Other Stories

This page is for other people's stories. They are reproduced in the correspondents' own words and reflect their own views only.


If you have an experience of travelling with Ryanair that would be of interest to other visitors to this site, particularly if you had a problem and found a way of getting recompense, please email info@ryanaircampaign.org, stating whether you wish it to be published (anonymously) on this site. For more interactive discussion and a wider range of advice and expertise, we have now set up a Google group at http://groups.google.com/group/ryanair-customers. All poetry is now gathered at the bottom of the page.

The views, opinions, statements and other written items contained within the following pages are published for information purposes only and are directly attributable to the respective authors of those items and in no way reflect the views or beliefs of, and may not be attributed directly or indirectly to the site host and are published by the host in good faith and without any representation whatsoever as to their accuracy or otherwise. Requests for further information about or comments in respect of any statements may be emailed to the host which may act as a forwarding service to said authors but may not be obliged to reveal to any other person or entity the identity of such authors in any event.

In the threatening letter, it is claimed that some of the stories are false or contain statements which are false. However, despite being asked to be specific and being given the chance to check all stories before publication, Ryanair has declined every effort we have made to identify and rectify anything which might be incorrect.

Site Languages Submitted 30 March 2010
Thank You to the Captain Submitted 17 March 2010
Missing Confirmation (addressed to Ryanair) Submitted 17 March 2010
Premium Rate Numbers from Italy Submitted 16 March 2010
Extra Payments Taken (letter to Ryanair) Submitted 27 February 2010
Flight Missed due to no Call Submitted 20 February 2010
Complaint to ASA Submitted 19 January 2010
Care With Browser Windows Submitted 17 January 2010
Error on Printing Boarding Card Submitted 23 December 2009
Bristol Flights in 2010 cancelled Submitted 17 December 2009
Ryanair Monopoly in Internal Route in Portugal Submitted 16 December 2009
Left Behind due to Passport Dropped in Plane After Checkin Submitted 2 December 2009
Booking Cards: Damned if you Print, Damned if you Don't Submitted 24 October 2009
Re Tricks for Refusing Boarding Submitted 12 October 2009
Disabled Passengers Unwelcome on Ryanair Submitted 12 October 2009
Rant by Frequent Flyer Submitted 10 October 2009
More Tricks for Refusing Boarding Submitted 6 October 2009
No Refund of Taxes Submitted 2 October 2009
True Cost of Flying with Ryanair Submitted 15 September 2009
Success in Reducing Change Fee Submitted 4 September 2009
Rude Onboard Staff Submitted 17 August 2009
Excess Baggage Fee Submitted 19 August 2009
Young Women Abandoned in Beauvais Submitted 14 August 2009
Refund of Vouchers Submitted 11 August 2009
Checkin Chaos Submitted 9 August 2009
Argument for Not Flying Ryanair Submitted 7 August 2009
Getting Through to Correct Mistake Submitted 3 August 2009
£70 Fee for Mistake Submitted 27 July 2009
Falling Foul of Weight Limits Submitted 22 July 2009
Stranded in Nantes Submitted 22 July 2009
Lack of Care During Delay Submitted 22 July 2009
Denied Boarding and Stranded Submitted 9 July 2009
Ghastly Experience Submitted 8 July 2009
Refund of Checkin Fee Submitted 7 July 2009
Delay and Diversion from Zaragoza Submitted 23 June 2009
Change in ID Requirements Submitted 19 June 2009
Successful Call About Boarding Pass Submitted 1 June 2009
More Success: Hotel Bill Reimbursed Submitted 27 May 2009
Recruitment "Scam" Submitted 25 May 2009
Success in Getting Through Submitted 20 May 2009
Typographical Error Costs £119 Submitted 16 May 2009
Small Claims Success Submitted 09 May 2009
Double Booking Submitted 12 May 2009
Information on Fees (addressed to Ryanair) Submitted 7 April 2009
Never had a Problem Submitted 10 May 2009
Never had a Problem Submitted 1 May 2009
VISA Confusion Submitted 18 April 2009
Refused Boarding for Domestic Flight Submitted 31 March 2009
No Free Water On Board Submitted 27 March 2009
Web Booking Ordeal (link to external blog) Submitted 17 March 2009
Inconsistent Application of Baggage Policy (addressed to Ryanair) Submitted 9 March 2009
Two Days of Holiday Lost Submitted 9 March 2009
36 Hour Flight Change at Higher Price Submitted 1 March 2009
Catastrophic Results of Cancellation (letter to Ryanair) Submitted 25 February 2009
Credit Fee Charged for Debit Card Submitted 13 February 2009
Recession Makes Ryanair Care About Customer Service? Submitted 12 February 2009
"Cancelled" Flight? Submitted 9 February 2009
Ryanair Travel Insurance Useless Submitted 9 February 2009
Customer Service Attitude Submitted 6 February 2009
Fantasy About Good Customer Service Submitted 5 February 2009
Wheelchair Booking Submitted 29 January 2009
Online Checkin Problems Submitted 28 January 2009
Wasted Money on "Priority Boarding" Submitted 20 January 2009
Successful Refund Submitted 16 January 2009
Denied Boarding Submitted 14 January 2009
From Inside Customer Services Submitted 8 January 2009
Three Times in One Flight Submitted 7 January 2009
Coach Cancelled and Ryanair Staff Hide Submitted 6 January 2009
£100 Vouchers Not Redeemed Submitted 3 January 2009
Ryanair Experience Submitted 30 December 2008
Complaint to OFT by Customer Submitted 28 December 2008
No Online Checkin for non-EU Citizens Submitted 25 November 2008
No Change Given Submitted 21 November 2008
Successful Name Change Submitted 6 November 2008
Unruly Behaviour on Flight Submitted 4 November 2008
No Explanation for Delay Submitted 30 October 2008
Successful Claim Submitted 29 October 2008
Booking Change Saga Submitted 19 October 2008
Still Awaiting Refund Due to Cancellation Submitted 8 October 2008
Dumped in Biarritz Submitted 19 September 2008
Charged after Site Malfunction Submitted 5 September 2008
Missed Funeral, Indifference and Lack of Information (addressed to Ryanair) Submitted 3 September 2008
No Response to Refund Request Submitted 29 August 2008
Why Pay for Priority Boarding? Submitted 27 August 2008
First Ryanair Experience Submitted 27 August 2008
Extra Fees and Charges Submitted 24 August 2008
Cheap Flights Don't have to be as Unpleasant as Ryanair Submitted 20 August 2008
No Warning Before or Customer Service After Flight Rescheduled by Two Days Submitted 19 August 2008
Charged After Cards not Accepted Submitted 13 August 2008
Cost of Missing Flight due to Wrong Information Submitted 11 August 2008
Card Fees, Payment Refused, Crashing Site etc etc (addressed to Ryanair) Submitted 5 August 2008
Sent to the Wrong Country Submitted 23 July 2008
No Response Over Smashed Suitcase Submitted 21 July 2008
The Full Ryanair Experience Submitted 21 July 2008
Change of Flight Time and Can't get Through to Cancel Submitted 21 July 2008
Excess Baggage and Stolen Phone (letter not responded to) Submitted 11 July 2008
One and a Half Day Flight "Time" Change Submitted 9 July 2008
Birthday Message Submitted 8 July 2008
Administration Fee More than Tax Refund Submitted 2 July 2008
Booking Charged After Web Error and no Confirmation for 22 Hours Submitted 21 June 2008
Deported After Lost Passport Submitted 20 June 2008
Marathon Refund Attempt Submitted 20 June 2008
Successful Refund thanks to Contacts Given Here Submitted 19 June 2008
Taxes Not Included? Submitted 17 June 2008
Cabin Crew Thanked Through This Site Submitted 14 June 2008
Customer Service Problems (addressed to Ryanair) Submitted 13 June 2008
Ryanair Staff Embarrassed to be Named Submitted 13 June 2008
Complaints and Replies Submitted 9 June 2008
Can't Even Get Insurance Claim Submitted 3 June 2008
Getting Through Thanks to Tip Given to This Site Submitted 2 June 2008
Experience Returning from Lourdes Submitted 2 June 2008
No Warning of Error When Changing Details Submitted 28 May 2008
Wasted Evening Trying to Book Submitted 26 May 2008
Getting Round the Booking System Submitted 25 May 2008
Correspondence About Luggage Size and "Professionalism" at Beauvais Submitted 25 May 2008
Chaos at Pisa Submitted 20 May 2008
Continued Problems with Booking, Service, Charges ... (and everything) Submitted 20 May 2008
Attempt at Making Claim Submitted 19 May 2008
Can't Redeem £100 Voucher Submitted 19 May 2008
Inconsistent Scales Submitted 18 May 2008
Priority Booking Refund Mystery Submitted 18 May 2008
Checkin Costs for Non-EU Passengers Submitted 17 May 2008
Abandoned at Brno Submitted 17 May 2008
Delayed by Security Check Submitted 11 May 2008
Bugs in Booking System? Submitted 30 April 2008
Checkin for non-EU National Submitted 25 April 2008
Thanks to Crew for Help with Illness Submitted 24 April 2008
Praise for Liverpool Baggage Handling Number Submitted 24 April 2008
Hidden Costs Submitted 23 April 2008
"Complete" Booking not Gone Through and has to be Paid at Walk-Up Rate Submitted 23 April 2008
Flight Booking Error and no way of Checking Submitted 22 April 2008
Ryanair Forces Change of Holiday and Charges for the Change Submitted 22 April 2008
Can't Get Through, Go to Stansted ... Submitted 20 April 2008
Finally Got Through Submitted 9 April 2008
Reservation Fee Submitted 9 April 2008
Getting Through to Customer Services (letter to Ryanair and follow-up) Submitted 9 April 2008
Rudeness and Inconsistency (letter to Ryanair) Submitted 1 April 2008
Not Allowed in Front Seats Submitted 1 April 2008
Newquay Bad Experience Submitted 1 April 2008
Vouchers Cost More in Phone Calls than they are Worth Submitted 25 March 2008
Charged with being French ...? Submitted 24 March 2008
Wasted Time and Phone Bill Submitted 11 March 2008
Cost of Refused Boarding Submitted 15 March 2008
Unable to Get Through Submitted 13 March 2008
Disconnected Support Line Submitted 14 March 2008
Denied Boarding Due to Ryanair Delay (letter to Ryanair) Submitted 28 February 2008
Expensive Web Failure Submitted 7 March 2008
Cheapest Flight May Have Most Expensive Extras Submitted 6 March 2008
11-Hour Delay (letter to Ryanair) Submitted 25 February 2008
Refund at Last Submitted 21 February 2008
No Alternatives for Cancelled Flights Submitted 15 February 2008
Buy One Get One Free Submitted 13 February 2008
Marrakech to Luton 1 February 2008 Submitted 12 February 2008
Diversion to Murcia (letters to Ryanair and AUC) Submitted 12 February 2008
Vouchers Had to be Used in One Transaction Submitted 4 February 2008
Ryanair Clairvoyants? Submitted 3 February 2008
Cost of Inputting Error Submitted 31 January 2008
Beat them over Split Baggage Allowance Submitted 30 January 2008
Was Anyone on Flight FR3013 from Ciampino, Sunday 20 January 2008? Submitted 28 January 2008
Getting Answer from Helpline Submitted 25 January 2008
Breach of Duty of Care Submitted 23 January 2008
Poor Reputation Effect on Share Price Submitted 17 January 2008
Stranded in Venice Submitted 9 January 2008
System Adds Taxes Submitted 4 January 2008
First Experience of Ryanair Service Submitted 2 January 2008
Currency Conversion Submitted 29 December 2007
Budget Airline Comparisons Submitted 24 December 2007
Refund of Taxes Submitted 19 December 2007
Debit Charge Submitted 19 December 2007
Contacting Ryanair about Double Bookings Submitted 13 December 2007
Refund of Taxes for Non-Flight Submitted 28 November 2007
Phone Cost and Free Flight Vouchers Submitted 26 November 2007
No Phone Support After Web Error Submitted 14 November 2007
Letter to Ryanair From Travel Agent Submitted 13 November 2007
Stranded When Things Go Wrong Submitted 11 November 2007
Taxes and Charges Submitted 30 October 2007
Getting What you Pay For? Submitted 8 November 2007
Bags and "Time Saving" Submitted 5 November 2007
To the Back of the Queue Submitted 5 November 2007
Two Flights Out and No Return Submitted 16 October 2007
Checking Back Details Submitted 3 November 2007
"Free" Flight Voucher Submitted 2 November 2007
No Priority Boarding Submitted 2 November 2007
Denied Boarding at Closed Checkin Submitted 2 November 2007
Letter to Ryanair About Luggage Submitted 28 October 2007
Buy as You Fly Submitted 25 October 2007
Unable to Cancel Flight Submitted 22 October 2007
Warnings About Lost Luggage Submitted 15 October 2007
No Solution Offered to Get to Funeral Submitted 9 October 2007
Travelling With Small Children and Bags Submitted 7 October 2007
Letter to European Parliament about Electronic Commerce Submitted 25 September 2007
Costly Non-Flight Submitted 21 September 2007
Response to Costly non-Flight Story Submitted 6 January 2008
Advice About Cancellations Submitted 20 September 2007
Letter to Ryanair About Scales Submitted 19 September 2007
Another Letter to Ryanair Submitted 17 September 2007
Simple and easy way to get your refund Submitted 13 September 2007
Excess Baggage Submitted 12 September 2007
Double Charging Submitted 11 September 2007
Ryanair Refund Policy Submitted 10 September 2007
Comment on Previous Complaints Submitted 9 September 2007
Change of Schedule Submitted 8 September 2007
Another Letter of Complaint Addressed to Ryanair Submitted 7 September 2007
Letter of Complaint Addressed to Ryanair Submitted 7 September 2007
Queuing Submitted 4 September 2007
Dumped in Lille Submitted 3 September 2007
Damaged Suitcase and Insurance Claim Submitted 3 September 2007
Refused Permission to Board Submitted 3 September 2007
Connection not Covered by Insurance Submitted 15 August 2007
Ryanair Criticises BAA, but Makes Money from Stranded Passengers Submitted 13 August 2007
Girona Again Submitted 12 August 2007
Missed Flight Due to Queue (letter to Ryanair) Submitted 3 August 2007
Successful Refund Submitted 25 July 2007
Telephone Number for Ryanair Submitted 24 July 2007
Baggage Problems (addressed to Ryanair) Submitted 15 July 2007
Family Checkin Problems Submitted 11 July 2007
"Barcelona" Airport Submitted 9 July 2007
Luggage Trouble Submitted 7 July 2007
Successful Refund Claim Submitted 28 June 2007
Successful Contact Submitted 27 June 2007
No Compensation for Nightmare Submitted 25 June 2007
Letter to Ryanair About Refusal of ID Submitted 19 June 2007
Sharp Practices Submitted 15 June 2007
Customer Care Submitted 4 June 2007
Pay Again or Leave Your Bag Submitted 1 June 2007
Contacting Ryanair Submitted 1 June 2007
Sympathy But no Refund Submitted 31 May 2007
Malfunctioning Web Site Submitted 17 May 2007
Route Axed After Flight Confirmation Submitted 10 May 2007
Being Forced to Check in Separate Bags "Reduces Delay"? Submitted 2 May 2007
Attitude to Mother with 18 Month Old Child Submitted 30 April 2007
Different ID Rules for Online Checkin Submitted 30 April 2007
How Can My Mother Fly by Ryanair if She Can't Drive? Submitted 27 April 2007
Compensation for Broken Bag Submitted 19 April 2007
Nightmare for Visitor from USA (copy of letter) Submitted 18 April 2007
Baggage Charge Submitted 18 April 2007
Refusal to Pay Compensation Submitted 17 April 2007
Can't Get Letter for Insurance Submitted 14 April 2007
Good Service Submitted 12 April 2007
Missing Phone and Illogical Confirmation Submitted 11 April 2007
Reselling Newspapers Submitted 10 April 2007
Security Checks and Missed Flight Submitted 9 April 2007
Online Checkin Printout Submitted 6 April 2007
Apology over Baggage Allowance Submitted 3 April 2007
Refusal to Courier Luggage Lost by Ryanair Submitted 2 April 2007
"Late" Check-in Submitted 2 April 2007
No Refund for Cancellation Submitted 30 March 2007
Ryanair Granada to Liverpool cancellation Submitted 27 March 2007
Calibration of Scales Submitted 27 March 2007
No Problem with Baggage Allowance Submitted 26 March 2007
Letter to Ryanair About Customer Service
Submitted 25 March 2007

