The case of Ryanair

Demonstrating the benefits and the limits of incivility


  • Sarah VanSlette
  • McKenzi McClain


Ryanair; incivility; rhetoric; marketing; media; public relations; strategy


This essay uses the case of increasingly successful Irish airline Ryanair to describe how incivility was used strategically to increase profits and publicity, but demonstrates a limit to the amount of incivility that consumers will tolerate from an organization. Although incivility was a successful strategy in Ryanair’s past, the airline’s uncivil acts and lack of positive relationships subjected them to strong public backlash until they were forced to implement an image restoration plan. This plan, entitled Always Getting Better (AGB), has been hailed as a success by the airline and industry analysts.

To cite this article:  

VanSlette, S., & McClain, M. (2018). The case of Ryanair:  Demonstrating the benefits and the limits of incivility. Case Studies in Strategic Communication, 7, 36-55.