As a publicity-garnering gambit, the 15 euro air fare rumour got people to sit up and take notice of Ryan Air. When the New York Times writes up a piece about it, you've arrived in the land of free publicity.
Sure you'd be made to pay extra for a sip of water or the key to the jacks, but fifteen euro to travel from New York To Dublin? You could manage to travel light and dehydrated. Look at the exchange rate between the dollar and the euro! How could you go wrong? That return to the homeland was suddenly within reach for the millions with a drop of Irish blood and a yearning to see what their ancestors left behind.
Now that Ryan Air has your attention, they wish to announce that they were not, actually,planning to offer such impossibly low rates for trans-Atlantic travel.
Something just slipped out of the board room, or something like that.
Michael O'Leary, who founded the cheap airline, was just dreaming and his flights of fancy turned into actual flights. He wants to expand his little airline that has all but killed off the old Eurorail pass that was once the cornerstone of gap year travel. Students fly Ryan Air all over Europe, and what CEO would not want to expand on that success? The trans-Atlantic route is the obvious place to go next.
Unfortunately for corporate relations, the banter in the board room leaked out. In truth, they say now, the executives discussed adding the new service and then realized that they couldn't afford it within the limits of their budget. As for a fifteen euro fare, that might be a nice price point, but it is not realistic. Imagine the loss on a single, full flight of 15 euro seats and you start to wonder who came up with the figure in the first place. It's not as if the till is filled to overflowing and something has to be done to spend all that money.
The low fare was hyped and now the low fare has been declared a misunderstanding.
Wavering in financial matters does not endear a corporation to the flying public, and for Ryan Air it is doubly unfortunate. Their no frills flights, awash in gimmicks that annoy the uninitiated, have plenty of detractors who don't really enjoy the Ryan Air experience.
So when the airline does come up with some sort of loss leading offer, the flying public is likely to ignore it as another attention-getting device with no substance.
No firm wants its clients to lose faith.
There are always competitors ready to capitalize on such mistakes and siphon off a few travelers looking for a bargain and willing to fly like a kipper in a tin.