Dumped in Turin Submitted 22 March 2007
Security Alert Submitted 21 March 2007
Email Address Submitted 19 March 2007
Stranded in Madrid Submitted 18 March 2007
The Cost of Christmas Submitted 15 March 2007
"Free Flight" Experience Submitted 12 March 2007
Missed Confirmation Number Submitted 7 March 2007
Excess Baggage Charge Submitted 3 March 2007
Rude Member of Staff Submitted 13 February 2007
Letter to Ryanair About Compensation Submitted 12 February 2007
Letter to Ryanair About Changes to Allowances on Return from Poland Submitted 10 February 2007
Return Flight from Riga Submitted 6 February 2007
Letter to Ryanair About Cost of Wheelchair Booking Submitted 1 February 2007
Comment on How Ryanair Works Submitted 1 February 2007
Letter to Ryanair About Several Matters Submitted 29 January 2007
Passport Demanded for Internal Flight Submitted 28 January 2007
Letter to Ryanair About Charging new Tax for Cancelled Flight Submitted 27 January 2007
Knowing How Ryanair Works Submitted 26 January 2007
No Option to Cancel Before Extra Fee Added Submitted 25 January 2007
Refusal to Give an Elderly Injured Passenger a Wheelchair Submitted 23 January 2007
Refusal to Pay Due Compensation Submitted 23 January 2007
Ryanair Claims of Passport/ID Validity Submitted 22 January 2007
Late Credit Card Debits Submitted 22 January 2007
Exchange of Emails with Ryanair Submitted 22 January 2007
Lack of Assistance During Cancellations Submitted 18 January 2007
"Free" Flights Submitted 15 January 2007
Cancelled Flights Submitted 15 January 2007
Irish Identity Submitted 10 January 2007
Baggage Strategy Submitted 10 January 2007
Military ID Refused Submitted 10 January 2007
Changing Identity Rules for Return Submitted 10 January 2007
Ode to Ryanair Submitted 10 January 2007
Stranded at New Year Submitted 10 January 2007
Complaint and Response About Priority Booking Submitted 9 January 2007
Distant Airports Submitted 10 January 2007
Skiiing Holidays Submitted 9 January 2007
Forced to Split Baggage Submitted 9 January 2007
Overbooking Submitted 9 January 2007
Late Email and Good Experience Submitted 9 January 2007
Shared Baggage Submitted 9 January 2007
Overweight Baggage Submitted 9 January 2007
Budget Travel Experience Submitted 8 January 2007
Refusing Full Refund Submitted 8 January 2007
Retrying Credit Card Payments Submitted 8 January 2007
Letter to Ryanair about Wheelchair Services Submitted 7 January 2007
Lost Bag Recovered Submitted 6 January 2007
Point-to-Point, but Selling Onward Tickets? Submitted 6 January 2007
Seat Loading Distribution Submitted 6 January 2007
Two Experiences of Good Responses from Ryanair Staff Submitted 5 January 2007
Sitting With Children Submitted 3 January 2007
Printing Boarding Card Submitted 3 January 2007
Advertising Suspended Route Submitted 2 January 2007
The Cost of Getting Out of Trouble Submitted 2 January 2007
Ryanair Refuses Other Identification When Passport Stolen Submitted 2 January 2007
No Refund on Return, When Outward Flight Cancelled Submitted 2 January 2007
Another Reduction in Service Submitted 2 January 2007
No Responsibility for Delay Caused by Ryanair Submitted 2 January 2007
No Compensation For Damage Submitted 2 January 2007
Priority Boarding Charged For Submitted 2 January 2007
Penalty for Mistake in Booking Submitted 1 January 2007
Penalty for Online Check-in Submitted 31 December 2006
Refund of Baggage Fee Submitted 31 December 2006
Shared Luggage Submitted 31 December 2006
No Help With Missing Luggage Submitted 29 December 2006
Suitcases Submitted 30 December 2006
Trampled Children Submitted 30 December 2006
No Compensation Submitted 30 December 2006
Delayed to Deliver Part Submitted 28 December 2006
Baggage Sharing Submitted 28 December 2006
Non-Existent Route Submitted 28 December 2006
Special Needs Call Costs Submitted 28 December 2006
Two Experiences Submitted 28 December 2006
Wheelchair User's Humiliation Submitted 10 July 2006
Letter to Ryanair from Customer (no reply at 9 July 2006) Submitted 9 July 2006
Three Experiences from one Customer Submitted 8 July 2006
Ignoring European Legislation Submitted 8 July 2006
Long Story of Emails and Legal Proceedings Submitted 5 July 2006
Contacting Ryanair Submitted 5 July 2006
£40 for Baby Stuff Submitted 5 July 2006
Change of Flight Time Submitted 5 July 2006
Refund of Costs Submitted 5 July 2006
Excess Baggage Submitted 5 July 2006
No Telephone Support Submitted 5 July 2006
Confiscated Burner Submitted 25 June 2006
Customer Service Submitted 18 April 2006
Problem With This Section 13 February 2005
Passports and Full Flights Submitted 13 February 2005
More Good Experience Submitted 13 February 2005
Good Experience Submitted 8 February 2005
Passports Yet Again Submitted 5 February 2005
Passports Again Submitted 30 January 2005
Early Change of Booking Submitted 28 January 2005
Carrying Skis Submitted 26 January 2005
Change of Flight Time Submitted 23 January 2005
Baggage Limits Submitted 5 November 2004
More Passport Horrors Submitted 4 November 2004
Checkin Refused 2 Submitted 30 October 2004
Excess Baggage 2 Submitted 26 October 2004
Priority Seating Submitted 12 October 2004
Security on Internal Flight Submitted 11 October 2004
Refund Refused Submitted 21 September 2004
Airline Employee Submitted 16 September 2004
Credit Card Charges Submitted 12 September 2004
Reply to Disgusted 12 September 2004
Disgusted by this Site Submitted 12 September 2004
Cheapest Flight? Submitted 9 September 2004
Check-In Refused Submitted 26 August 2004
Change of Flight Time Submitted 19 August 2004
Cancellation Still on Sale Submitted 19 August 2004
Stranded in Sweden Submitted 20 July 2004
Excess Baggage Submitted 15 July 2004
Seats and Baggage Submitted 9 July 2004
Early Check-In Closure Submitted 18 June 2004
Telephone Charges Submitted 9 May 2004
Free Flights Submitted 30 April 2004
Rescheduling Submitted 29 April 2004
Abandoned in Treviso Submitted 21 April 2004
Lost Luggage Submitted 5 February 2004
Money Taken Without Confirmation Submitted 21 January 2004


Site Languages
Submitted 30 March 2010

I’M SPANISH BUT I HAVE BEEN LIVING IN THE UK FOR 14 YEARS SO I CAN SPEAK AND READ ENGLISH, HOWEVER, MOST OF MY FAMILY LIVE IN SPAIN AND SPEAK ONLY SPANISH, NO ENGLISH....RECENTLY WE ALL BOOKED FLIGHTS TO VISIT MY BROTHER IN THE NORTH OF SPAIN, I BOOKED FROM THE UK, USING THE RYANAIR WEBSITE IN ENGLISH, MY FAMILY DID IT IN SPAIN USING THE SPANISH SITE, ALL OF OUR RETURN FLIGHTS GOT CHANGED, A COUPLE OF HOURS LATER THAN WE WANTED TO COME BACK, ANYWAY...... NO HAPPY ABOUT THAT BUT THE MOST INFURIATING THING IS THAT THEY HAVE SEND MY FAMILY AN EMAIL IN ENGLISH TO INFORM THEM ABOUT THE CHANGES!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHY NOT IN SPANISH?

WHAT IS THE POINT OF CHOOSING THE SITE IN YOUR OWN LANGUAGE SO YOU KNOW WHAT IS HAPPENING IF RYANAIR IS GOINT TO CONTACT YOU USING A DIFFERENT LANGUAGE TO YOURS? NO EVERYBODY HAVE SOMEONE TO TRANSLATE............WHAT IF OTHER PEOPLE IN THE SAME SITUATION MISS THEIR FLIGHTS BECAUSE OF THAT????????? I THAT LEGAL ?

AND THEN, YOU TRY TO CONTACT THEM AND OF COURSE YOU CAN’T, UNLESS YOUR ARE READY TO WASTE YOUR MONEY IN A VERY EXPENSIVE PHONE CALL THAT NOBODY EVER ANSWER!!!!!!!!!!!!!

THANKS FOR YOUR TIME

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Thank You to the Captain
Submitted 17 March 2010

A big THANK YOU.

Please, send the captains at our flight - a great thank you for letting our youngest son see, sit and feel the feeling in the cockpit for a few minutes.  

It was his first flight and since he was 2 years old (10 today) he had said he’ll become a pilot. The captain made Richards day!!!

Once again – THANK YOU! For taking the time even if you had a scheduled time.

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Missing Confirmation (addressed to Ryanair)
Submitted 17 March 2010

I recently booked a flight from Dublin to Rom, unfortunately during the booking process the email address I provided was somehow lost and I haven't received the confirmation email. It is neither in the spam folder nor in the bin. From what I have seen on message boards and forums this is not unusual, using a euphemism.

Furthermore, because you have to type your email address twice, I hardly believe it's a mistake on my part, I know my email, I use it regularly for booking and how could I possibly mistype "jonziepoo"?. But let's be reasonable and admit that it could also have been a mistake on my part, it is still extremely difficult to contact ryanair from Italy. This is simply because your premium rate numbers are blocked in this country and the activation process is somehow time consuming and difficult. I also tried to call abroad but with no success. I'm sure you get this sort of complaint all the time about the premium rates, the point is that one would gladly pay if only someone would pick up on the other side (I tried abroad as I said).

The online review of the booking does not allow to update the contact email, which is pretty lame.  Now, I am simply trying to contact Ryanair so that Ryanair can contact me in case of any changes to the flight. Or do you reckon I should just stroll to the airport and find out 2 hours prior to take off? I find it irritating that this simple task is taking up so much of my time. Even finding your email has been a great challenge. I have also separately  emailed Michelle Penston, although with less complaints and a simple request of help.

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Premium Rate Numbers from Italy
Submitted 16 March 2010

Just a few lines to tell you that the premium rates numbers to contact ryanair from Italy (899 018 880 and 899 28 99 93) are blocked for most Italians. The funny thing about these numbers is that no one can call them because they are blocked by law (all 899s). In order to be able to unlock these numbers and contact ryanair, you have to fax your telephone company a specific request and attach along a fotocopy of your ID document.

Another thing that appears to be pretty common recently is that during the booking process the website "tends" to store a wrong email address, forcing the customer to call the premium rate (because he'll never receive the confirmation email, neither communication about flight changes). I'd like to stress that the number of people complaining about this is large judging from the various forum and boards and that I use only 1 email for everything. It's unlikely to be a mistyping thingy. Cheerio.

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Extra Payments Taken (letter to Ryanair)
Submitted 27 February 2010

I am writing a letter for four refunds needed on transactions taken from my bank account and submitting a letter of complaint about these transactions taken and your dealing with this.

On the 13th Feb I tried to purchase some gift vouchers from your website numerous times with great failings by your website none of these continued through to me confirming the item. Various error messages appeared. I prevailed however and bought some tickets to Valencia and committed to a date and flight time, the payments details went through with no issues. I confirmed the payment and as you would expect the transaction came out of my bank account.

What I didn’t expect was you Ryan Air to take FOUR consecutive payments of £55 also bringing me considerably overdrawn. I first rang about the payments on the 17th your advisor stated that the payments appeared on system but as declined transactions, and NatWest account would reinstate this money by Mon 22nd. It is now the 22nd of Feb; I have spoken directly to NatWest and can confirm these numerous payments HAVE been taken from my bank account!! I have been provided with the transaction codes as proof of this and told Ryan Air should check merchant services. After again speaking to your advisors I got no help in the matter, or more importantly a refund. Instead I got told to get MY money back I had to write this letter.

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Flight Missed due to no Call
Submitted 20 February 2010

I arrived at Beauvais airport for FR29 to Dublin 16 January, scheduled to depart at 22.20, and went straight through to the departure lounge an hour and a half before departure.

A screen at the entrance to Porte D (which is down a corridor next to this screen) showed Dublin FR29 and I sat in front of it, periodically checking for news of boarding.

It never said it was boarding. A general call for passengers for this flight to go to "the departure gate" went out but I thought I was at the gate. No names were called.

At 22.15 I asked the staff at Porte C when the Dublin flight would board and they said it was already boarded. Myself and four others missed this flight. Even though boarding could have taken place at 22.15, as a member of staff later confirmed, we were sent to the Ryanair desk the other side of security and Ryanair staff tried to sell us new flights for €100.

The last coach back to Paris was called and I ran for this coach to avoid being stranded at the airport. The others stayed. When I made enquiries on my arrival for a new flight on 18 January I was told by airport staff that it is the airport's responsibility to manage the screens and call the flights, while Ryanair said there had been a police report.

I have received a predictably unhelpful reply from Ryanair stating that all airports are subject to the same rules and that it's the passenger's responsibility to appear at the gate.

As I believe it is Beauvais' fault I wrote to them. I received a letter back from the President of Beauvais. He repeated the same line about all airports being subject to the same rules and said "in your case an agent event went the Security Point to check if you weren't there" - which was pointless as the passengers were at the entrance to Gate D, watching the screen that still didn't indicate boarding. He hasn't specifically denied that the screen at the entrance to Porte D was misleading and that the passengers names were not called, although he says "Given the respect of the procedure, we cannot accept your claim for reimbursement."

I would like to trace the other four people (two Irish and two French) who were stranded by this flight so we can act as witnesses for each other that this did indeed happen.

If you want to contact the author, please email us and we will pass on your message.

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Complaint to ASA
Submitted 19 January 2010

I recently complained to the ASA regarding Ryanair advertising £5 flights from Prestwick to Alicante on their site. Searching based on the criteria laid down by Ryanair for the flights, I searched and there were none. This is the reply I received from the ASA.

Dear Mr []

Your complaint about Ryanair website

Thank you for your recent complaint about a sales promotion appearing on the Ryanair website.

Unfortunately, the ASA is unable to help you further on this occasion as we do not regulate sales promotions appearing on this website. Let me explain. Our Code only applies to UK advertisers or advertisers with a UK based office taking significant advertising decisions.  In this case, Ryanair are based in Ireland and they do not have any UK based office. Therefore, their website promotions are considered to be foreign media and this falls outside of our remit. However, there is an equivalent body to whom you can complain who may be able to help you. You can contact them using the details here. [http://www.asai.ie/complain.asp]

I am sorry that we have been unable to help you, but thank you for taking the time and trouble to contact us with your concerns.

Yours sincerely

Karen Harms

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Care With Browser Windows
Submitted 17 January 2010

I discovered that buying single tickets, UK-Italy and then Italy-UK, would be slighlty cheaper than buying a return. After doing all the comparisons I started booking and I had two separate Internet Explorer screens open. I completed the booking for the outgoing flight, which would cost me ? 153; that was the figure that appeared on the page with my credit card details when I clicked. The final screen however, showed that I had booked a return flight for ? 309.60. I had no screen open for a return flight, as I had closed it previously; my other screen with the single Italy-UK flight was open separately and not yet completed. How did they do that??? Just as well I still wanted to come back – if I had decided to book my flight back later or with somebody else I would have instead got stuck with a flight I had only enquired about but did not want!

I then booked another flight, which also would have been cheaper as two singles, but I decided not to risk any problems and went simply for the return straight away.

I could have saved ? 15-20 (depending on the euro exchange rate at the time) overall on these two flights.

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Error on Printing Boarding Card
Submitted 23 December 2009

We, me and my wife flew from Torp- Sandefjord to London Stansted in July 2009, and did excactly as the internet booking instructed us to do. However, everytime we tried to print out our boardingcard, a message popped up with the text "internal server error" so finally we gave up.

Once we came to the desk at Torp, we received our boardingcard and tickets and enjoyed our stay in London the coming weekend.

The real problem came at Stansted when we headed back home, we just could not get the boarding card from the selfservice machine, and after standing  more than 30 minutes in a long line in front the Ryanairdesk the Ryanair-lady said we could not get it there, we had to buy it from a ticket desk, nearby at the airport.

At this time our level of stress started because the time was running out. Finally we manished to buy a new boardingcard for both of us, but manished to get 3 minutes late for bringing our main luggage trough the check in desk..

We stood if front of the same Ryanairdesk again, but obviously it was not correct Ryanairdesk. It was the Ryanair at our backside, eventough Ryanair staff told us to get to the desk in front. . After a painstaking discussion we gave up and bought new tickets the day after, paid for our luggage and spended the night at a local hotel.

Staff at the airport sympatized and confirmed our bad feeling about whats just happened to us. I just can't forget the lady who said " oh, Ryanair creates such a mess" 

We came back after our night at the hotel and checked in with our referencenumber, and the new problem this time was we could not get the self servicemachine to accept our luggage, the very one we already paied for the evening before at the ticketsale office.

End of story is that we payed for our luggage twice, the evening before and the morning after. I have never experienced any airline with such a useless bookingsystem. It seems to create traps in order to make passengers pay twice, and where is the responibility when the actual journey is paied for. Should we end up staying in a foreign country just because we misses a peace of A4 paper, eventough we are booked as actual passengers.

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Bristol Flights in 2010 cancelled
Submitted 17 December 2009

I have just been informed that ALL Ryanair flights via Bristol in 2010 are cancelled. The only reason I know this is that I today tried to book an extra flight for my daughter to fly from Bristol to Pau a week later that my flight (which I booked 2 weeks ago). When... I searched their website it said "No flights available"...odd, I thought so I then checked my own flight date instead and again the computer said no flights.

Unless there's some big nun pilgrimage to Lourdes, it was pretty unlikely the flights were all so out, so I checked my on line booking for cancellation notification (as the website says) and all was fine. I checked my inbox and spam box (as the website says) for a cancellation email and found nothing. I finally dug deep and called the rip off customer service line....after a while I got through to an operator who informed me that "yes, all flights to Bristol in 2010 are cancelled".

Well thanks a bunch for letting me know.....(he did say that they were going to let me know but couldn't say when (yeh right)). I feel sorry for the passengers that try to check or arrive at the airport only to find the flight's been cancelled and that alternatives are all sold out or mega bucks.

Me, I’m voting with my feet and flying easyjet from Biarritz (nearer) to Gatwick (further) instead. Oh, and if you are flying Ryanair anywhere in or out of Bristol in 2010, then I'd check (eg by doing a search for your flight) as they did say "all Bristol flights in 2010 are cancelled".

Sláinte Mr O’Leary!

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Ryanair Monopoly in Internal Route in Portugal
Submitted 16 December 2009

Just got back home to Faro after our first experience of using 'Brianair' - a complete nightmare which will never be repeated by us.  

Unfortunately, Ryanair have the monopoly on this new internal route between the north and south of Portugal. We booked and checked in online but my husband had to change and fly over to London instead of returning with me. We were unable to change the checked bag from his name into mine so had to 'buy' another bag for the return leg.  To cut a long story short we have paid for a return fare and checked bag which were unused and were also stung for 80 euro baggage charge on the return flight as I had to bring  more back for my husband than he was able to take onto London.  I have left a comment at the Skytrax site and would love to try and warn everyone about this latest rip off on a route which could bring new people to the full horror of the Ryanair experience.  The vast majority of the other pax were Portuguese and those who needed help getting into the aircraft were being reasonably well treated by the obviously hard pressed staff. I noted that there were only three suitcases on the baggage reclaim conveyor, everyone else had wisely chosen not to take any luggage except what they could stagger onto the aircraft with..... and the number of people carrying bags and handbags etc. was interesting too .....  

I asked for the Livro de Reclamacoes (Complaints book) which all businesses in Portugal have to have, and was given a slip with the Dublin address on it, so I could not even complain in the same country I was insulted in ?? Surely against the law ??  

The comments I have seen about the rubbish announcements and overselling all rang true on this trip, the flight is an hour, so no drinks or food was served as time was reserved for flogging 'gifts' !! and the toilet was also unavailable for most of the flight.  

The staff at Porto airport were unhelpful, and totally unwilling to offer any alternative to sort our problem. We have used Easyjet on many occasions and, quite wrongly, thought Ryanair would be similar.  I would now never ever use them again, and we will revert to our more normal practice of driving up to Porto from Faro. I would be fascinated to know if you have any other comments from this new method of torturing people known as flying with Ryanair from Porto airport.

