Ryanair passengers nervous about travelling on Boeing 737 Max plane can get ‘full refund’

‘We don’t want people to feel they’re trapped on a Max,’ says Michael O’Leary

Helen Coffey
Wednesday 04 March 2020 17:37 GMT
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Ryanair won’t force nervous passengers to travel on the Boeing 737 Max, the airline’s CEO has said.

Michael O’Leary said those who didn’t want to fly onboard the infamous plane, which was involved in two fatal crashes, killing 346 people in 2018 and 2019, could claim a full refund.

“We don’t want people to feel they’re trapped on a Max,” he told Simple Flying.

“If you don’t want to go on it, fine. Off you go, take off the bag, and you can have a full refund.”

It marks something of a U-turn for Europe’s biggest budget carrier – Mr O’Leary previously said passengers would “love” the beleaguered aircraft model.

“You won’t know [if it’s a Max], because on average you book seats on Ryanair six to eight weeks in advance of travel,” Mr O’Leary told The Independent last year.

“We only do the aircraft allocations the night before, because we don’t know which aircraft is where.

“During the first year, you’ll have a 10 per cent chance you’ll be on a Max aircraft.

“Will anyone know or care? Frankly, I don’t think they will.”

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He added: “You have the right to get off the plane if you want. But will you be getting a refund of your ticket? No, you won’t.”

Before tragedy struck twice, Ryanair had ordered 210 special versions of the Max, seating eight extra passengers.

However, none of the promised aircraft have been delivered so far, after the plane was grounded worldwide in spring last year.

The low-cost carrier is now expecting to receive its first delivery in September or October 2020; it was originally supposed to get the first Maxs in April 2019.

Boeing is still working to prove the 737 Max is safe. A problem with the jet’s anti-stall software, known as the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS), was found to have been a key factor in the crashes.

“The Max, when they come back, will be the most tested, the most audited, the most secure, the most safe aircraft ever delivered,” said Mr O’Leary in December.

“The pilots are all well aware of what the MCAS system does now.

“The fact remains that these are brilliant aircraft. Customers are going to love them.

“They’re good for the environment as well. And they’ll be offering the cheapest air fares in Europe.”

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