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Sunday 6 February 2011

The Plane Mutiny

No doubt they were acting with the purest of motives, and in the spirit of good customer service, but the folks at Ryanair, the Millwall of air carriers (everybody hates us and we don’t care) have found themselves at the centre of yet another unfortunate misunderstanding.

It seems that one passenger boarding a flight from Lanzarote to Charleroi (which is not near Brussels) was judged to have a carry-on bag which exceeded the size limit. The subsequent attempt to levy an extra charge was not well received by many already on board, and scuffles broke out.

After the law had to be summoned, over a hundred of the 168 passengers were refused boarding. Now, I’m sure that Michael O’Leary’s finest acted within their particular rules, but this kind of thing does seem to affect Ryanair rather a lot.

It was only last November that another hundred passengers refused to leave a Ryanair flight that had been diverted to Liege in Belgium, because its intended destination, Beauvais (which is not near Paris) had closed for the night – an inevitable downside of using smaller airports.

And last June, Ryanair called the police to an aircraft waiting on the tarmac at Prestwick bound for Girona (which is not near Barcelona): the carrier refused to provide refreshments, even though they had been waiting departure for over four hours. The police paid for those refreshments, thus helping Ryanair maintain their low cost model.

Maybe it’s just coincidence, but those less charitably disposed to this carrier may disagree.

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