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Left Behind due to Passport Dropped in Plane After Checkin
Submitted 2 December 2009

Last April , due to cheap flights being available on ryanair, and hotels cheap too, i booked a holiday to seville with my 70 year old mother whos birthday it was.

We set off early in the morning clutching our printout boarding cards with a neighbour who came with us.

all fairly uneventful til it came to boarding the flight.

At first i got stopped for having too much baggage and when i repacked and had empty bags over , was told i couldnt even put them in the bin, so determined were they to get the 30 euro extra out of me. Meanwhile my mother and neighbour had boarded the plane , but once on board my mother somehow dropped her passport and started to panic, when the staff were alerted to the situation, they were not very sympathetic at all, and rather than do the sensible thing of asking all passengers to check under their seats, they marched her off the flight as they told her without her pass port she would not be allowed in in spain, but she clearly HAD had her passport in order to board the plane.

this was a bit of a shock as it was for her birthday we were travelling.

20 minutes into the flight the passport was found by a passenger , under a seat, and handed in. We persuaded the staff to take it back to dublin and managed to make contact with my mother when we landed in seville.

out of the goodness of their hearts, they offered her another flight to malaga that day for no extra charge, and we drove 3 hours therre to collect her, and 3 hours back. thus day one taken out of holiday.

i realise it could have been much worse , but even now i was considering booking another flight with them and for some reason the phone number will not load into the booking system , therefore necessitating some kind of phone contact as there is no email address to contact about the problem, and would therefore increase the price of the flight.

Aer lingus just announced they are to lose 1000 jobs. What a Shame if Oleary gets his hands on them too. even at twice the price of ryanair it still looks  more attractive.

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Booking Cards: Damned if you Print, Damned if you Don't
Submitted 24 October 2009

I wish to draw your attention to two issues.

Recently, I printed off my boarding cards prior to a flight to Murcia. Unfortunately, I had a heart attack several days afterwards and was advised not to travel. When I was out of immediate danger, my wife contacted Ryanair to be informed that we had lost all our money for the flights because:

a) Ryanair does not have a cancellation policy (a patent absurdity since flights have certainly been known to have been cancelled), and
b) No further changes can be made to a booking after boarding passes have been printed, either online or by phone. In other words, had we not printed them off we could have transferred the flights to another date, at a cost of £140 (in addition to any price difference between the two flight dates).

We were also advised that to claim compensation through out insurers, we would have to pay a nauseating additional fee of £17.00 to be issued with a letter of 'no show'.

At the time of writing I have communicated with Ryanair requesting, perhaps naively, a gesture of goodwill since we have flown with them very regularly over the years but I have yet to receive a reply. It seems astonishing to me that I can be left £268 out of pocket for a service I couldn't possibly use.

My intention is to pursue Ryanair for full costs through the small claims court procedure.

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Re Tricks for Refusing Boarding
Submitted 12 October 2009

I wanted to add to the other comments on your site about Ryanair requiring non-EU/EEA citizens to get a 'visa check' before boarding, the only airline in the world to do this.

On a flight from Birmingham to Trapani in September 2009, I went with my husband (a UK citizen) to the check-in desk since he was checking in one bag. I am a US citizen. I put my passport and boarding pass on the counter with his. She checked his bag, checked our boarding passes. We went through security with no problem and to the gate.

When we were boarding, I was told that I could not board since I did not have a 'visa check' stamp. I panicked, and ran back to security. A very kind security agent took pity on me, said with dismay that this happens very Ryan Air flight, the walked/ran with me to the Ryanair visa check desk.

The 'visa check' is done at the same counter as all other matters: rebooking flights, lost baggage claims, and now baggage check. The security agent waited with me for 10 minutes as one staff person helped the other passengers before me. Then stamped my boarding pass without even looking at my passport. Then the airport official ran with me back to security, helped me cut to the front of the queue and I just made my flight - with seconds to spare. My husband boarded before me and they wouldn't let him wait for me. But others aren't as lucky.

I cannot think of any other reason for this policy other than to increase revenue from missed flights. The reason given by Ryanair is that they would have to absorb the cost of flying passengers denied entry back to their destination. But for passengers that do not need visas to enter the country of destination, there is absolutely no grounds for this policy.

The check-in staff saw my boarding pass and passport and didn't say a word about the visa check. Her silence made me think that everything was in order.

The other issue - raised by the security official escorting me back through security, as he does daily - is that Ryanair's policy imposes costs on the airport and burdens its staff.

Thanks for letting me vent. I've tried to investigate whether this is legal. It seems from searching the web that many people are experiencing what I did. It would be great if we could organize a campaign to put pressure on Ryanair to stop this policy.

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Disabled Passengers Unwelcome on Ryanair
Submitted 12 October 2009

[Dear Ryanair] I am sure you are used to the criticism regards hidden charges, rip-off food and drink prices and all the other essential ‘extras’ - after all most of the other airlines do the same to a lesser degree.

Some of what you are doing to ‘cut costs’ have the effect of making travel with Ryanair more stressful and less pleasant than  with your competitors. 15kg of checked baggage - your passengers re-packing hand luggage at the check-in desk or paying £20 per kg. Passengers with your airline are stressed yet again at having to keep checked luggage to 15kg for maybe 2 weeks holiday and will be unable to buy souvenirs on their return.

Last week in Mallorca Thomsons were advertising 20 kg of checked baggage and no ‘extra’ charges - maybe they have ‘seen the light’ - and an opportunity. As I said at the beginning you probably brush off such criticisms but apart from the above I was most upset by the treatment by your staff in Palma on flight 6611 on 7th October.

My wife was diagnosed with MSA (please look it up) a year ago and now has to use a wheelchair much of the time but can walk with assistance (mine) for short distances and needs to use the toile t on average twice on a 2 hour flight.

At Palma on 7th there were 2 disabled passengers - my wife and another lady. I was surprised when I was told that disabled passengers would be boarded last. By the time we entered the aircraft most of the other passengers were seated and all looking forward. I felt the humiliation for my wife as she stumbled to her seat in row 5 in front of a 100 or so strangers. We could not understand either why we were seated in row 5 when the other disabled passenger was seated in row 2 - rows 3 & 4 were completely empty making her 2 trips to the toilet unnecessarily difficult and embarrassing.

ARE DISABLED PASSENGERS NOT WELCOME ON RYANAIR? OR DO THEY HAVE TO PAY FOR A SEAT AND PRIORITY BOARDING?

This treatment more than the ‘hidden costs’ will certainly be taken into account next time we book a flight.

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Rant by Frequent Flyer
Submitted 10 October 2009

It’s time the travelling public stood up to Mr. O’Leary and his cohorts. Ryanair, the People’s Champion they would have you believe but what is it really all about ? Michael O’Leary the megalomaniac and highly controversial CEO of Ryanair would have us believe he’s doing us all a favour. I mean, he’s screwing all of his suppliers such as the Dublin Airport Authority and many other airport authorities for lower landing fees, he’s canned the check-in desks at Dublin Aiport resulting in job losses, he’s cleverly hedging his oil prices (most of the time anyway), and he’s eliminating certain costs in his business so that he can PASS on the savings to US in the form of lower fares. Well Bollox to that, does he really think we are that stupid ?

All Michael O’Leary cares about is his company’s bottom line, his P&L and ultimately his share price. He has amassed a personal fortune which has elevated him to the level of prime plonker. He’s in the land of the egocentric, herding his prize charolais cattle, giving you and I the two fingers as he whizzes up the bus lane in his “taxi” and quaffing fine wine and gourmet dinners as he watches his Gigginstown House Stud horses enthral the crowds trackside. War of Attrition, how apt. This mans brinkmanship knows no end, his head to head confrontations with the country’s politicians is all merely a distraction. How dare he think he is doing us all a favour when in reality he is lining us all up for a good scalping.

As a businessman myself, on a much more modest scale, I had always respected Michael O’Leary and often drooled at the thought of emulating his success. His ability to make things happen was incredible, his drive, his ambition and his dedication to the cause was equally incredible. Unfortunately he didn’t know when to stop and there’s only so far one can go on such a mission before the very people who helped him to build his airline (joe public) are the very people that he’s now targeting to line his pockets even more. We’ve all heard the term “robbing peter to pay paul”. Well what O’Leary is doing is tantamount to daylight robbery.

Picture this. I am a frequent flyer, clocking up 50 or so flights a year. I have it down to a fine art in terms of getting to the airport, checking in, baggage, security e.t.c. I recently went on a family holiday which was for two weeks with my partner and our young baby. So, I arrive to the Ryanair baggage desk having already checked in online (for a fee). We had two large bags to check in (for a fee) and two pieces of carry on luggage. I knew one of the bags was overweight but was levelled when the Ryanair “drone” behind the desk told me I had to pay €255 for excess weight. My reaction was one of total disbelief, I mean the fare for the three of us was €400 and this included baggage, checkin and various other fees. I tried to reason with the “drone” and I call her a drone because that’s exactly what she was like. She came out of the Michael O’Leary school of pomposity and arrogance. “Well sir, you packed the bag yourself and you agreed to our terms and conditions. You can remove some items from the bag if you wish sir”. Bollox ! Have you ever tried going on a two week holiday with a fourteen month old baby with 15kg in your bag ? Sure the damn bag weighed 5kg before we put anything into it!. “It states clearly in the terms and conditions that it will cost €15 per kg sir”. So, I duly read the itinerary and terms and conditions which I had conveniently printed out. Of course when I got to the section that dealt with excess baggage fees the text read “click here for details of charges”. Maybe Michael O’Leary will make his next fortune when he figures out how to connect a piece of paper to the internet. The document I printed out had everything else detailed on it, except the cost of excess baggage. Another smart arsed tactic by O’Leary. Anyway, I went to the payment desk to settle my excess baggage fee only to be met by another Ryanair “drone”. Once again I was met with the usual O’Leary-esque bullshit. Lead by example. O’Leary is spawning these people, God help us. Have a coke and a smile is what I say, to hell with these sour faces and dull personalities. O’Leary needs to teach his people how to deal with the public and would do well to stop putting them in a position of constantly having to defend his company’s rip-off tactics.

So, not long after I pay my €255 excess baggage fee I am strolling towards security. My blood pressure has just about restored to normal levels when I suddenly get a hot flush, palpatations and dizziness in my head. Jesus, I thought, we have to fly home in two weeks and we’ll have the same luggage to take back on the return leg. Another €255 to get our asses home. Oh My God I thought, €510 just for baggage on a €400 flight, €80 of which already covers the basic baggage fee. So, essentially I am paying €590 to fly two bags to Portugal and back but its only costing me €320 (including handlings fees and taxes) to fly myself, my partner and baby ? I somehow suspect it would be cheaper to ship the bags by DHL and meet them there. I can safely say, the first three days of my holiday were a non event as my blood was still boiling as I plotted to sort this guy out. The advertised cost of my flight was a total of €160 but I ended up paying a total of €910 - Why are these people allowed to do this ? I mean, can you imagine your local motor dealer advertising a new car for €2,999 but when you go in to buy it you have to pay extra if you’d like a steering wheel in it, a little more if you’d like seats and a little more just to drive it off the forecourt. I think you’re with me on this.

Bring back the days of the IR£150 air fare where at least you knew what you were getting. Who do you think you are fooling O’Leary ? Have you ever flown with your children ? Probably not methinks. You probably wouldn’t spend the money.

The next time you hear O’Leary ranting on about landing charges, oil prices, baggage handling costs and other anciliary costs, always remember all he is thinking about is his bottom line. He tells us all he is passing on these savings in the form of lower fares. Maybe so, but the Lord giveth and taketh away with the other hand. Of course we can all fly to Nice or Lisbon or Rome for €5, once we stump up the remaining handling fee, insurance, baggage fee, check-in fee, excess baggage in some cases and of course the priority boarding fee. God be with the days where a woman with a child was allowed to board a flight first. He is now running out of options. Apart from the €5 cup of coffee and the €5 soggy sandwich what about his failed attempt to rent personal DVD players on his flights. Now, after years of being told its not safe to use mobile phones or other electronic devices whilst airborne, its now suddenly OK on Ryanair flights now that they’ve figured out a way to charge us for it ! You can use your mobile phone but you can’t use an iPhone or Blackberry in Airplane mode – go figure !

Michael O’Leary you are a joker of the highest order. Whilst you have castigated your government and others, often referring to them as muppets, the truth is you are the biggest muppet of them all. You are deceptive in the extreme. You are abusing your position to take advantage of vulnerable people. You are a thief.

Welcome to the Ryanair HoneyTrap.

*My trip to Portugal was the first time I had flown with Ryanair in approximately two years and it was my last flight with the Honeytrap airline.

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More Tricks for Refusing Boarding
Submitted 6 October 2009

I was booked on Ryanair flight FR113 to Dublin on Friday, October 2. Upon presenting my boarding pass and passport, I was informed I could not board as my boarding pass had not been stamped by the Ryanair check in desk to confirm my Australian passport had a valid visa for Ireland. This is in spite of the fact that Australians do NOT require a visa, and that I hold an Irish resident permit.

I attempted to explain this to the gate attendant, who then ‘phoned his manager. The manager apparently confirmed I must return to the check in desk. This was not possible as the flight was due to depart in five minutes.

By this stage, I had found and produced my British passport, which he also refused to accept as I had quoted submitted details of my Australian passport on the original booking!

I travel frequently between Ireland and the UK with Aer Lingus, and other carriers, and I have never been asked to produce “proof” of an Irish visa at check-in.

When I asked for both his name, and that of his supervisor, he refused.

I consequently had to book a later Aer Lingus flight costing £249.00, and missed two business meetings.

I have since learned, this is not a requirement of the Irish authorities and that Ryanair is the only airline with this requirement, which I understand they have on recently introduced.

This sits rather oddly with their lack of check in desks, and attempts to by-pass these by having passengers check in on-line.

It is worth noting I spoke with staff from Servisair and Aer Lingus at the time, and it seems the prevailing view is this is yet another cynical ploy by Ryanair to extract more money from passengers unnecessarily missing flights, and having to book another (far more expensive) one the same day.

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No Refund of Taxes
Submitted 2 October 2009

A party of 9 of us were due from Stansted to Kerry in August but one member had to drop-out several weeks before we departed. We phoned Ryanair to tell them this and request a refund of taxes as they had charged us but would not incur these. We were told we could not submit a claim until we returned. We also noticed this person had by chance been allocated an item of baggage and asked for this to be changed to another member of the party. Again they said it couldn't be done!

On our return we wrote to claim back the tax and the baggage charge we had initially paid but been charged again at the airport. We got the usual response that the admin charges exceeded the amount claimed and the baggage charges were not refundable as per their terms and conditions. I really want to fight this on principle. The taxes and charges they listed on our invoice came to £49 per person and add the extra £20 for baggage we had to pay twice and Ryanair have taken £69 from us. How can they get away with saying only the government tax is refundable for a start - all the taxes and fees they have charged were not incurred as the passenger didn't fly, so they should all be refundable. Likewise the baggage fee - the passenger didn't travel so the fee should be refunded.

Do you think it is worth taking to a small claims court? I know their T&Cs appear to cover them but I feel these are unfair and need to be challenged!

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True Cost of Flying with Ryanair
Submitted 15 September 2009

You compare flight seats on the Internet and Ryanair looks very good in comparison with SAS, KLM, Lufthansa etc. Ryanair also fly from city airports to city airports and this is of course good for environment, travel time and comfort.

So you start the online booking and add on just keep on coming and just everything is additional. You want to be covered so you buy the travel insurance to a reasonable cost. When the booking is finished it's still acceptable, but hen you have to check-in online in order to get your boarding card (not having this at the gate will charge you 40€ each way). The total fare that seemed to be quite competitive compared with SAS, KLM and Lufthansa turns out to be more expensive. SAS charged 5250sek for the same trip and Ryanair charged 3816sek when compared and as you can see the final cost with Ryanair exceeds the SAS price with nearly 1000sek.

PAYMENT DETAILS

The final sum is way beyond the price stated when you first started, but you think that you’re well covered with insurance, the environment factor and city to city comfort and you don't have rent a car at the final destination. 

Now the problem starts.

A slip on the desktop when one of the passengers works his online check in result in the booking number ending up in the passport box as well. Ok, the passenger should have seen this but the human error is present and the Internet site doesn’t react to a “must be common mistake” with the booking number in two places. It's like they want you to make mistake so that they can charge you money. Once the check in is done there’s no way to adjust a simple mistake and you’re in the hands of the heavy charge phone support. And you must solve this prior the check in at the airport or they will charge you 40€ each way to solve the boarding card issue.

There’s of course no Swedish support or local support centre.

You now have to call Ryanair on 0900 20 20 240 for a charge of 4sek per minute. They will let you know the charge of this phone call and then they will let the phone ring for a loooong time. You try again with the same result…After 5-7 tries you get through and the first thing they do is to ask if they can put you on hold. Before you even get a chance to answer you’re on hold. When you finally get through they tell you that they can’t help you on this number and direct you to 0900 20 20 245.

Calling 0900 20 20 245 will charge 15sek per minute!

Same thing over again and it will take many tries and waiting before you get through and can get support to solve the passport number issue.

To make things worse your business partner on the destination calls and state that there’s a problem with the agreed visit date and we ought to cancel the visit and find a new date. You are now back to square one.

You are calling Ryanair on 0900 20 20 240 for a charge of 4sek per minute and hope that it will be enough to pay 4sek/min to get support. After 5-7 tries and some waiting on hold you are told to call 0900 20 20 245 for booking support.

You know the drill… Try until you get through, wait on hold and then they will tell you they can’t do nothing for you and that you money spent on tickets, luggage, check in fee’s, administration etc are not refundable.

When you state that you bought the Ryanair online insurance they will direct you to Ryanair website to find contact information to the insurance company. There’s just no help to get from Ryanair phone support.

You visit the insurance page and you print the insurance policy and the printer doesn’t stop until EIGHT pages later!Horrified you realise that most likely you’re screwed over by Ryanair and the insurance that you paid for is worth less than toilet paper. There’s no phone number to the insurance company.

So you once again call the 0900 20 20 245 number and spends another 150sek to the Ryanair support just to ask if they have a phone number to the insurance support. They will politely state the insurance company as if it is not under Ryanair wings, but you’ll get a link to an Email support. ryanair.refunds@axa-travel-insurance.com.

