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Ryanair pledges to end 'abrupt culture' to win new customers

A model airplane rests on a table during an announcement of the commitment for Ryanair to purchase aircraft from Boeing, in New York March 1
A model airplane rests on a table during an announcement of the commitment for Ryanair to purchase aircraft from Boeing, in New York March 1

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Ryanair , Europe's biggest budget airline, has promised to transform its "abrupt culture" in a bid to win customers from costlier rivals, admitting for the first time that it had a significant problem with customer service.

The Irish firm, this week voted the worst of the 100 biggest brands serving the British market by readers of consumer magazine Which, said on Friday it would become more lenient on fining customers over bag sizes and overhaul the way it communicates.

"We should try to eliminate things that unnecessarily piss people off," Chief Executive Michael O'Leary told the company's annual general meeting after several shareholders complained about the impact of customer service on sales.

He said the company would overhaul its web site, set up a new team to respond to emails and stop fining customers whose carry-on baggage exceeds minimum sizes by a matter of millimeters.

"A lot of those customer services elements don't cost a lot of money ... It's something we are committed to addressing over the coming year," O'Leary said.

(Reporting by Conor Humphries; Editing by Mark Potter)

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