The Financial Times has this hilarious article about a recent lunch with Michael O'Leary. Lunch was a bagel wrapped in plastic--and that's only the beginning.
The FT article coincides nicely with the current profile on O'Leary in Flightglobal publication Airline Business.
It's interesting to read about Ryanair's CEO in a setting where he isn't making a direct sales pitch or chiding [fill in the blank here]. The article certainly adds to his character.
A few highlights.
- O'Leary claims not to use e-mail, or a computer.
Lack of e-mail does not stop him being an enthusiastic correspondent. When UK advertising standards authorities chided him for claiming Ryanair's flights were faster than the Eurostar train, he sent them a copy of Everyday Maths for Dummies. Journalists who write about him sometimes get an unsolicited, though frequently charming, missive. A colleague on the FT who wrote a column comparing Ryanair to Aeroflot received a two-page letter along with the latest "Girls of Ryanair" calendar, featuring bikini-clad photos of Miss Check-In and Miss Fuel Pump, a regular production that O'Leary insists uses only company cabin crew.(If you missed the "Girls of Ryanair" calendar, you can read our post about it here.)
- What does O'Leary like to do in downtime? Trick question. He doesn't like downtime, apparently.
Goodness knows what O'Leary will do if he ever retires. He claims to have no interest in holidays. "I go to the Algarve with the family for two weeks, because I have to. And I can build the sandcastles with the children. You know, the sandcastle's fine for the first five minutes, and after that it's, 'Oh Jesus, will someone come and rescue me!' I'm praying for a crisis."
- Finally, passengers checking bags are possibly the greatest irk to O'Leary. He wants to see passengers only take carry-on luggage. But then he admits his wife checks a bag when they travel, but he claims not to understand why.