You write an Email to this address 11th September but you get no response. Two days later you write another Email and include the first Email.Still no response! A third Email is sent the 14th September but of course the response is none.

We have know come to the conclusion that we’re fucked by Ryanair and we will see our tickets and expenses as lost and a valuable lesson learned. We will never again use Ryanair and the Email sent to Ryanair will be forwarded to every person in our contacts and it is now published on our website! 

“A satisfied customer will tell their family and closest friends, but a dissatisfied customer tells the world if he doesn't get support!” Maybe something small for Ryanair to consider in the future. 

Thank you very much Ryanair!

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Success in Reducing Change Fee
Submitted 4 September 2009

I made a booking yesterday evening for 4 people costing €160 in total.  In my haste i got the destinations back to front; travelling from Eindhoven to Dublin return rather than what I actually wanted - from Dublin to Eindhoven return.  I panicked when i saw that to change the booking online was going to cost me an additional €450!!!

Thanks to your website i used the number 00 3531 2480856 and got through to a relatively helpful woman who said she would change the booking to the right destinations for €113,  Now that is still extortionate but a hell of a lot better than i expected.  Not only that....but ten minutes later i realised i had entered the name of friend wrong.  I called the number back and they changed it for me without charge.  They told me that had i rang half an hour later i would have been charged full price for all these changes so I would advise anyone else who makes mistakes to get in touch with Ryanair as quickly as possible after they are made to try to avoid high charges.

thanks for all the helpful info on your website!!!

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Rude Onboard Staff
Submitted 17 August 2009

I made a formal complaint against a member of Ryanair staff.

I asked her politely to see if the AC could be turned down soon after taking off from Ibiza, as it was blowing right over my head and I was very, cold, and so were other people who were next to me. About 30 minutes later it was still blowing the same cold air and I approached her again…..her response was utterly manner less and abrupt. This is her reply to me I have only got one pair of hands as you can see I am busy serving soon as I get a chance I will ask the captain……Oh no body else is complaining seems like you are the only cold one on board!!!!!!!.

At this stage she was about 4 rows away from the captain and was travelling towards the end of the plane……by the time she had finished it was almost time to land into England.

I am very surprised at the way in which she spoke to me I have never been spoken to in that way on any airline ever in my life.

It has spoilt my good memories and the relaxed feeling that I had on my holiday.

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Excess Baggage Fee
Submitted 19 August 2009

This is my latest experience of flying with Ryanair, this morning from Stansted to Genoa on the 9.50 flight.

I was travelling with my two daughters ages 9 and 12 and we had checked in one suitcase each. At the baggage drop I was delighted to see that the first suitcase weighed only 13,8 kilos and pointed this out to my daughter (speaking to her in Italian, as is our habit). The other two suitcases, I was told, were over the 15 kilo limit so that I would have to remove something from them or pay £15 per kilo excess. Hence I asked the "lady" if I could retrieve the first suitcase which sat at a distance of 6 inches from her elbow since, being underweight, I could swap around the baggage and solve the problem between the cases and our hand luggage the excess could be eliminated.

The reply came that the first suitcase was at its limit of 15 kilos and could not be returned to me: pay the excess or remove something from your suitcases.

I contested the weight since we had clearly read 13,8 kilos but was denied access to the suitcase in question.

At the boarding gate we were told repeatedly to "move on, move on, quickly, move on" to which I pointed out that they were not dealing with cattle but paying passengers.

True that it is a low cost airline, but we do actually still pay to fly Ryanair. This should entitle us to normal good manners on behalf of Ryanair staff, perhaps not the red carpet but general politeness would be good enough to start off with.

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Young Women Abandoned in Beauvais
Submitted 14 August 2009

Last night, my daughter and three of her female friends were cast aside by Ryan Air in Paris at the so called airport, Beauvais. I say 'cast aside' because that is most accurate description of how they were treated.

My daughter and her three companions are all 18 years old women on their 1st trip abroad, and until yesterday enjoying every minute. As I am sure you are aware, their late-evening flight back to Glasgow Prestwick from Beauvais on Thursday 13th August was cancelled by Ryan Air at the very last minute. Ryan Air representatives in Beauvais explained their options. A very limited financial refund or alternative travel with Ryan Air over the next few days and no assistance with either food or accommodation or travel to suitable & safe areas where they could find overnight accommodation.

Ryan Air's options of alternative travel were far from acceptable.

  1. The four young women would need to split-up and travel on three different Ryan Air flights over the weekend, the last person having to remain in Paris until Sunday 16th August. No thinking person would ever consider this as a suitable offer to young women in a foreign county!
  2. The four would be on standby only for either a flight to Prestwick or via Stockholm to Prestwick on Friday 14th August. Obviously, this travel option carries no guarantee of either carriage success or assurance they would be able to travel together on the same flight and this situation could persist over the weekend.
My daughter and her friends were left with no alternative given the lateness of the time to stay within the Beauvais airport until the following morning with no access to sustenance.

As you might imagine there were four sets of extremely concerned Parents at home in Scotland after midnight with no access to any Ryan Air contacts. Ryan Air's total lack of concern for our daughter's wellbeing left us with no option but to arrange alternative and definite travel home for the four young women ensuring they travelled together. This we have arranged through an alternative Airline.

While I appreciate that Ryan Air is a no frills airline and logistical problems can arise, I am shocked at the total lack of concern and responsibility shown by Ryan Air to keep young travelling women safe. I would appreciate an immediate response from you on this matter.

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Refund of Vouchers
Submitted 11 August 2009

I purchased two sets of 200euro Ryanair vouchers on line in April of this year. I bought these cause a friends mum told me that by paying with vouchers you could avoid the credit card fee - i thought I would be able to pull a fast one on Mick O'L but to my horror I realised - after buying them that you could only use them to purchase flights for the person named - the flights i had intended to buy were 2x200 euro flights to spain, one for me, and one for my boyfriend. Although I was able to buy my flight I could not buy my boyfriends flight because the max number of vouchers you can use per transaction is 200 so I could not buy the two flights in the same transaction....bottom line was that I wanted a refund on one of the 200 euro set of vouchures. I phoned the ryanair line the next day and told them (at my expense) I wanted a refund under the online 'distance selling regulation' which is a law that gives a 7 days cool off period for any purchases made on the internet (except flights and perishable foods). The girl on the phone was pretty clueless and just said no she'd never heard of the a rule.

I called the consumer advice bureau who that since i had bought a VOUCHER and not a flight they felt I had the right to cancel and get a full refund under the distance selling regulation.

I wrote to Ryanair outlining the case in full and they said I was not entitled to a refund - the letter was blunt.

I spoke to the CAB again and they advised to consider going to the small claims court.

The courts register contacted me last week saying that Ryanair decided to refund the full 200euro - this was refunded onto my credit card today (I wasn't gonna believe it til i saw i)

Anyway I am delighted - but naturally enough they have not put anything in writing to me - a refund is a sufficient admission of error for me!! Clearly ryanair should not be saying customers are not entitled to a refund with vouchers - the 7 day cooling off period clearly applies - I think people should know about this

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Checkin Chaos
Submitted 9 August 2009

I flew from Liverpool to Treviso on a trip to Venice. The outbound check in and flight ran relatively smoothly.

The return flight was a nightmare. The airport bus from Piazza Roma was swift (as Italian transport can be) and Ryanair passengers alighted exchanging tales of their Venice experiences (in holiday mood).

Then the rot set in as unsuspecting travellers ascended the escalator to join a massive check in queue that spanned the airport. The 'baggage drop in', as Ryanair call it, desk area was like world war three. There was just one person manning the desk and around 300 people queuing.

We stood for one and a half hours with doubts that we would catch our flight. By some miracle we did. Travelling with Ryanir with checked in baggage is like entering a parallell universe. Concern for people is non-existent. It is patently evident that Ryanair is really a shuttle-bus service that cannot and does not cater or care for travellers who need to check in baggage.

People were on the verge of fainting in the heat of the queue. It was apparent that, had someone keeled over, Ryan air would have had a wheel barrow or large shovel to hand to sweep up the inconvenient passenger. No concern for humans or humanity whatsoever. Ryanair creates and appears to revel in chaos and misery.

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Argument for Not Flying Ryanair
Submitted 7 August 2009

Recently flew Ryanair from Venice to Trapani in Italy.  Not the horror story of some of your other letters, but definitely got the feeling I was being worked over - especially on the return trip. Their business model is clearly to rope you in with a cheap fare then set as many traps as possible to charge you extra fees. 

The cattle car boarding process is a free for all to get to your seat with five consecutive passport checks (I was only checked twice on my international flight with Alitalia. Still don't understand the logic behind it. The priority boarding carrot they hold out is just another way to carve 10 euros out of you for nothing. It was a total scramble by the time we reached the plane.  

Checking in on the return flight I exceeded their ridiculous weight limit by 4 kg. Had to scramble to transfer 4 kg of stuff to my carry on bag.  Got that through their mandatory "fit it in the rack" check only to have the zipper get caught and the bag ripped open when the attendant forcibly yanked it out.  Ruined a perfectly good suitcase, only to be told by the flight attendant on the plane that it was too big and would have to be checked.

Fortunately was able to stand my ground successfully on this as it had passed their own checking process and informed her that the contents were breakable. At least she backed down.

My wife, who I only recently was able to dissuade from washing out and reusing plastic wrap still thinks it is a good deal.  I think it's a totally sleazy way of doing business.  Enough so that I started looking on line and found your site and at least one other so was gad to hear it wasn't just me.

At least now I have the ammunition to argue against ever flying them again. My son took the train for the same trip and had a wonderful time.

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Getting Through to Correct Mistake
Submitted 3 August 2009

Thanks to your web site I eventually got through to an almost humanoid

Most of the emails don’t respond and most of the tel. numbers are no reply.

However.

"More than one correspondent has had success calling the Irish Number 0818303030 (From the UK this would be 00353818303030). One has suggested that you always get through to someone if you try option 6. "

This one works. Listen to all the options (that costs Money) Then select and wait, in my case only couple of minutes (I live is Spain)

Then fairly helpful. In my case our confirmation omitted my wife’s surname. So Steven corrected and confirmed it, then sent a new confirmation (this cost me 20 euros for the trouble). The new confirmation displayed only half my wife’s surname.!

Back to the Phone ,Andrea this time.” Yes the booking shows her whole name maybe the computer doesn’t have enough room to display the whole name”. “Don’t worry when you go to the online check it will probably be alright”. Good time to find out its NOT!!

On my Insistance a new and finally correct confirmation was sent.

So I will try now to get back my 20 euros!

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£70 Fee for Mistake
Submitted 27 July 2009

Having spent hours trying to find cheap flights to get to Barcelona from Glasgow for a funeral, I finally got one with RA for 2 passengers. As i printed out my confirmation i realised I had booked the day after (I must have hit the button by accident to change date). I quickly remedied this though online through their site/link, but was then charged £35.00 per person for ammending the flight. Even though I made the relevant changes within 15 minutes. How can they possibly charge me an extra £70 for such a basic error. They claim it's an administration fee??? I CHANGED IT ONLINE AT MIDNIGHT WITHIN 15 MINUTES OF MAKING THE 1ST BOOKING!!! What possible HUMAN administration could have been done in that 15 minute window to result in £70 worth of extra fees??? i'd understand if it was days or weeks after and i had forced someone else to lose out, but I acted extremely quickly to avoid any harm.

I called the next morning to see about a refund, 0871 246 0000 and got a very unsympathetic and very rude Spanish woman (I kid you not, she just did not give a damn and actually seemed to get a kick out of my error which had cost me £70 of which I really cannot afford) who basically told me tough luck, it was my own fault and reluctantly then gave me a Refunds Dept number... 0035315081702. The Irish lady who answered this time was very helpful and pleasant and gave me an adress and told me that there was a chance they'd reverse the charge due to me realising my mistake so quickly and changing it...

Refund Dept Ryanair
Po box 11451
Swords
County Dublin
Ireland

She also gave me a fax number which I realised was the same number I just called her on 0035315081702 so my faxes didn't go through.

I used the fax on your page +35318121676 which did go through and hopefully they received it. I also sent a letter to the above postal address. i now lie and wait.

Update 4 August 2009

Gets worse... I've only ever printed off the page at confirmation of flight... so I got the 2 x £40 fee each for not having boarding pass obviously... (which is exact same printout info minus a barcode!!!),  the amount of people at Prestwick paying this fine was ludicrous and unnaceptable... and extremely unfair. I am very internet savvy.. and even I didn't realise the tiny paragrape that asks you to print online check-in off.

Worst was at Girona airport in Barcelona... the number in the queue paying either £40 fines or baggage fee was disgraceful... surely that MUST tell them that it is not advertised well enough of their new policies. The £40 fee was the main one, and brits, italian, spanish... they were all forced to pay. I really felt sorry for the family of 6 in the queue at Girona.

What I'd love to know ... WHAT IS BEING SPEEDED UP. THE QUEUES WHERE THE SAME, THE SPEED OF THE QUEUES GOING DOWN WAS THE SAME... WHAT HAS THIS POLICY CHANGED???

You should have seen the confusion when 7 queues where merged down to 3 without ANY warning at GIR AIR lol

My experience cost me an extra £150 for cheap flights.

I'd love to know how much better off Ryanair are bussiness wise with the new fees added into heir profits... and don't tell me for a second that they are justified with "extra staffing" or "administration".

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Falling Foul of Weight Limits
Submitted 22 July 2009

Ryan Air very much has the attitude that if you have a problem with its third-world business practices, you must be stupid. We followed all of their rules for online check-in and accessing boarding passes only to be told that we didn’t have a firm enough grasp of the English language to have done it correctly and therefore they were going to charge us 40 euros.

Then they claimed our bags were overweight and charged us 15 euros per kilo. This turned out not to be accurate — at check-in for our Delta flight two hours later in Madrid we learned our bags were only 1 kilo over the limit.

Given that even a bankrupt airline such as Delta prefers having customers as opposed to having no customers, pissing them off and treating them like idiots, Delta allowed us to shift out belongings from suitcase to suitcase so as not to be charged extra. We also were charged for two bags we didn’t have and were not allowed priority boarding, for which we had already paid.

All in all, it was a disaster, and I will never fly Ryan Air again, nor allow anyone I care about to be their customer. That would include all people who believe in human dignity and decency. On the flight, it was freezing, and even with my daughter’s teeth chattering we were simply told in a cold, dispassionate voice that they had no blankets.

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Stranded in Nantes
Submitted 22 July 2009

I have just returned from a 2 week family holiday in France. Travelling with me were my wife who is 6 months pregnant my 2 kids aged 4 and 2 and both my parents mid 60’s .

After we had arrived at Nantes airport ,checked in and passed through passport control and security Ryanair informed us that our flight was unable to land in Nantes due to bad weather and had been redirected to poitier airport.

We were then informed that we need to make our way back to arrivals to collect our bags and we would be transported to poitier airport via bus. On collecting our bags we were then informed that Ryanair has now cancelled the flight from poitier to Shannon and that we would need to log on to ryanair.com to apply for a refund ...........

I now found myself and my heavily pregnant wife my 2 kids and my parents after a day travelling already stranded in nantes airport compliments of Ryanair.

We were not assisted in any way from Ryanair staff. We had to wait in line with the other 200 people for an internet kiosk to try and book any further travel arrangements.

In a nutshell what we had to do is as follows ,2 taxis to a hotel near the train station €70, Overnight accommodation €135, rail tickets €275, Aerlingus return flights from paris €1350, car rental from Dublin airport to Shannon airport €91. A total cost of €1921. €400 of which we may receive from Ryanair as a refund for the 1 way flight.

I am well aware that Ryanair will claim that this was due to bad weather but what reason can they possibly have for not delaying the flight from poitier (this flight left poitier airport empty ) until we had all been transported their to make our return flight home.

This surely can not be allowed to continue and Ryanair have to be made responsible to get people home as these people booked a return flight with hem and are now at their mercy.

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Lack of Care During Delay
Submitted 22 July 2009

On July 16 when we were delayed at Ryanair’s Bezier Airport. Initially the announcement was that the delay would be for 2 to 3 hours but we received no other information for 6 hours when we were asked to board. We were told we could buy something from the bar at the airport but we had no euros and Ryanair did not provide us with opportunity or advice on changing money. Moreover the bar had sold out.

The airport did not have enough seating so our two toddlers had to lay on the stones in the airport atrium.

Eventually Ryanair announced that the problem was a ‘bird strike’ and we could board. We were not even provided with water on the flight and were told that water in the toilet was not potable.

Ryanair did offer their in-flight snacks for those with money and prepared to pay their exorbitant prices. No offer of compensation was every offered nor was there any advise on how do make a complaint about such an obvious abrogation of their duty of care.

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Denied Boarding and Stranded
Submitted 9 July 2009

COMING BACK From Barcelona Girona(GRO) to Aarhus (AAR) Sun, 28/JUNE/2009 Flight 9385 Depart GRO at 06:50 and arrive AAR at 09:30

On the 28th of June 2009 we were denied boarding on flight FR 9385 of the staff from Ryanair. We arrived at the Girona airport 5:00 am. We could not find out what queue we should join, to get our suitcases on the plane, because of lacking information on the display panels. Later, one of us saw some passengers in a queue we had flown together with from Aarhus to Girona on the 21th of June 2009. We joined that queue because we thought it must be the right queue. The queue was very slow in progress and it did not help that the employee of Ryanair let several people jump over the queue. First 1 couple with whom she discussed some time before she let them pass. Then again 1 couple more. And in the end she discussed a lot of time with a black man and his family but she did not let him pass. The next thing we discovered a little later was a family with children who was denied access to the plain. Then another family was denied access to the plain. They had one child of 2 years old and a baby of 6 months. And I and my family 6 persons got the same treatment. A that time the clock was about 6:25. We tried the best we could to get on the plane that left Girona Airport 6:50. But the staff of Ryanair was very rude and denied us to board the plane. A lady from Ryanair claimed that she had called out for Girona – Aarhus over the speaker system. But neither I and my family had heard it. And also the other families did not hear it. Because she did not do it. And if she had done it, it was not very helpful. Because when she said: “I have called out for Girona – Aarhus”. She could not say it in proper English nor Danish.

On the 1th of July 2009 before I and my family left Girona Airport, I discovered that the last passenger boarded the plane at 6:41, just 9 minutes before take off. So on 28th June 2009, there was sufficient time for me and my family and the two other families to board the plane. The reason why we were denied boarding, must simply have been overbooking.

