.

O’Leary told The Independent: “I don’t understand why, if you’re already getting the lowest fares in Europe and therefore you’re already benefiting, saving money every time you fly with us, why do we need loyalty scheme?

“If you want something loyal, buy a dog. If you want the lowest air fares in Europe, fly Ryanair.”

Climate activists oppose airline loyalty schemes because encouraging people to fly more has a greater impact on carbon emissions, they claim.

Alethea Warrington, senior campaigner at the climate charity Possible, previously told ARGS: “What we found from the two frequent flyer programmes which we looked at … was that the different levels of membership are associated with really, really huge carbon footprints.

“The range that we’re talking about was between about five tonnes per year and around 90 tonnes.

“And when you start to look at the lifetime memberships, it’s just absolutely astronomical levels of carbon emissions and we’re in a climate crisis …

“Airlines need to end this irresponsible behaviour, and stop awarding points for pollution.”