Thank you to those of you who took part in Paul Kilduff’s author blog tour yesterday and posed questions. There was quite a bit of traffic here yesterday, and I hope that you all enjoyed the interview and author tour. Special thanks to Mr. Kilduff, author of Ruinair, for taking time to answer everyone’s questions. Responses are as follows:
Steve: Do you think Mr. O’Leary measures his success as an airline CEO in terms of the growth of his own bank account during his tenure with Ryanair or in the long term strength and viability of the business over time?
Kilduff: I think Mr. O’Leary measures his success in terms of the long term strength and viability of the business over time. He is now the 12th richest person in Ireland with a personal fortune estimated at € 600 M, so I don’t think money is his prime motivator anymore. As he says himself; ‘Money is important when you are trying to make the first million, 10 million, maybe the first 50 million. After that it doesn’t so much matter. If you take it all away tomorrow, I will be really pissed off.’
Amber: Now that you’ve taken some time off from your day job have you found it’s easier to write with all the “free time” that you didn’t have before?
Kilduff: Yes definitely. I think it’s very important to have a clear mind when you sit down to write. You have to be able to concentrate and get in the ‘zone’ I think. Having a full time job is always a distraction for any writer but I don’t rule out returning to a full time job in the future should I need one, or want to take one again. Work is ok often!
Suzanne: Mr. Kilduff – Do you believe your book, “Ruinair” has had any impact on Ryanair’s desire to improve its customer service levels? Would you agree that bad or substandard service is considered acceptable and expected when travelling with a low cost carrier these days?
Kilduff: No I don’t think my book will have any impact of their service levels. I think they are what they are, and they offer very little at a low price. A book won’t change them, and it would take a lot of their 60 million annual passengers to walk away to fly on other airlines before they improved service levels. And the people at Ryanair define customer service as fewest lost bags, fewest flight cancellations and best punctuality. They don’t do smiles. 🙂 People do accept that grim service is part of a one cent flight ticket. QED. Of course, Mr. O’Leary would not agree with me. ‘Our customer service is the lowest prices guaranteed, on brand-new aircraft, flying safely, on time, with the least risk of a cancellation or a lost bag. Did you get that service? Yes, you did? Fine. Shut up and go away.’