PS. All families was treated very rude of the staff of Ryanair. We got no help at all. We were all just stranded in Girona Airport. Had to overnight there for 3 nights, if we did not find other solutions. A cheap flight became a very expensive flight, extra costs was about 14000 DKK 

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Ghastly Experience
Submitted 8 July 2009

I had a terrible experience using Ryanair from London, Stansted in June 2008.

I live and work in Australia and had to fly from London to Holland (return) to help unveil a War Memorial to a relative of mine killed during World War Two.Obviously flying from Australia to Europe is a long journey and I knew how much planning was involved. I organised the trip several Months in advance and after having paid for the long haul flight, I tried foolishly to cut costs by ordering a cheap on-line ticket for my trip to Indhoven in Holland. Ryanair being cheap carrier seemed like the right choice at the time and the location meant that few carriers actually flew into Indhoven. I think from memory Air France was the only other possibility. How I wish I had chosen them.

The flight number was FR9273 departing from Stanstead on June 13th. I walked up to the check in desk and watched the lady weigh my suitcase...too heavy she exclaimed..over 5 kilos over the accepted weight and as a result I would have to pay for that.

In addition to this, I also had to pay considerably more because they claimed I did not declare my extra luggage when bokking the ticket. I thought that was odd given that I had travelled all the way from Brisbane, Australia and had planned this trip with text book precision...like a military exercise. I had to as I was on my own and this was a very special trip. Well, it didn't matter how long or loud my protests were. They didn't budge and were doggedly unwilling to make any concessions on my part. After having my bag weighed and being given a slip of paper, I then had to shuffle over to the Ticket desk Agent where I was to discover how much I would have to pay. Well, the shock of the charge, which was well over the cost of the entire return flight, for just one bag, threw me into a tail-spin. I must confess to muttering an unpleasant four letter word under my breath and the clerk astounded me by asking me if I was going to apologise. I honestly felt like I was back in primary school. Apologise? What on Earth for?? I couldn't believe it. First of all the comment was not even directed to her, nor was it out loud. Well, I must confess to being stunned at first. I did refuse partly because I am unaccustomed to being spoken to like a small child and then being chastised so publicly. She then crossed her arms in dismissal and told me that she 'could not be bothered' to serve me.....!!!!

The rulebook on customer service had obviously been thrown out off the window here and this glorified clerk seemed to know that she had absolute authority to treat me as she wished and that there would be no comeback. No politneness, no discretion and no attempt to handle the situation professionally. If the trip had not been so very important to me, I would have simply ripped up the ticket on principle and thrown the pieces at her...57 pounds was hardly a kings Ransom. But 60 extra pounds for 1 piece of undeclared luggage?? That was absurd.

I later went on to the web-site where I had purchased the ticket to see if I may have failed to declare my additional luggage. The option is quite clear and is already ticked when you make the booking, which means that I would have had to deliberatly untick the option. Why would I when I had successfully booked several domestic and Internationial flights and travelled halfway around the World without any difficulties? My Father is a retired airline crewman with 40 years experience and my Brother is an airline pilot in the U.S. so I'd like to think I know a thing or two about commercial flying.

It took me a long time to recover from that experience. I did write in to Ryanair to complain but it was a complete and utter waste of my time. They don't seem to accept any responsibilty for their actions and tried to give me the company clap-trap on high levels of training and customer service...of which there was evidently none on that day at Stanstead.

I don't know who that woman was but she and the airline she works for, has my complete and utter contempt. I would never, ever use them again, nor I hope would any other member of my immediate Family.

The moral of this story is to be very, very careful about the airlines you use and the amount they charge you...it may seem like a good idea at the time but the old adage still stands...you get what you pay for....

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Refund of Checkin Fee
Submitted 7 July 2009

We booked flights with Ryanair in April to fly on 11 July.  As we  will be travelling with an infant under 2 years old, airport check in  (rather than online check in) was at the time of booking mandatory  but the Ryanair website advised us that we would be entitled to a  refund of the airport check in fees (which amount to £40 for return  flights) by applying to head office after flying.  I checked this  with Ryanair customer services by telephone and was advised that we  would indeed be entitled to a refund.

in May Ryanair changed its rules so that passengers travelling with  children under 2 can now check in online.  The website has been  amended and references to the refund of airport check in fees as been  removed.  As we booked before the rule change, we believe that we are  entitled to a refund because we were obliged to pay for airport check  in at time of booking.We have therefore contacted Ryanair customer services by phone to  check the position.  The first time I called the person I spoke to  (Maria) denied that refunds had ever been available and refused to  put me through to her supervisor to discuss this.  I called again a  little while later (this time I spoke to Andy Viesco) and was advised  that we should check in at the airport and I could apply for a refund  by writing to the head office explaining that we had booked and paid  the airport check in fee before the May rule change.  Andy Viesco  didn't commit himself by saying we'd definitely get a refund, though,  so I'm still worried we won't get the refund.

I am flagging this because it may catch other readers of your site.   Any suggestions as to how we can be sure of getting our refund would  be very gratefully received.  In particular I'm not sure whether we  should check in online now, because I don't want head office saying  we could have done so but as we checked in at the airport we won't  get the refund... I know it's only £40, but it's the principle as  much as anything!

i'll never use Ryanair again.

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Delay and Diversion from Zaragoza
Submitted 23 June 2009

just found this page and would like to explain what happened last  year in a Ryanair flight to Zaragoza (Spain).

  1. Delay for 1 hour into the aircraft because the company have to  board two technicians.
  2. Asking for free water or so, not even for me but for the babies and  mothers that were going crazy w/out any explanation about the delay,  well, the only reason they told us was to wait for 15' minutes, and  later another 15' and so on...
  3. At the time of arrival to destination, we were landing on an  airport in France (unknown) to leave the two company technicians that  I mentioned above (!). Most of the passengers did not understand  English at all and they supposed that we were landing in Zaragoza just  because the explanations were really unclear.
  4. At the time to arrive to a destination it was more than 2 hours  delay and late midnight, that means that no public transport or so to  reach the city, well, only Taxi that is not a cheap thing to.
Where to complain, NOwhere!!  The only option was to send a Fax to and  always busy number (!).

Since them, I really boycott this company by telling my friends not to  use or just using alternative ways, even if that coast me little more  money and time, but peace of mind!!

Thanks and keep complaining to this bad company!

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Change in ID Requirements
Submitted 19 June 2009

Ryanair have now changed their terms and conditions in such a way that there will no longer be any check-in allowed at the airport, as well as withdrawing the ability of passengers to use driving license for internal flights. Although this wasn't made completely clear at the time of reservation, as I had booked my flights with Ryanair a week after the new terms and conditions had kicked in, with no warning on website or otherwise until my flight confirmation had come through. When I spoke to the reservations team they were very unhelpful stating that there was nothing they could do. When I asked for customer service department contact details they refused to give me anything other than fax/post details, even the supervisor was unable to do this (I pushed him, and apparently he was the most senior person working in that building which was a blatant lie). I have sent an email and am hopeful, but not expectant, of a reply.

This change in policy regarding ID will hurt Ryanair a lot, as most of their internal flight passengers would use driving license as ID and not bother taking their passports with them. Another case of Ryanair sticking the finger up at its passengers? I believe so.

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Successful Call About Boarding Pass
Submitted 1 June 2009

I’ve just managed to speak to an actual person at RYAN AIR – called Kathy – at phone Number 00 353 12480856 ( a Dublin number I believe) from Spain. Using a phone card the call cost me about 20 cents. This is a Monday morning at about 11.30 am – I tried to call earlier also on Saturday and on Sunday but it was always a machine.

My query was about my name on my boarding card and my name on my passport. I’ve booked my ticket with my first name and my second name and didn’t use my middle name – which I’ve never used but it’s on my passport. I also now have Spanish nationality so have a Spanish surname ie I have my normal surname (from my father) but have a second surname which is my mother’s maiden name. Of couse I never thought to include that when I booked my ticket. This has never ever been a problem – even flying to Miami last November with American Airlines - So when I received an email from Ryan air about printing my boarding card and the information on my boarding card matching my ID I was a bit worried.

Kathy has assured my that there is NO PROBLEM – ‘the information on your boarding card must be on your passport but not the other way round’ she said. So anyone worried about this should be OK. I’m flying next Saturday (6th June 2009) and will try to remember to email again to confirm this! So good news!

All the best to everyone reading this

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More Success: Hotel Bill Reimbursed
Submitted 27 May 2009

I have managed to get a refund from Ryanair for a hotel bill that they initially refused to reimburse for an overnight delay

On February 7th 2009, all Ryanair passengers Grenoble to East Midlands were put up in the Novotel Grenoble (arranged by Ryanair), because the plane had technical problems.   We were told by Ryanair's agent to pay our hotel bill and reclaim the cost from Dublin.  When we submitted our receipts, Ryanair refused to pay initially but after a strongly worded letter followed up with a fax, I have been paid and so have some friends

Keep on at them and Good luck !

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Recruitment "Scam"
Submitted 25 May 2009

hi,first your website is so great and thank you.Please come on board my site and petition against ryanair recruitment scamming our children in uk and europe for the training fee.Probation cabin crew are terminated to keep course level's high.2300 Euro for one student training.60% OF PROBATION CABIN CREW GET TERMINATED TO KEEP TRAINING COURSE FULL.Big recruitment scam..O'Leary and David Bonderman make millions each year just with cabin crew scamming,they do many scams as you know.Pilot traing is even bigger scam but im only fighting for probation cabin crew because my 18 year old daughter was scammed by ryanair and their agents,hope you can help. kindest regards www.gopetition.com/online/26531

www.ryanairdontcare.blogspot.com facebook group

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Success in Getting Through
Submitted 20 May 2009

Hi, may whatever Deity you believe in (or not) heap manifold blessings upon you and your site! Thank you so much.

I booked a ticket with RA online last night and there was a glitch. I really didn't want to pay the £1 a minute fee to talk to them. But needs must... so I phoned the 0900 Internet Helpline number. First attempt I got told simply that this number was "not accepting calls at the moment, try again later" and on my second attempt it just cut off.

Third time lucky I got through and was told I would have to wait. Wait at £1 a minute?! I think not! However I noticed that the recorded voice had not welcomed me to "internet help premium rate" nor anything like that but to the "Ryanair Booking Centre"

So after checking your site I dialed +353 12480856 for the Ryanair Booking Centre. However much a daytime call to Eire might be I'm sure it will be nowhere near £1 a minute! Worked like a dream and barely a minute later I was talking to HUMAN BEING who dealt with my problem within seconds. English may not have been his first language but he managed well enough.

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Typographical Error Costs £119
Submitted 16 May 2009

I recently booked a couple of "cheap" flights with Ryanair from Hamburg (Lübeck) to Frankfurt (Hahn), with an on-line advertised price of under €10.00 for two people. 

Of course this was not the case and with the 'add-ons', the tickets ended up at €93.06, even though we opted to take only one bag between us.  The second bag was eventually to cost us €23.80.

 I noticed afterwards, that I had entered my partner's name incorrectly, and went on-line to correct it.  Although the system is totally automated and you have to do everything yourself, I was forced to pay an extra €119.00 to correct the error. 

It is not as if I was substituting with another passenger, merely correcting a typographical error.  I could not phone Ryanair to complain, but I arranged a fax to be sent and sent a letter, but there has been no response from them. 

I am upset at the excessive charge, and bearing in mind Banks are not allowed to make excessive charges, why can this not be applied to carriers like Ryanair. 

I have written to the OFT and just hope it is able to help, as we have ended up paying over €235.00 for two flights advertised at under €10.00.  How long is Ryanair going to stay in business if they treat passengers this way? 

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Small Claims Success
Submitted 09 May 2009

My original complaint agains Ryanair is titled missed funeral, indiference and lack of information posted 3/8/09 so I thought I would update you and pass on some very useful information.

I took my case up against Ryanair in the small claims court, it was easy to do on-line and I then travelled to Dublin to the court for the hearing (cheap aer lingus flights)

Ryanairs lawyer approached me and said he had advised them to settle my claim and when the case was shouted he would stand up and inform the judge of this. There were other claims against Ryanair but none of the others turned up so their case was struck out. Why after paying to lodge the claim they didn't turn up I don't know, the only reason I can think is they thought that Ryanair would settle out of court and didn't make arrangements to attend, however what they do is wait and see who turns up before making any offer, so follow it through. A cheap flight and one day off work is worth it, it's easy to fly into Dublin in the morning and back out at night!!

Searching for information to back up my case prior to going to Dublin I came across the following:

Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11th February 2004 establishing common rules on compensation and assistance to passengers in the event of denied boarding and of cancellation or long delay of flights.

This was an eye opener to me I had never heard of it, it most definately covers many of the complaints on your website, I would have it highlighted and kept permanently at the top of the first page.

I would urge everyone to have a read and if you fit into the categories send another letter to Ryanair quoting the Regulation and informing them if they do not settle you will take them to court-and do it.

Small claims courts do not give any money for anything other than actual losses, so when calculating do not include anything for stress or inconvienence just the actual losses, meals additional transport costs, loss of wages etc. the claim must be lodged Dublin as that is where Ryanairs headquarters are.

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Double Booking
Submitted 12 May 2009

I thought  would bring to your attention an annoying online error with Ryanair bookings:

when rushing to meet a midnight booking deadline offer via Ryanair’s website (East Midlands to Budapest)  I had two browser windows open with 2 different bookings. One for myself and girlfriend the other for her parents. The first went through and the other didn't work and stayed on an error page. I received a booking confirmation but for a combination of the first windows passenger details and the second window’s flight details! Also additional checked in baggage at £20 was included from the other booking.

I managed to get through via the call centre on option 9 after a 3 minute introduction and 2 minute wait, at 10p/min.

The lady I spoke to changed the names for a cost of £10 (she said it should be £100 each online) and referred to their terms and conditions where such a ‘double window booking’ incident is mentioned. This seems a regular recurrence, have you heard of it? She also said, “Ryanair do not do refunds” ...when I asked to cancel the wrongly included checked in baggage I was told I could but would still have to pay for it!

I feel it was completely their technical error, and they could have simply wavered any additional fee.

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Information on Fees (addressed to Ryanair)
Submitted 7 April 2009

I wish to have a refund on the check-in charges that Ryanair imposed on my outbound and return flights to Eindhoven from Bristol 31/03/09 – 05/04/09 of £80.

When booking the tickets on line on the Ryanair website, on the Confirm Flights page NOT ONE SINGLE LINK TO FEES WORKED: not the For a full list of Ryanair fee, please click here nor the Terms and Conditions, nor the Website Terms of Use nor the Click here for information on handling fees : ie> when you click on them THEY DON’T DO ANYTHING.

I ticked the Terms and Conditions box as I wished to progress my purchase. I didn’t know that Ryanair had decided to impose fees for check-in – online or airport as it was not made clear on any pages of the Ryanair website. No where on the Confirm Flights page does it offer the facility to choose on-line or airport check-in. Ryanair has a responsibility to inform passengers of all charges prior to purchase, and they failed to do that. Having returned from my trip, I find the website still does not allow the purchaser to peruse the terms and conditions of purchase prior to confirming the flights anywhere on the website as the links do not work, therefore I surmise this is a deliberate attempt to hide additional charges.

Once I had confirmed my booking, the 9 pages of my Ryanair Travel Itinerary had no reference to my having to book online prior to departure. Page 4 has a paragraph entitled BEAT THE QUEUES AND SAVE MONEY – USE ONLINE CHECK-IN. Nowhere within this paragraph does it inform me that I will incur charges if I do not check in on-line. It does not state that I will be expected to pay £20 per passenger if I check in at the airport.

With 9 pages covering all aspects of my flight, from insurance to baggage allowance no where does it say I will be expected to pay £20 per passenger for airport check-in.

Even in the AIPORT CHECK-IN section it says I need to present my confirmation number and valid photo ID. Nothing about being required to pay £20 per passenger at check-in.

On the web-page Airport and Online Check-in it states that “Passengers who check in at the airport are subject to Airport Check-In fees at the time of reservation” At no point during the on-line booking process was this facilitated. If a passenger is subject to this fee at the time of reservation, then Ryanair have a responsibility to include this at the time of reservation on the Confirm Flights page. At no point did Ryanair do this. My Ryanair Travel Itinerary makes no reference to this so how could I have paid this fee at the time of reservation?

I would like Ryanair to:

The contract between the purchaser, Emily Williams and Ryanair was unfair. Ryanair failed to inform me of charges prior and post booking. Even when I paid the charges on the outbound flight, I was not informed that this charge only covered the outbound flight and that I would be required to do online check-in for my return flight. Had I been made aware of these charges at the time of confirmation I may not have agreed to the contract.

I have sought legal advice in this matter and have been advised that should Ryanair decided not to reimburse these charges that I have a legal case. I will progress action in the County Court under the Small Claims procedures should this matter not be resolved.

I look forward to your reply.

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Never had a Problem
Submitted 10 May 2009

Myself and my fiance were scheduled to fly out to Venice from Stansted late April. Got to the airport about 25 minutes before check in closed. OK.. not ideal but hey, well within the time to get ourselves registered on the flight.

Rock up to the electronic check in machine. Followed the process and just before the end, it demanded £40.  Now I was a bit confused thinking I had paid the full fair online. Spoke to the bloke attending who informed me its a check-in charge... I know I know should of paid more attention to the T's and C's.

Its not like I refusing to pay it, I just wanted to make sure there wasn't a mistake or something. he instructed me to go to the sales desk. Seeing the queue I made him aware of my flight check in closing time and how I didn't think I was going to get to the front of the queue by then. He assured me that the roaming woman operator would shout out the flights.

Ok, so I am in the queue now watching the women like a hawk. Thinking "should I go and speak to her", "should I go and speak to her" with another eye on my watch. Even my fiance said that I was acting freaky and how I should calm down and wait, after all the woman would call out the flight.........right?

Got to the Sales desk and informed them that I just want to query the extra £40. As you can imagine I was completely in shock to here that its £20 per person each way to check in (overall £80 on top for both legs for two passengers). I informed them that I was not checking in any bags since I knew it was £20 per bag check in. Again, if thats the way it is, then thats the way it is so got my card out ready to pay.... you guessed it, I only missed the check in time!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My god, I could of killed someone. I did proper lose my cool and shouted and screamed!!! No surprise how they did not accept any responsibility for not calling out the flight. Although cutting it fine, I was there within time and even managed to get to late check in stages on the self check in terminals. Don't forget this is at 0630 in the morning.

