20 Sep 2017

What it's REALLY like to work for Ryanair: Staff threatened with punishments if they miss sales targets, work for meagre salaries and pay £300 for their own uniforms Mirror investigation uncovers the astonishing details of the tactics it uses to squeeze more from not only its passengers but its staff too. It likes to be called the ‘world’s favourite airline’ but now thanks to unprecedented cancellations, not forgetting its notorious hidden costs, Ryanair has taken the phrase ‘no frills’ to unprecedented heights. Yesterday we revealed how hundreds of disillusioned crew are seeking new jobs with rival airlines - no longer able to put up with the poor pay and conditions. Now an investigation by the Daily Mirror can expose the astonishing details of the tactics the company uses to squeeze more pounds and euros not only from its no-frills passengers but its staff too. From cabin crew threatened with punishments if sales targets on board are not met, pilots under pressure to fly when sick or lose pay and toilet planes only cleaned after EIGHT flights, here Ryanair staff reveal what it is really like to work for Europe’s most infamous budget airline. AND you thought it was just the passengers... Cabin crew Cabin crew are forced to use pushy sales techniques on flights to meet targets - or face disciplinary action. Staff are threatened with punishments, such as being moved to different bases if targets are not met, which the company has turned into an incentive to boost meagre salaries. A Ryanair cabin crew member said: “We have targets to reach every day, which include duty free, scratch cards and food. At the end of duty, if we didn’t sell enough, we have to explain the reasons to our supervisor. “When you are bottom of the monthly sales chart you receive a letter asking you to improve your performance or they will reconsider your position. “Cabin staff are always afraid they will be demoted. Fatigue and stress gives way to rudeness, arrogance and as consequence, conflict.” In a recent memo seen by the Mirror, all crew were ordered they “must sell everyday: one perfume, one meal deal and one item of fresh food and eight scratch cards per crew member.” It warned “the above sales will be closely monitored” and those “not reaching their targets daily will be met with by their supervisor and further action taken.” Another memo to staff based in Barcelona - ranked bottom for on board sales - threatened to move “crew members who were consistently under performing”. The hard-nosed sales tactics are also laid out in a 46-page guide to working at the airline. It sets out how cabin crew “drive Ryanair’s on board sales” to boost “their monthly sales bonus” but also “as it’s an important revenue stream for the company.” It reads: “Sales bonus is calculated on a flight-by-flight basis which is calculated as 10% of on board sales.” But it later explains how disciplinary procedures will occur for “poor on board sales performance.” Hostesses face disciplinary action if they don't meet their sale targets (Image: Alamy)READ MOREHen do 'ruined' after Ryanair cancels flight for bride-to-be and 21 friendsPay and conditions As many as 50 per cent of the airline's pilots and cabin crew staff are employed via agencies on zero-hour contracts. Flight crew must also pay £300 for their own uniform and that’s after many have paid nearly £2,000 for a six-week training course and accommodation in Germany - rising to £30,000 for pilots. A pilot explained: “The starting salary is very low in comparison to other airlines and is topped up by pay for flying hours. “This is a safety issue because if you are a captain or a first officer self-employed or on a zero hours contract, it encourages you to go work when you are ill as you need to get paid. “Nothing is free. We pay for our own uniforms and have to bring our own food and water on flights. You could be stuck on a plane for hours without access to anything. At rival airlines it is a different story. A Virgin Atlantic pilot who joined from Flybe told us: “We only contracted to work 750 hours a year in comparison to 900 [check] at Ryanair so if overtime is needed, we are in a position to do it. “We get free car parking, uniform, private healthcare and pension. We also have a crew cart on board with drinks and meals, as much water as we like and anything leftover from the passenger carts. Although the salary was lower at Flybe, we still got all the basics.” Cancellations Last week 20,000 Ryanair passengers had their flights cancelled due to a strike by French air-traffic controllers, including bride-to-be Leanne Wall, 34, from Liverpool, jetting of with 21 mates for her hen do in Ibiza. Although the flights were axed after controllers walked out in a protest over new labour laws, a Ryanair insider claims the airline will use the scenario to cover-up technical problems to avoid paying out thousands of pounds to passengers in compensation for a cancelled flight - something Easyjet was also accused of last month. The pilot told us: “The French strike was very convenient. Yes, French air space was closed but flights were cancelled from Athens to Rome for example which goes nowhere near there. “They blame it on the weather or say ‘reasons beyond out of our control’. And because of that people think they can’t claim. “Each cancellation can cost the airline up to 77,000 euros per flight.” But the airline's scratch cards don't offer enticing odds, with your chances estimated to be 1/1.bn(Image: PA)READ MOREHow furious Ryanair customers are getting around airline's public Facebook comments ban to vent their anger over flight cancellationsPassengers The company has attracted particular criticism for its draconian policy on the size of hand baggage and the high fees it charges if bags are judged too big to take on board. Now it can be revealed the airline made almost £1.5bn last year through these ‘hidden charges’ - more than any other budget airline outside of the United States. Each passenger is charged on average £12 extra for excess luggage, payment with credit cards, travel insurance and in-flight food and drink, according to a study by travel consultancy Ideaworks. “Fly To Win”, Ryanair’s scratch card game charges players €2 for a chance to win a €1m jackpot. But the heavily stacked odds are 26 times higher than your chances of winning the National Lottery - thanks to a bizarre clause buried in the small print. Only one passenger who has purchased a ‘Yes’ scratchcard is pulled out of the hat for a chance to scoop the top prize. They are then invited to a room where 125 envelopes are laid out with only ONE containing the €1m prize - despite making €18m from the scheme. The chance of winning the jackpot, the equivalent of £893,135, is estimated to be 1/1.1bn - based on the claims of a former cabin crew member who said approximately 15 tickets were sold on each flight. Pilots Being a pilot used to be a glamorous and well paid career but not if you working for Ryanair. According to the crew who’ve broken rank to speak to us this is far from truth. “Don’t wash your dirty linen in public” is the motto we are supposed to obey but after they way we have all been treated, enough is enough,” a British pilot who has flown with the airline for six years said. “We’ve been offered £12,000 extra to work help dissolve the cancellation chaos but the truth of is most of us can’t or won’t take it. The good will has dried up. “140 pilots joined Norwegian Air last year and EasyJet are recruiting from Ryanair too. Their contracts are much better. “It is not uncommon to carry out 12 hours of duty but only have flown for six hours. But you are only paid for the time in the air. “If you are on a basic salary you rely on the flight hours on top which pay an average £40 a hour. “This might sound generous but most have had to fork out £30,000 to the firm to start with and there are no perks. Easyjet pays £20,000 a year more for a captain.” Hygiene Pilots too say that their control decks are not cleaned regularly In May the Irish firm announced an annual profit of £1.1bn after flying 11.8 million passengers on over 600,000 flights. But the length Ryanair goes to bring in those extraordinary figures - and that legendary 25 minute turnaround - are down to some serious cost-cutting staff say. “The company scrimps and saves so much that they do not even clean the flight decks,” a pilot told the Daily Mirror. “This has obvious safety implications as if one of the pilots was to get food poisoning then there would be serious issues for the flight. "We are expected to spend up to 12 hours a day in these conditions. http://www.mirror.co.uk/money/what-its-really-like-work-11209793

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