O'Leary: 'I'm the most underappreciated boss in Europe'

O'Leary: 'I'm the most underappreciated boss in Europe'

Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary has described himself as Europe’s “most underpaid and underappreciated boss”, and has admitted regretting getting a job in the airline sector.

O'Leary told Management Today: “I'm paid about 20 times more than the average employee and I think that gap should be wider. I probably work 50 times harder.

"I was paid €1.2 million last year for carrying 80 million passengers. Aer Lingus's boss [Christoph Mueller] got €1.3 million for carrying nine million passengers. I think I'm the most underpaid and underappreciated airline boss in Europe."

He added: "I'm probably unemployable, which is why a business as sh***y as the airline industry is one where I can flourish."

O'Leary also complained about the high cost of paying for excess baggage when flying with his own airline, saying: "Of course I fly Ryanair, but it costs me a fortune in excess baggage.”

However, the Ryanair boss believes holidays are "a complete waste of time".

“I do it because I have a wife and four children who insist that I have to go away every year otherwise they will be traumatised," he said.

He also criticised Suzy McLeod, a customer who was charged £236 by Ryanair to print out five boarding passes when she turned up at the airport in Alicante with her family without printing the passes out beforehand, as per the airline's conditions. She went on to win the support of more than half a million Facebook users this year when she took to the social media website to air her complaint.

"Thank you, Mrs McLeod, but it was your f***-up," said O'Leary. "We're not changing our policy."

The US: Winter holidays

Winter holidays

Head to the states for snowy fun and winter sun
Read More »

Florida: Key selling points

Key selling points

Meera Dattani finds plenty to recommend in the Florida Keys
Read More »

Las Vegas: Spin city

Spin city

Club scene opens up the destination to a younger audience
Read More »

Sausalito: Through the Golden Gate

Through the Golden Gate

Enjoy a more relaxed pace just across the famous bridge
Read More »

Spain & Portugal: Fiesta time

Fiesta time

No one knows how to party like the Spanish, says Jo Booth
Read More »