The next flight was at 1900 on the same day!!! The only reasonable option was to catch the next flight to Verona and bus + train it to venice.

As you can imagine I completely lost it again when I was informed it cost £100 per person to transfer the flight. Right, i thought F**K this! We went to ever budget airline desk to find that Ryan Air were the only carrier to Venice.

In the end, we had to pay the extra £200 to transfer... Only silver lining was that they Sales woman dropped the £80 when I told her it was my fiances birthday.

All in all, the total flying cost to venice £440 all in. Don't forget the bus and train journey to Venice from Verona which cost another 40 euros on top.

What a joke. We had to see it as an adventure and walk away. Is there any point going to Ryanair about this???

I bet the customer support team would just give me the standard... read T's and C's.... arrive early etc etc

Ryanair..........never again!!

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Never had a Problem
Submitted 1 May 2009

I travel ryanair a huge amount. i'd say in excess of 30 times a year for my self. My sister and family combined probably make in excess of 200 flights annually.

I chose Ryanair ahead of ba, aerlingus and bmi why? Two words: Heathrow + Prices

I really dont see why there is a website about ryanair. I got delayed 4 hours in EWR due to high winds. Meant I missed my connection had to pay $600 for hotel room and change flight fees. Continental didn't pay and why should they? Not there fault!

Us Airways lost 7 out of our 12 bags on a trip from DUN - MCO via PHL. The point I am making is airlines screw up. every company screws up.

I have never had a problem with Ryan Air which is more than I can say for BA. The dreaded terminal 5.

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VISA Confusion
Submitted 18 April 2009

A friend of mine who is disabled, asked me if I would go online and book a Ryanair flight to Spain for him, giving me his VISA card details. As someone who purchases many items online (including flights with other airlines) and actually takes card details for my own mailorder company, I thought this would be so easy.

However, when the list of card options came up, it gave two different VISA possibilities, VISA CONNECT and VISA DEBIT'. I therefore phoned my friend and asked him which one it was. 'What's the difference?' he asked. 'Well, as far as I know' I said, 'they both mean they come straight out of your bank account. In other words, you are not borrowing on them.

'The money comes straight out of my account' he told me.

So I tried booking with VISA CONNECT and the page told me I had done something wrong (about 8 possibilities actually) So I tried with VISA DEBIT and the same thing happened. Then I put his card through my own machine (for £1) and it was accepted, so I knew there was nothing wrong with the card.

I tried twice more, trying DEBIT and CONNECT, with no luck. Then I noticed, way down the list, long after the original VISAs, was an option which just said VISA - and it worked, confirming a price of £81.75. Now why can't Ryanair put all VISAS together? Or would that make it too easy for us?

So I printed off his tickets and saw that they'd added an extra £10 for a 'handling fee' Now whether that is for my friend's assisted wheelchair to the plane I don't know. But the 'fee' certainly wasn't there before, and there was no indication of one for a wheelchair anyway.

Then, noticing on the tickets that my friend would have to give Advance Passenger Information before arriving at the departure airport (or risk being denied boarding with no refund) I went back on line and searched for how to do it. It took me a very long time to find it but, being a bit of a computer buff, I managed it. But how many others could do it and thus risk being turned away at the airport without a refund.

A friend of mine claims he lived in the same town in Ireland as Michael O'Leary (boss of Ryanair) where the local paper used to give a weekly prize of £10 if you were circled in one of their photos. One week it was actually Michael who, although he had already started Ryanair and was making a fair bit of money by then, made the trip all the way to the newspaper office to collect his £10. Which just shows how mean he is and why he charges an absolute fortune just to phone his company.

He also told me that when he and Michael were at school together, the local lads used to visit the golf course to collect the balls which had been lost and sell them back to the members. However, it seems that, even at that age, Michael made more of a business of it, taking the balls back home and cleaning them until they were spotless - then selling them back to the members for more than the other lads did.

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Refused Boarding for Domestic Flight
Submitted 31 March 2009

Two months ago, I was denied to board a Ryanair flight between Reus (Barcelona) and Sevilla, which is a domestic flight, on the basis that I didn''t have the required documentation with me. I am not a European Union citizen, but a Spanish resident. The company asked me for a passport, and refused to accept my residence card, an official document with photo and identification number, issued by the Spanish Authorities. I wonder if a transport company, like Ryanair, has a right to ask for a passport on Spanish domestic flights.

I have travelled many times on Spanish domestic flights with other companies, both national and international, and have never been denied boarding before.

Also, they offer free check-in online ONLY for EU nationals. All other nationals, have to pay a checking fee at the airport.

I could'nt find the way to get recompensed yet.

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No Free Water On Board
Submitted 27 March 2009

I could no buy water at the airport because the water dispenser in the tinny airport was out of the vital resource, so on board I asked for some water they said that it cost £3, I was with no money, as far as I know water is a vital need, in most countries, bars and restaurants HAVE to give free water to customers, on air we risk strokes and other health complications if we have no water. Anyway , I was refused free water and the hosts gave very ambiguous answers when I asked if tap water on the toilet was fresh running water. They refused to give me their name and surname and were extremely rude.

I will avoid Ryanair as far as I can from now on, even if I have to apy a bit more money for my flight, at least I know I won't risk anything

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Inconsistent Application of Baggage Policy (addressed to Ryanair)
Submitted 9 March 2009

My husband and I have just returned from a brief necessary trip to Spain to bring back the personal effects of my late father. We booked to go out with your company on flight 6652 from Edin to Malaga on Sat 14th Feb, and returned on flight 6653 on Tues 17th Feb.

At this emotional time and under the circumstances, we thought we would limit the amount of excess baggage brought back by paying for extra baggage each way. On our outward journey it was made very clear to us that there was only ONE piece of hand luggage allowed per person, as in your booking conditions.

However, on our return flight it was obvious that this was not the case. In fact there were very few people with only one piece of hand luggage and very few people booking baggage into the hold. We were charged an incredible 450Euros to bring in the baggage we thought we had covered the cost of by paying in advance for two extra cases. When booking in at Malaga , your attendant was rather rude when we looked shocked and pointed out to us that, if we had 'read the small print', we had payed for extra bags but not extra weight. I cannot conceive what the advantage of booking in more than one piece of baggage would be if the extra weight is not a consideration as well. In this light, I would hasten to ask why fellow travellers were allowed to take extra hand luggage at no extra cost - which is also 'in the small print' in your booking conditions.

In actual fact I would take it further and say that no hand luggage was weighed. We witnessed several people trying desperately to get their suitcases into the overhead lockers. Not only ware cases too large but they were also very heavy. This weight was unaccounted for and unpaid for!

If your booking clerk had had any heart, she would have told us that we could have bought, at the airport, a smaller case, and transferred some of the contents of an extra case into hand luggage (to the tune of 20kg for two passengers) and so greatly reduced the cost of our excess baggage. She failed to illuminate us to this advantage. I was clearly very distressed and upset at the desk, since there were personal belongings in the cases holding precious memories of my father and I was not in a position to leave any of them.

I object strongly to this excess charge and the way my husband and I were spoken to at the booking in desk. Why were we not informed that we could have taken extra hand luggage on board? Other passengers were heavily laden down with cases, bags, camping equipment and the ilk for which they did not pay. There were few passengers travelling on that flight to which the 10kg hand baggage allowance would have permitted.

If your cabin baggage policy can be changed to suit the traveller, why were we charged in such an excessive way, and when it was so crudely pointed out to us that we had misread the policy, why were we not told then that we could transfer some to the contents of the case into hand luggage as others were clearly allowed excessive cabin weight and baggage?

If you insist on implementing one half of your 'baggage' policy, why allow extreme and obvious neglect of the other?

In this respect I feel we have paid dearly for our flight. We are very unhappy with the way we were spoken to, very unhappy to find on boarding that there was an alternative (i.e. extra hand luggage allowance) which was not mentioned to us, very unhappy to be charged for extra baggage on both flights, which was, as it turns out, useless since no consideration was made regarding weight, and considering the emotional upset and nature of the trip, I personally feel that we have been penalised in trying to do the right thing.

Under such circumstances, I'm sure you will reconsider this excessive charge for baggage and reimburse us.

Should it be necessary for any other distressed passenger to be travelling with your airline, I would like to think they would be treated more fairly and just that I think we were.

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Two Days of Holiday Lost
Submitted 9 March 2009

At the end of December I booked a Ryanair flight from Stansted to Jerez, departing on April 11th and returning on April 20th. On January 17th I received a notice from Ryanair informing me that the date of my outward flight had been changed to April 12th and asking me to acknowledge my acceptance of the change. Very unwillingly, but knowing how difficult it is to penetrate the barriers to human communication set up by Ryanair, I did accept the change.

On February 19th I had a further notice from Ryanair informing me that the date of my outward flight had been changed again, to April 13th. As before no reason was given. Angered by the loss of two days of a nine day holiday at the behest of an airline I did not accept this immediately but tried to contact Ryanair both by phone and via their website to challenge their action. This proved unsurprisingly impossible so I wrote a letter complaining about their action and insisting that my outward flight should be changed back to April 12th. I have finally had a reply to this letter which is no more than a standard response reminding me that the terms and conditions to which I agreed allow Ryanair to change flight schedules ('occasionally due to airport and air traffic conditions' - by two days?!) and advising me 'well in advance....to review .. booking details on our website in order to confirm .. flight reservation and departure times prior to departure'! They go on to say 'In these circumstances, we are not in a position to offer compensation in respect of this matter'. I did not of course ask for compensation but for the restoration of one day of my holiday. I have with extreme reluctance, however, now agreed to the April 13th date.

To add insult to injury, when I sought to change my Hertz rental car booking to reflect the change in date I was informed that - as a result of Ryanair's unilateral decision - the cost for seven days would be £100 more than the £83 which I had been charged when I made the original booking at the end of December. I cancelled this booking - even though I had to pay a £30 cancellation fee!

Is there any way in which Ryanair's high-handed behaviour can be challenged or - given that the financial benefit of using the airline is increasingly marginal - do we just have to wait for market forces to have their effect?

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36 Hour Flight Change at Higher Price
Submitted 1 March 2009

On the 3rd of December, I booked 3 tickets for flights to Venice from Liverpool with Ryanair for Monday 6th April, arriving at 9:55 in the morning. The same day I booked accommodation.

On the 21st of January I received a notification of a change to Ryanair's schedules: they had cancelled the Monday flights and had moved our flight to Tuesday 7th April arriving at 15:55. This was a delay of 30 hours. We chose to accept this delay as we had limited options with other carriers and had paid a deposit of £300 for our accommodation, although it meant:

1) We had to re-arrange our booking with our accommodation

2) We could no longer meet my mother who would be arriving on the Tuesday and would now have to make her own way to Venice and wait around for at least three hours for us to arrive.

On Thursday 12th February we received a further notification from Ryanair. The scheduled arrival time had been bumped to 21:45 a further 6 hour change. This would mean an additional payment to the owners of our apartment for a meeting out-of-hours and that my mother would be seriously inconvenienced, having to wait around in Venice for 12 hours.

We immediately declined the flights offered by Ryanair and booked with Jet2 as an alternative. This was not ideal as it meant a much longer journey to the airport. A week after we declined the flights we has still not received confirmation of this cancellation from Ryanair or a refund of the money paid. The website states it may take up to 7 days to process our claim ONCE IT HAS BEEN APPROVED (no timescale provided) and between 5 - 7 days for a refund. We are unable to contact Ryanair via telephone unless during working hours (10p per minute) or from home in the evening at £1 per minute. There is no email address supplied. There has been no explanation of why the flight has been moved twice. The most annoying part of this story is that the flights they moved us to have been reduced to a third of the original cost, which wasn't offered to us in the last re-scheduling. So basically we paid £565 for three seats, they moved our flights twice, a total of 36 hours and then reduced the price to £200 but did not offer the reduced price to us.

We are very disappointed about the irresponsible behaviour of Ryanair in selling a product and then withdrawing / changing said product and the inconvenience caused. Ryanair has had £565.75 of our money since 3rd December, taken immediately from my credit card, and yet cannot refund said money when they fail to meet their commitments.

I am sure there are many other Ryanair customers who are in the same situation. Needless to say, I will NEVER use this company again!

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Catastrophic Results of Cancellation (letter to Ryanair)
Submitted 25 February 2009

I am writing to complain in the strongest terms regarding the treatment I have received during a recent trip using Ryanair .

We are a family of two adults and two children (aged 5 and 7) and booked four (4) return flights leaving from Luton airport flying to Marrakesh Departure date xxxx time Return date xxxxx time

Our return flight home was turned into a complete catastrophe.

We arrived two hours before the departure time at xxxx and checked in as normal.

Only 4 hours later and over two hours past our scheduled departure time were we informed that the flight had been cancelled due to poor weather.

Apparantly our incoming plane had landed at Cassablanca and flew back to Luton from there.

Given all other airline carriers flew into and out of Marrakesh that morning (including easyjet) Why was it ryanair could not.

If indeed "poor weather" conditions prevented the initial incoming flight from Luton landing at Marrakesh why was it that other Ryan air flights and ALL other airlines were flying out of Marrakesh. I witnessed planes leaving from 9am that morning. I am sure there is very accurate data confirming the departure times of the day.

Why could the flight redirected to cassablanca not have come back via Marrakesh to pick us up.

We were not given any information from ryanair or indeed anyone at the airport until several hours after the scheduled departure time.

At approximately 12pm a member of the airport staff informed us that the flight had been cancelled and that we would have to make alternate arrangements to get home.

After several hours queuing I was informed at the information desk that the next available flight would be on March 2nd 2009. I was absolutely astonished. No help was forthcoming other than to say there was an Easyjet flight leaving that evening at 6.50pm - destination Gatwick!

I had no other choice but to book this flight.

The cost of the flight was xxxx plus xxx in local currency taxes. I have kept all receipts as proof of purchase.

Having landed miles away from our original arrival destination we had to then take a taxi to Luton airport where my car was parked. The cost of this was another xxxxx.

In summary we arrived home at 3am in the morning, some 14 hours after we initially anticipated and at an additional cost of xxxxxxx

We had to endure a whole day in Marrakech airport with little money, poor facilities, and a total lack of any meaningful information.

Not once did we have a conversation with any representative from Ryanair.

In short we were left completely stranded and left to make alternate arrangements without any help or advice. Nobody from Ryan air would talk to us.

I would like to make absolutely clear that we were informed the flight had been cancelled. I understand from an email I have just received that you now state we cancelled the ticket and asked for a refund. For your record I willing to state in a court of law that we were in fact told the flight had been cancelled. I now understand that from your perspective if it is deemed that "we" cancelled the flight then this affects your duty of care towards us and possible compensatory disbursements.

To my mind this is just semantics.

Factually our scheduled flight from Marrakesh to Luton was sent back to Luton via Cassablanca and was therefore never going to have taken us home. There is no other reason to use the phrase "cancelled" or "delayed" other than to possibly mitigate against the claim that I am now making against you.

For a socially and morally run organisation this should not be the key requisite for dealing with my claim.

You certainly had a moral obligation to at least try and get us home in another way. Just a little information would have gone a long way in helping us to deal with this.

In any event and for the record; I was actually told that the flight was "cancelled" - not as you have now stated in an email to me, that I "cancelled" the flight. You further assert that your obligations therefore extend only to refund me the cost of our initial return tickets.

This whole episode has been extremely stressful to both me and my wife. It has been both time consuming and costly to us and although unpleasant the outcome need not be totally as distasteful as currently is

My wife works part time on a freelance basis and had to cancel work for the day at her daily rate of £150. This is income which I can not afford to loose.

I have written to you on two separate occasions already and have yet to have a reply.

This is now the third time!

It is absolutely incredible that a company of your size and standing within the market place can act with this apparent impunity and arrogance. It demonstrates a total lack of respect to your customers!

Can someone please explain what customer service procedure you have to deal with such instances?

Currently my experience is that it is woefully lacking.

I am now writing to xxxxxxx all (the directors at Ryanair) and will continue to do so until I have a satisfactory respoce to my grievence.

I have copied this letter to the OFT, ABTA, and Watchdog

I will also send this and all future correspondence to all other UK based airline directors/ head of PR/ head of customer services for their consideration and use in whatever means they may deem appropriate

It is worth noting that "easyjet" actually offered to arrange alternate transport to get us from Gatwick to Luton at their cost. I declined on the basis of time (we would have had to wait a further 2 hours before leaving the terminal) and the fact that I believed Ryanair would reimburse our costs incurred.

Although impecibly behaved my children were absolutely exausted from this ordeal - as was the whole family.

I am asking you to refund us xxxx

To date we have not received an explanation relating of these events or even an apology for the disruption caused. As stated I am still awaiting a reply from my initial correspondence sent to you.

I am considering legal action in the event this incidence is not resolved to my satisfaction.

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Credit Fee Charged for Debit Card
Submitted 13 February 2009

I booked a flight today with my debit card and it was only when I had completed the booking that I noticed they had charged me £18-00 credit card fee. I wasn't given the option of not accepting the fee and wonder where the £18-00 comes from??????? I have sent several e mails to different addys that were given on your site and I am awaiting any response from Ryanair.

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Recession Makes Ryanair Care About Customer Service?
Submitted 12 February 2009

Recently I have booked twice the same flight. However the ryanair booking system worked very poor that day I managed to book the flight and received email with confirmation. Next day ........... to make story shorter ............ I booked the same flight again. My wife wanted to kill me (the cost was almost €400). I believe that the booking system should have prevented from booking exactly the same flight, by the same pasenger having the same contact and billing details but it didn't.

I tried to contact my bank to cancel transaction but it was too late. I tried to contact Ryanair but it was too late. Next day I rang Ryanair.....I tried all different numbers like 01 8121212 / 01 2497791 and others from that webpage but was unsucccessful. Finally without any other choice I rang 1570 224499 (€1.70/minute) and solved problem within approx. 7 min. Preper for a lot of spelling ;) I said that due to the fault of Ryanair booking system I booked the same flight twice. I was offered a full refund for the second booking without any discussion.

I was surprised. I asked wheather I was going to receive an email with confirmation but was told that not. Despite that next day I received email from Ryanair:

Dear ,

Following your recent refund request for booking confirmation number XXXXXX.

