The Best Michael O’Leary Quotes

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While reading up on Michael O’Leary for the article I wrote about Ryanair and British Airways I came across a lot of quotes that he has come out with over the years. Most were pretty funny but most were also not at all relevant to the article. Nevertheless it seemed a shame not to use them….so I’ve reproduced them below.

Note: There is some strong language used in the quotes below. If you’re likely to get offended, if you read the Guardian or if you just like having something to get riled about then I suggest you stop reading now.

Michael O’Leary on…

…making more money:

“If drink sales are falling off, we get the pilots to engineer a bit of turbulence. That usually spikes sales.”

“Anyone who thinks Ryanair flights are some sort of bastion of sanctity where you can contemplate your navel is wrong. We already bombard you with as many in-flight announcements and trolleys as we can. Anyone who looks like sleeping, we wake them up to sell them things.”

“One thing we have looked at is maybe putting a coin slot on the toilet door, so that people might actually have to spend a pound to spend a penny in the future. Pay-per-pee. If someone wanted to pay £5 to go to the toilet, I’d carry them myself. I would wipe their bums for a fiver.”

“You’re not getting a refund so **** off. We don’t want to hear your sob stories. What part of ‘no refund’ don’t you understand?”


Speaking about passengers who forget to print their boarding passes – “We think they should pay €60 for being so stupid.”

“Do we carry rich people on our flights? Yes, I flew on one this morning and I’m very rich.”

“Nobody wants to sit beside a really fat bastard on board. We have been frankly astonished at the number of customers who not only want to tax fat people but torture them.”

“People say the customer is always right, but you know what – they’re not. Sometimes they are wrong and they need to be told so.”

…the opposition:

When his wife-to-be was late for their wedding – “She’s coming here with Aer Lingus.”

Discussing the BA/Iberia merger – “It reminds me of two drunks leaning on each other.”

“BA have got waterfalls in their head office. The first thing I’d do if I were in charge of BA is turn off the waterfalls. The only time we have waterfalls in the Ryanair office is when the toilet leaks.”

Discussing Alitalia: “I would not want it if it were given to me as a present.”

On offering advice to other airlines’ bosses: “They can **** off and do their own work”

“The problem for Willie Walsh is that the board of BA has no spine, no balls and no vision.”

“EasyJet are not the brightest sandwiches in the picnic basket.”

…environmentalist and the environment:

“We want to annoy the ******* whenever we can. The best thing you can do with environmentalists is shoot them. These headbangers want to make air travel the preserve of the rich. They are luddites marching us back to the 18th century. If preserving the environment means stopping poor people flying so the rich can fly, then screw it.”

“If global warming meant temperatures rose by one or two degrees, France would become a desert, which would be no bad thing. The Scots would grow wine and make buffalo mozzarella.”

“The airline business is it is mostly run by a bunch of spineless nincompoops who actually don’t want to stand up to the environmentalists and call them the lying wankers that they are.”

“The chattering bloody classes, or what I call the liberal Guardian readers, they’re all buying SUVs to drive around London. I smile at these loons who drive their SUVs down to Sainsbury’s and buy kiwi fruit from New Zealand. They’re flown in from New Zealand for Christ sakes. They’re the equivalent of environmental nuclear bombs!”

“The Swampies of this world are climbing up trees to protest about airlines and airports. They should all get a job and get a ******* life.”


“MBA students come out with: ‘My staff is my most important asset.’ Bullshit. Staff is usually your biggest cost. We all employ some lazy bastards who needs a kick up the backside, but no one can bring themselves to admit it.”

“I’m Europe’s most underpaid and underappreciated boss. I’m paid about 20 times more than the average Ryanair employee and I think the gap should be wider.”

To a Ryanair employee who dared to join the Twitter Q&A: “Get back to work you slacker or you’re fired.”

“Why does every plane have two pilots? Really, you only need one pilot. Let’s take out the second pilot. Let the bloody computer fly it.”


“I don’t give a shit if no one likes me. I’m not a cloud bunny or an aerosexual. I don’t like aeroplanes. I never wanted to be a pilot like those other platoons of goons who populate the airline industry.”

“I should get the Nobel peace prize – screw Bono.”

“Call me genius, Jesus, Superman or odious little shit, whatever takes your fancy as long as you fly Ryanair!”

If any of that has got you wanting more pearls of wisdom from Michael O’Leary then you might be interested in Plane Speaking: The Wit and Wisdom of Michael O’Leary available from Amazon.