We confirm that your refund request has been processed back to the form of payment used to pay for your booking. Your issuing bank will take 5-7 working days to process this refund amount back to your account.

The amount refunded to your credit/debit card is EURxxx.xx

Yours sincerely

Ryanair Customer Services

Just to summarize it seems that in the time of recession Ryanair started to care about customers. That's good news. A happy customer.

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"Cancelled" Flight?
Submitted 9 February 2009

A 'cancelled' flight?

Not actually true. All the passengers had gone through security and the incoming flight was due to land on time (if not a bit early). Other flights (including Ryanair) were landing albeit the weather was cloudy and had been raining in Granada. The notice board suddenly flashed up 'Cancelled', with no explanation.

The flight 9604 approached Granada, then promptly flew off to Malaga, where it dumped all its bemused passengers without explanation, and presumably headed of back to Liverpool empty.

The ground staff at Granada were inefficient, hostile, and totally incapable of dealing with the two hundred or so passengers at Granada. I have reports of the same at Malaga.

I asked whether they would provide a bus for persons to transport them to the empty plane in Malaga, but 'Dublin Operations usually do, but this time they said no' I have spoken to a number of person who had been on the inbound flight, who state the despite the pilot stating that the plane was circling Granada ( for a second attempt), it most definitely did no such circling and seemed determined to head straight to Malaga.

This is a company with ruthless cost cutting in pursuit of business without customer care.

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Ryanair Travel Insurance Useless
Submitted 9 February 2009

Just a quick story it might be worth posting to warn anyone what they aren't covered for under this insurance:

Basically I bought a 1p flight from Paris to Glasgow which was canceled due to fog. The flight was supposed to leave at 22.50 and was canceled at 23.20. Ryanair quickly re-booked everyone for a flight at half two the following day, arranged hotels and a free bus to get us there.

Now for 1p I didn't ever expect Ryanair would pay up for the hotel so I emailed them for confirmation of the cancellation so I could claim the cost on my Ryanair insurance that I had bought with the flights. Of course I got the standard copy and paste reply going on about how they owed me no money (which I had acknowledged in the letter - being nice to try and get a quick reply). They also informed me that had I purchased their insurance, it would cover me.

Of course they know full well that their own insurance requires written confirmation of how long after the scheduled departure time the decision to cancel was made. This might seem like an irrelevant requirement - but it's not because their policy has one of the most outrageous get out clauses I can imagine.

You are only covered for cancellations made at least four hours AFTER the scheduled departure time. Now I'm willing to bet that well over 99% of Ryanair cancellations are made well within this time limit - and hey presto they are almost never liable to pay up for such events.

A further perusal of the policy reveals other get outs, like the lack of cover against industrial action unless, as far as I can make out, your transfer bus driver is part of a sudden, unannounced strike and pulls over half way to the airport. Uner 18s are covered to have up to 50 cash stolen - with a 40 excess. And the list goes on. So it's not much more useful than an inflatable pin cushion.

I know I should've read the terms more carefully, but I'm sure many people like myself wouldn't bother. I am aware most policies have tricky bits in the wording, but I think it's well worth drawing to the attention of people the need to really have a look at the terms here.

I plan to write to the insurance department (which is in the UK!!!) and ask for justification of this policy, although no doubt, as the lady on the phone said, they will just pass the blame on to some other, harder/impossible to contact division of Ryanair.

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Customer Service Attitude
Submitted 6 February 2009

I would like to report a yet very annoying story about my booking from Ryanair Airlines.

On Wednesday 28th January 2009 I was booking tickets for my mum to come and see me to UK. My total payment for the tickets was in Euros 174.28. The amount taken from my account was £174.35 not exchange rate from Euros. They somehow forget that I paid in British Pound and that they needed to exchange it for Euros accordingly. On that date Wednesday 28th January 2009 was the rate of the Euro - GBP 0.95656 approx.

This was not the end of the case. I was checking my bank statement 06 February 2009. There was another payment of £168.00 ready coming out of my account. I searched for this amount as this payment I never made to anyone. And it was again - Ryanair trying to get second payment for the same tickets I already purchased I have been in touch with the company for long time spending my money for the phone calls. I questioned them why they are trying to take the money again they promised that they will not be taking the money out of the account. I am quite concerned about this statement whether I can trust them that they will not do it. When I asked why they did charged me the amount for £174.35 instead £166.70 as the equality of GBP currency conversion with the rates on that day they just hanged up on me. I tried to speak with them again but the hanging up on me story happened again and again.

I would like express my very bad customer experience with Ryanair and complain about the way they did try to take money from my account twice for the same tickets but also because the have awful and rude attitude towards their paying customers.( Especially the lady I talked to on Ryanair helpline on Friday 6th February 2009).

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Fantasy About Good Customer Service
Submitted 5 February 2009

Ryanair provide budget flights, often the cheapest available on some routes. They also deliver one of the most truly unhappy, frustrating and unpleasant customer experiences on this planet. It's even more unbelievable when you think, "Ryanair could be delivering the cheapest flights AND THE BEST customer experience in this industry".. But no, right from the first moment that you type www.ryanair.com into your browser, your world turns a bit grayer.

First up is the lurid website, which design brings to mind spammy porn sites from the 1990's. Found your flights? great, time to be tricked and confused into paying for services you don't need - insurance, priority boarding, check in bags.. hang on, check in bags? you have to pay to take your possessions and clothes with you on holiday? right, well that's odd but let's continue.

Time to pay for my 'cheap' flights. great! they accept all major credit and debit cards.. but whats this? why am i being charged extra to pay with all my cards? except visa electron, but what the hell is that anyway? I have to say I'm not feeling quite so excited about my holiday now that this company has so far tried to fleece me on at least three occasions and I don't even have my confirmation yet. Gosh, that's ironic, the poor people who hold Ryanair credit cards don't even qualify for fee free payment ... and yet this could all read so differently.

Imagine, if you will, a ryanair website that states clearly right from the off how much your flight will actually cost. you see, a happy customer starts with a happy booking experience. Call me old fashioned but i like to call the shots when I'm spending my money..

But some might say "Damn, it's more than 1p"! Of course it's more than 1p you fool, this is AIR TRAVEL. "i may as well just go easyjet, they are cheaper, i mean they are bad, but they can't be as bad as ryanair." But haven't you heard? Ryanair are honest with their pricing now since they listened to their customers and changed things for the better. You won't find any more dour-faced, irritable, irritated members of staff because Ryanair realised that customers are important and now they only employ intelligent and understanding individuals who really want to help.

And those planes are so nice and relaxing! no more neon signs 12 inches in front of your face, no more stupid sales announcements every 2 mins just to prevent you sleeping so you'll buy the coffee. and you can actually have a seat number allocated so that no one gets injured or stressed in the scrum to board the plane!

wow, ryanair have really done something miraculous here. somehow they have become the most admired and popular airline in the UK. I mean, they are cheap and they offer good service, and my holidays are great right from the start now because the whole experience has been just lovely!

nah.sorry, it was just a stupid fantasy. Well i'm going to cast my vote. I'm going to spend double on my flights from now on and use a reputable airline. Ok, half as many holidays, but at least they will all be good ones.

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Wheelchair Booking
Submitted 29 January 2009

since three days i try to call the special telephone number for persons with wheelchairs, but there is no chance to speak with anybody.

I have just spent a lot of money to get someone from the internet support before booking, because we wanted to know if it is possible to travel with the wheelchair of our daughter.

Now we have booked and again i have no success to speak with anyone on the special number. Again i spent a lot of time and money without success.

I don´t understand why it can´t be easier for people with handicap to book a flight with Ryanair. They have just enough problems.

Our dughter is handicapped she use a wheelchair and we fly to london from Fra Hahn and back.

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Online Checkin Problems
Submitted 28 January 2009

I booked with online check in, but had various problems with it. When i did online check in, nothing went through and it just simply couldn't find my details. So I had to go and ask at the airport at which point I was charged for check in as well as the use of a debit card. I was told there was nothing that could be done, that I had not checked in and if I wanted to fly, I had to pay and wait. I will be writing a letter of complaint.

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Wasted Money on "Priority Boarding"
Submitted 20 January 2009

We booked priority boarding on 27th December 2008 and paid the fee requested. We checked through and waited for the screens to tell us which gate to go to departure lounge. When it did eventually change there was then a last call tannoy.

When we got to the gate my partner tried to complain that we had wasted our money and the stewardess very rudely said she was not prepared to speak to us and that the gate number was on the ticket. This was not pointed out to us when the ticket was handed over. I begin to think there are so many people paying priority boarding it makes a nonsense. Its taking money under false pretences.

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Successful Refund
Submitted 16 January 2009

May i just say without your webpage i would have been in for a unhappy time in call charges.Trying to get a refund on a duplicate booking at the fault of Ryanair's website. However, i took the advice of calling the 08712460000 number and pressing ##, to my shock a person answered straight away and after i let them know what had happened they are refunding my account. Horray

Thanks once again.

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Refused Boarding
Submitted 14 January 2009

It happened on Sunday night 12th January 2009. We had traveled from Dublin to Manchester that morning to go to the Man Utd v Chelsea match. Our journey out was ok, no problems and we arrived on time.

We were due to depart Manchester on Flight FR559 at 21:40 but the flight was delayed. This was the last flight to Dublin that night. (By the way this is the third time in recent months I've taken the last flight out with ryanair from Leeds, Bristol and now Manchester which were all delayed and all arrived nearly 2 hours late). When we eventually started to board and it came to our turn to hand in our passport and boarding cards my brother was asked to step aside for a few minutes. I noticed the 2 female officials exchange glances with each other for few seconds and one of them asked him if he had been drinking. This is a loaded question as 90% of the passengers had been in the bar. He said only a couple of pints and then I was ushered through while my brother remained behind, his son had already boarded the plane. When I boarded the plane we enquired as why my brother was not on board. We were told he was denied boarding due to excess alcohol. His son disembarked to be with his father and he was told he would not be allowed back on board.

I can state categorically that he did not have an excess of alcohol on him nor did he act in any way aggressive, boisturous, unruly nor did anyone else on the queue to board the plane. It was after 22:00 and everyone was too tired from a long day.

My brother and his son spent the night in Manchester airport and had to pay for a flight out the next morning. Talking to him later in turns out two other passengers (female, no connection with us) were also denied boarding.

Now my point is:

Now it doesn't take much figuring out, in my opinion, that 3 passengers were bumped to make way for the 3 airline crew.

This has to be the most despicable action taken by ryanair crew I have come across (in my opinion) and I hope we can take this further but I won't hold out much hope.

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From Inside Customer Services
Submitted 8 January 2009

I live in Dublin and just thought that I should let you know that I worked with a girl who used to work for Ryanair "Customer Services".

She hated the company and her job and said that the phone and email that complaints came into were NEVER answered (phone was on silentor call forward to voicemail).

Just thought you might find that interesting.

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Three Times in One Flight
Submitted 7 January 2009

Recently been skanked by Ryan Air not once but three times on one flight booking and two check ins. On booking a flight to Dublin from Manchester (returned the same day) at a cost of £122.00 on seeing total cost of flight

I inputted my visa debit card number and on proceeding and seeing it being process online. On acceptance I was then told the total was £132.00 and not before (£10.00 for using a visa debit).

On arrival at the airport check in after queuing and a early start I was informed that because I had not checked in online 4 hours before arrival at the airport I would have to pay £10 to get on the flight. I was a little upset but hey - I needed to get to Dublin (I didn't even have hand luggage).

At this time the check in guy did not make me aware that if I didn't check in online for the inbound I would have to pay £10 to get back and as you can imagine being skanked for £30 is a little harsh.

But in the grand scheme of things whilst I was in the queue there were another 5 people having to do the same. Nice work if you can get it eh

Innocent people are being had over - this was a business flight for me and my company will pick up the tab. But the five people in front of me were not travelling alone and some were families of 4 having to pay £40 (£10 each) to get on a flight they had booked and paid for in advance.

What's the logic in having to check in twice - online and then at the airport? I was in Munich airport two weeks earlier where I had printed my ticket off complete with a barcode (Lufthansa). Arrived at the airport - scanned my ticket on a automated machine which proceeded to print my boarding card - this is the future.

Going back to Ryan Air, you can imagine when the trolley dollies came seeking extras on the flight back they met with tightly sealed wallets and purses. I waited till I got back to Manchester airport to by my refreshments!!

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Coach Cancelled and Ryanair Staff Hide
Submitted 6 January 2009

On 31 December 2008 I flew from Stansted to Dinard with Ryanair on flight FR514. The flight was due to depart at 15.35 and left 10 minutes late. We we unable to land at Dinard and after two abortive attempts and we diverted to Nantes approximately 180 km away. We landed at 19.15 and were advised there would be a coach to Dinard Airport at 20.30.

At 20.00 an announcement was made that the coach had been cancelled. The Ryanair staff promptly disappeared! I and many other passengers ran to the bus stop to catch a bus to the station to catch the last train of the evening to Rennes which is approximately 1/2 way to Dinard. Only about 20 passengers managed to get on the train. It arrived in Rennes at 21.50.

I telephoned the friends I was spending New Year with from the train and they arranged to meet me in Rennes. They told me that at Dinard Airport the Ryanair staff had locked themselves into a room to avoid questions from the passengers trying to return to the UK and people meeting the flight from Stansted, they also said that an earlier flight from East Midlands was delayed by 6 hours due to the weather. I am writing to Ryanair but I do not expect a satisfactory response. I would like the following points answered

  1. Why were we not advised at Stansted of the problems with the weather at Dinard
  2. Why were we promised a coach which was later cancelled
  3. Why did the Ryanair staff hide and both Nantes and Dinard Airports
  4. Why was no information given out at either airport

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£100 Vouchers Not Redeemed
Submitted 3 January 2009

An Italian friend kindly sent both my wife & I £100 each in Ryanair vouchers.

I have been trying to redeem our vouchers against flights to Santiago de Compostela, Spain. Both flights are priced at just £1.79 per person and yet the final price is £174.52 ! How misleading is that!

When trying to redeem them against the booking I get a message listing about 6 possible reasons the vouchers may not be redeemed but not actually saying why or offering any help.

Trying to ring 08712460000 (10p per minute) gives another number to ring 0905 566 0000 (£1 per minute) which merely says that calls cannot be answered on this number. The vouchers validity expires in a few days and I can see that Ryanair will not honour them even if I do manage to make contact.

I find it unbelievable that Ryanair can get away with trading in this way. Not only is the price very misleading but them seem to be deliberately making it difficult/impossible to help customers. Strangely you have no problem making a purchase (ie giving them new money), only in contacting them about an existing problem (ie they've already banked your money).

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Ryanair Experience
Submitted 30 December 2008

Ryanair confirmed a return flight for three months later than asked for [there was difficulty contacting the service number].

After correcting my wrong booking, at the higher price, the flight to Rome Ciampino was diverted to Fiumicino, because of fog, and the transport by bus from Fiumicino was badly organised. Ciampino seems to be foggy very often in autumn. Anyway, I arrived in Rome two hours late.

The flight back started a bit late and the plane had to return to Ciampino for maintenance. Solution of technical problem lasted two hours with outside help. I was looking forward to eating something hot from the card, but the stewardess announced that unfortunately all hot things had been sold out on the previous flight, sorry. Bad provision. Two hours late I arrived hungry in Brussels South. After all I paid a fairly normal price for a poor flight and for my next trip Ryanair will not be my first choice, to say the least.

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Complaint to OFT by Customer
Submitted 28 December 2008

To whom it may concern:

An Office of Fair trading press release of 28 February 2008 claims that "The OFT is aware that Ryanair has now changed its website to display prices on the first page of its booking process that include fixed, non-optional costs."

This is effectively untrue for the majority of Ryanair customers who do not pay using Visa Electron. A Guardian newspaper article of 25 October 2008 quotes a Ryanair spokesman as saying "almost 20% of our customers book with Visa Electron" - which of course means that more than 80% of its customers do not.

So therefore more than 80% of customers booking through Ryanair's web site get nabbed with fixed, non-optional "handling fees" because they use more common methods of payment. Checking Ryanair's web site this morning, it seems not even holders of the "Ryanair" branded Visa or Mastercards escape these extortionate fees. In fact the Visa Electron exemption from these fees is advertised as "for a limited period only."

No reasonable person would suggest these handling fees are well advertised on the first (or second) page of the Ryanair booking process. A tiny "Ryanair Fees" link in the middle left of a very crowded and busy home page simply doesn't cut it.

There is a link buried underneath the airfare and taxes/fees on the third page of the booking process saying these charges are "Excluding handling fee (if applicable) / click here for information on handling fees". Clicking this link results in a pop-up message that says:

"To defray the substantial administration costs we incur when processing transactions a handling fee applies to each passenger per flight segment. There is a £5.00/€5.00 (or local currency equivalent) handling fee for processing transactions. There is no charge associated with Electron card transactions and no handling fee for infants. Even allowing for these small charges, our fares still represent the best value for money."

£5.00 per passenger per flight segment is completely misrepresentative of their actual costs, given that Ryanair does not submit multiple card transactions to bill for a typical return flight. Even at Visa's high 0.7% fee on international payments, a £5.00 fee would only be appropriate on a single-leg flight costing over £700. I have never heard of anyone paying anywhere near that much for a Ryanair flight. The fee is even more usurious when booking flights for multiple people, as Ryanair would only submit one credit/debit charge yet charge customers repeatedly for the same transaction.

I have no issue with a firm recovering its costs of doing business, but the Ryanair payment handling fee is simply deception and robbery.

Ryanair also has a very unreasonable and unfair practice of not allowing non-EU/EEA citizens to check in online, and then penalising them for not checking in online at £5.00 per flight segment. Ryanair claims that they must perform more checks on non-EU/EEA citizens. However this is not supported by my experience over the past four months flying with other airlines in Europe, including BA, Air France, Germanwings, Lufthansa and VLM, who have all allowed me to check in online with absolutely no issues. Once again, another Ryanair fixed, non-optional cost sprung on the customer after a deceivingly attractive advertised price.

I would ask the OFT to investigate Ryanair again, as their practice of hidden and unreasonable fees obviously continues.

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No Online Checkin for non-EU Citizens
Submitted 25 November 2008

Dear Ryanair,

I have been your costumer for more than 3 years now, having traveled over 30 times on the flights you offer. Last Friday (Nov. 21st) I planned a trip from Paris-Beauvais to Pisa, and was so surprised when I was told that I could have not checked- in online using my Residency Card. For that reason I would have to pay a fee of EUR 10.00 each way, and proceed with the check-in again.

I was even more astonished when during the flight, reading the Ryanair Magazine (Issue 21; Nov. 16 - Dec. 15), your Chief Executive , Michael O'Leary, highlights the abusive practice carried out by other airline companies by saying: high cost fuel surcharging airlines are ripping passengers off by imposing unjustified fuel surcharges when oil prices are plummeting.

Furthermore he says: There is no doubt that these airlines continue to use these unavoidable fuel surcharges to scam money unfairly from passengers.

Thus, what do you call this disallowance of non-EU/EEA citizens to proceed with the online check- in?

On the same article, Michael O'Leary affirms that "Ryanair's September passenger numbers were up 20%". If the numbers are rising, meaning the company is making even more money, why would non-EU/EEA citizens have to pay more for something that is free for all the others?

Now that I have become an official member of the EU, I will probably not have any trouble with this scheme, but as a world citizen, I do fight for equal rights for everyone, regardless of the skin color, sex or race. I hope you stand against all inequalities, and right this wrong by reimbursing all passengers that have been unfairly charged.

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No Change Given
Submitted 21 November 2008

I flew on November 13 from Haugesund to Stansted, 16.10 to 16.50. Aboard I bought a bottle of water. It costed 2 ponds fifty, and I gave the waitress 10 pound 50 pence.

She said she was temporarily out of change and that she would give me the change back in just a second. But she never showed up.

After the flight I talked to a couple of women behind a Ryanair baggage-desk who said it happened to passengers on their flights all the time.

I just wanted to let you know about this.

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Successful Name Change
Submitted 6 November 2008

Having stupidly booked a flight to Portugal in my married name instead of my maiden name - the name on my Passport - I spent the following hours agonisingly googling to try and find out what I could do about it.

The Ryanair website clearly states that it costs £80 to change a name - a new passport would cost me £72. My flight was £29 return. I was absolutely sure after doing my research that there was nothing else for it but to buy another flight.

Just in case I could appeal to anyone's better nature, I used the email addresses which I found on your website - thank you! And fired emails off to every address you had listed. Siobhan O'Neill's email sent me an "out of office" message stating that all mails received would automatically be deleted and Michelle Penston's email sent me a message saying that the mail would be deleted without being read. I realised I wasn't going to get much joy out of this route.

I rang the Reservations Line this morning - It had just closed yesterday evening when I realised my mistake and the internet support line was unobtainable. Despite a recorded message warning me that their lines were very busy, I was put through after only a few seconds. I spoke to a very helpful person who was happy to change my booking. She warned me that there would be an £8.00 admin fee. I said "Don't you mean £80?" but she said that as this was only part of my name they would only charge £8.00. She also advised me to pay for this charge on my Visa Electron as it would incur no charges.

In short, I'm extremely pleased that Ryanair allow this facility but wonder why it isn't in their "Frequently asked questions" section under change of name as I'm sure the majority of slip-ups are from recently married women who haven't yet changed their names on their passports.

I fly with Ryanair several times a year and have picked up phenomenal bargains - My husband and I are flying to Pisa from East Midlands shortly for a total of 4 pence including taxes and charges! Sure this must be a record!

I do not incur a booking fee as I have taken out a Visa Electron card.

I never check in a bag but buy shampoo etc at my destination. 20 kilos is enough for us both for a week if we are disciplined about the packing.

I always check in online.

I find their flights are usually on time or early and maybe I'm lucky but I've never yet had a flight cancelled or delayed - touching wood furiously as I write this. I used to use Flybe who were constantly cancelling or delaying flights.

I realise Ryanair are "No Frills" and rarely buy food or drinks on board but HAVE been known to buy 3 for 2 miniatures of Bombay Gin at the airport and tip it into my Ryanair tonic!

The only thing I have a real problem with is the piped music!!

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Unruly Behaviour on Flight
Submitted 4 November 2008

My wife and I together with another couple had a lovely weekend in Rome recently but it was totally ruined upon our return to Stansted by the unruly behaviour of a number of passengers onboard who were bound for a Champions league fixture at Chelsea the next day.

Ryanair flight FR3013 left Rome (Ciampino) on time at 21.05 local time and during the entire two hour flight we were subjected to chanting, signing, and minor scuffling which eventually led to a brawl in the aisle involving at least 12 no (twelve) other passengers.

The cabin crew made only light hearted requests to stop this mindless fighting and seemed only interested in fuelling the situation by providing more alcohol to the perpetrators. The captain made similar requests without success and we had to abort our original landing. However it did eventually calm down after further requests from the cockpit although a number of passengers at this point were screaming and crying for our landing fifteen minutes later and the flight was met my armed and uniformed police officers.

Only two arrests were made according to the Sun newspaper under the heading 'Terror flight' and when I enquired with Stansted airport police in writing (after they refused to discuss the incident over telephone) they assured me that the matter had been dealt with to their satisfaction!! I am still awaiting a response to my letter of complaint to Michael O'Leary. Why were these passengers allowed onto the flight in their condition, why were the Italian authorities not alerted at security at Ciampino and why should the safe passage of both UK and foreign nationals be subjected to this behaviour after passing through 'SECURITY'.

Coincidentally Michael O'Leary was also in Rome that day promoting two new slots gained by the airline under the advertising campaign 'LOVE ITALY, FLY RYANAIR!!'

Was this a publicity stunt perhaps?? I have spoken to a number of Ryanair personnel in my local area about this incident and the response that I have been given is they have not been advised or alerted.

Henceforth I believe that Ryanair passengers should be issued with boxing gloves and read the forthcoming football fixtures prior to booking a flight

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No Explanation for Delay
Submitted 30 October 2008

Flt.no.4076 from alicante on 28 oct.08.

All passengers preparing to board at 0530hrs 3 ryanair aircraft on pans.flash notice flt.delayed until 1315 hrs.

Alicante info.desk cannot contact ryanair for explanation.(not their problem).

1030 hrs.free drink plus small snack.(still no information or reason for delay).

Take off 1300hrs.(still no info.on why)

Crew tannoy (no goods or services available on flt.

I questioned cabin crew with all passengers concerns and was informed that they had been called in on extra flt.with no food provided and no exta pay.i was beginning to fell sorry for them and got the impression they were doing us a big favour..

We were all offered a free cup of lukewarm water.

I am still waiting an official reason for delay and lack off basic care or consideration.

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Successful Claim
Submitted 29 October 2008

In November 2005, Ryanair cancelled a flight of mine. Basically the plane had a fault, they fixed it, but failed to board everybody in time before the airport closed. At 1am, after waiting an hour on the plane, we all had to get off. Ryanair said the flight would go at 11am the next day. As it was "extra-ordinary" Servisair informed us that they had been instructed by Ryanair to offer no compensation other than a refund. Everybody was furious, it was the early hours, cold and at a small secondary airport with no facilities. I decided not to pointlessly argue at 2am, applied for a refund that night and would pursue the expenses another time. I was forced to take a taxi to the area's primary airport, buy a hotel for the night and get a new flight on a "proper" airline first thing in the morning (I had to be back for work). In all about GBP400 of additional cost.

The next day I wrote to Ryanair and requested they reimburse the hotel, the flight, the taxi and pay the compensation as ordered under EU Regulations for delayed flights. They refused claiming "extra-ordinary circumstances". I objected on the grounds that failing to achieve regular operating procedures (ie boarding in a timely manner) and operating hours of the airport were not "extra-ordinary circumstances". After Ryanair refused again, I took it up with the AUC. The AUC demanded Ryanair pay. Ryanair refused claiming that passengers had been offered overnight accommodation, but I had not requested it! Maybe this occurred at 3am, well after I had given up arguing! Ryanair also claimed they had offered an alternative flight, which I did not take up (the 11am postponement). However the AUC wrote back and said they could not require the alternative to be Ryanair or even an airline (it was a domestic flight). Ryanair failed to respond and the AUC urged me to take it to small claims court as they have no enforcement powers (a toothless regulator).

I made the same mistake many do and applied through the UK system and was rejected on grounds of no jurisdiction. I then applied through the Irish system. Ryanair refused to concede and therefore I was required to appear in person in Court in Ireland. However, at this time I had moved to Australia. The court delayed the hearing for 2 years until I had moved back. Two days before the court date, Ryanair wrote to the Court with an offer of settlement (the full additional costs excluding the cost of the Ryanair flight that was refunded, but no EU compensation). I agreed as it was preferable to appearing in court and the costs of travel, etc.

I urge anyone who feels that they are rightfully due compensation from Ryanair to take it through the Irish court. Do not back down. Ryanair expects this. I would have gone to court if they had not settled.

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Booking Change Saga
Submitted 19 October 2008

On 31st July 2008 I booked a return flight online with Ryanair from London Stansted to Carcasonne, leaving 11th August at 1305 and returning on the 13th. Everything was confirmed and I was ready to go, but the night before I was due to depart I was taken severely ill and was diagnosed with Tracheitis, an infection of the trachea which affected my breathing. A doctor was called and told me that under no circumstances should I fly.

As it was 1.25am Ryanair's Customer Service line was closed, so I started ringing them at 9am. At about 9.03am I got through to someone to let them know I wasn't flying and to re-arrange the flight for another time. When I asked them to change the flight to a date in April 2009, they said they were unable to do so because 'the route was being discontinued for operational purposes'. She asked me to hold the line while she found another date, but instead of putting me on hold she cut me off. I called again and managed to get through to someone at 9.08am, who told me she was unable to do anything about it because it was less than 4hrs before departure. I argued that it was them that cut me off but she was not having any of it: 'I'm not going around in circles with you, I can't and won't change anything on the phone. You will simply have to travel to Stansted today and sort it at the desk', she said and put the phone down on me!

I should tell you that a trip to London Stansted from my home in Reading, Berkshire is a round-trip of 178 miles...and when you're ill that's a long way to travel! If I was well enough to travel to the airport I would have checked in and then boarded the flight. This all happened on the day that thousands of passengers who had booked through third-party websites were having their tickets denied! It would have been chaos, and I would have probably ended up in hospital!

I decided that I would complain to Ryanair directly and found the email address of the Customer Services Director, Caroline Greene through your website. I sent her an email detailing all of the problems I had incurred, but by the end of the week I still hadn't had a reply. I then faxed a complaint to Ryanair's Corporate Headquarters in Dublin, but after 10 working days STILL hadn't received a response. In desperation, I submitted a formal case to the Irish Small Claims Court. Ryanair's first response was the standard refusal, so I replied:

I have read Ryanair's response to the claim and while I accept that when I purchased the ticket I accepted the General Terms and Condtions of Carriage, I do not agree with Ryanair's view that the ticket is fully flexible.

On the date of departure, I tried to change the date of the flight in my first telephone call to the Customer Response Centre to a date in April 2009, however I was told by the customer services representative on the telephone it was not possible to change it to that particular date in April as the route was being discontinued. Afterwards I was cut off the telephone by Ryanair, and during the second telephone call I was told there was nothing that could be done at all over the telephone - the only alternative given by the Customer Response Centre was to travel to London Stansted and resolve the situation in person, which I refuse to spend time and money doing.

April 2009 is the only other time that I am in a position to take this flight again as being a Secondary School Teacher means that I must work within the confines of the school vacation. If the company are planning to discontinue the flight after this time this does not make the flight '"fully flexible" as suggested by Ryanair. I would be more than willing to discuss an alternative destination with Ryanair, however even their lack of decency to even contact me after making a formal complaint through their own complaint procedures would mean that I would refuse to pay any "applicable fees" as a matter of principle.

Ryanair came back soon after:

We wish to advise that Mr [name] by contacting our Reservation centre would have had to pay 88.00 GBP for the flight change fee and any fare difference.

Therefore, as a gesture of good will, we are in a position to offer a Travel Credit for the future travel to the value of 21.26 GBP (which is the difference of the original price of the ticket and flight change fee). Hence when Mr [name] makes a new booking using the travel credit, he will only have to pay the same difference as he would have had to pay on the 11th August 2008 when he contacted our call centre (we wish to inform that the special rate of changing the flight on our website would have not been applied in this case, as the change should have been done 12 hours before the scheduled departure).

In summary, as a gesture of goodwill Ryanair were only going to let me pay almost the same again instead of more than the £109.26 I paid for the original flight. Perhaps it's just me being greedy, but I'm not seeing the goodwill gesture in paying for your flight over again! I also don't ever remember reading anything that says the flight change rate would have increased if you changed your flight less than 12hrs before departure (Ryanair's website says you can change it up to 4hrs before departure!)

Having considered the options carefully, I replied:

I do not feel that the offer being made by Ryanair is the best they can offer given the circumstances. To be honest, I am failing to see Ryanair's 'good will gesture' in asking me to pay almost the same again for a flight which they cannot offer at a later date because the route is being discontinued. I find Mr Wasiak's 'gesture of good will' a total insult to me as a consumer. I have also checked Ryanair's General Conditions of Carriage and see nothing in there that tells me that special web rates do not apply when the change to a flight is made less than 12 hours before departure - perhaps Ryanair should clarify their policy in regard to this.

Once again, as set out in my previous complaint I do have medical evidence to support the claim that I was not fit to travel on that day, and feel that this has been totally ignored by the respondent at every point in the complaint.

By this point I realised that I was fighting a losing battle, and that this was going on for too long. The complaint had been going on for nearly two months. Then Ryanair soon delivered the final blow:

Whilst we sympathise with your view, we regret that our position as set out in previous correspondence remains unaltered.

Our Terms and Conditions, however, state that flight dates, times and routes are changeable (subject to seat availability). If booked online the rate of £28/€35 per one way flight/per person applies or if booked at an airport or reservation centre the rate of £44/€55 per one way flight/per person applies.

In addition, to these flight change fees, any price difference between the original total price paid and the lowest total price available at the time of the flight change is charged. Please note that if the total price on the new flight is lower, no refund will be made.

Furthermore, flight changes (subject to seat availability) can be made up to 4 hours prior to the scheduled flight departure time either online or via a reservation centre (subject to opening hours). Internet/web only fares cannot be booked when flight changes are made through an airport or reservation centre. No flight changes can be made to a reservation once a passenger has checked in for a flight.

There are a couple of discrepencies in this statement. Ryanair said they charged a different price for a flight change if booked online. The £88.00 charge would have only been applicable for those flight bought over the phone or in person, so why were they charging me more?

By this time, I had had enough of the bat and ball game that was crossing the Irish Sea, so I withdrew my claim, but not without giving Ryanair a piece of my mind.

I am still of the opinion that the offer currently being made by Ryanair is not the best they can offer given the circumstances, especially when they are charging me £88 as a flight change fee when I should be charged £56 as I booked the original fare online. To be honest, I am failing to see Ryanair's 'good will gesture' in asking me to pay almost the same again for a flight which they cannot offer at a later date.

I find Mr Wasiak's 'gesture of good will' a total insult to me as a customer. I have also checked Ryanair's Term and Conditions as well as their General Conditions of Carriage and see nothing in there that tells me that special web fares do not apply when the change to a flight is made less than 12 hours before departure - perhaps Ryanair should clarify their policy in regard to this.

It seems clear to me that Ryanair have got 'moving the goalposts to suit themselves' down to a fine art, and that there is always an answer to a tricky question lurking somewhere around the corner. Quite frankly I have no more time to commit to this ridiculous 'bat-and-ball game' with a company who obviously wouldn't know a good will gesture if it leapt on top of them. I cannot agree to the offer Ryanair have made - even if I booked another flight with them with the offer given I would begrudge every moment of the journey knowing that I have had to pay nearly £200 for a flight which is almost half of that in value. As a matter of principal I intend never to send my custom towards Ryanair again.

Once again, as set out in previous complaints I do have medical evidence to support the claim that I was not fit to travel on that day, and feel that this has been totally ignored by the respondent at every point in the complaint. Neither have they addressed their lack of Customer Service, both when the line was cut off when trying to change the flight in the first telephone conversation, when they refused to change anything in the second telephone call or when they failed to respond to two direct written complaints made to their Head Office in Dublin, which completely goes against their Passenger Charter of resolving complaints within 7 working days.

It is with sincere regret that I withdraw this claim, not because I agree with Ryanair's decision, but simply because I am fed up with trying to work with a company who have ultimately taken my money without offering any suitable recompense. Ryanair's Customer Services should take heed of the statistic that one consumer tells four others about a good experience with a company, but tells ten other consumers about a bad experience. I feel Ryanair have had ample opportunity to bring this to a mutual solution, however they have failed to do so.

This is how it has been left. I feel Ryanair have won, and I'm £109.26 out of pocket. I know this is a small amount to some, but as a Newly Qualified Teacher this is a big deal and there is also a matter of principal, something Ryanair are clearly lacking which they showed on their last BBC Watchdog appearance a few weeks ago. Michael O'Leary's interview said it all: "We don't want to take the moral high ground, we want to take the low cost ground", showing just how money hungry they are. I hope Ryanair go bust and he loses the lot, something I don't normally wish on my enemies.

In amongst all of this, they still haven't addressed the original problems of poor customer service and the refusal to reply to the email and fax complaints I sent. It goes without saying I won't be flying with them again...not that I got to fly with them in the first place!

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Still Awaiting Refund Due to Cancellation
Submitted 8 October 2008

My mother & I booked return flights from Edinburgh to Berlin, one of their new destinations due to have been launched at the end of September. When making the booking, I saw that, as my mum is visually impaired, I was obliged to notify Ryanair of this fact. I subsequently found out that this was because an entire group of blind/visually impaired passengers were unceremoniously taken off their flight - Ryanair's lame excuse being, "due to health & safety issues". I believe the group successfully sued Ryanair and were awarded damages. Now Ryanair limit the number of blind/visually impaired passengers to a maximum of five per flight.

So, I looked for a number to call them and it was an 0871 number, which, when called, gave an automated message to call a premium rate number (09) at £1 per minute. Thanks to the saynoto0870.com website, I found it cheaper to call their Dublin number where I was kept on hold for a staggering 27 minutes before I got through to advise them that my mother is visually impaired and would require assistance on the return journey only. An hour or so later, I received another flight confirmation email stating, "Passenger visually impaired, travelling with companion, DOES NOT REQUIRE ASSISTANCE". So, another lengthy wait to get through to them only to be told in a very patronising manner that my mother's request for assistance was, "in the system" to which I requested an amended booking confirmation, which was not forthcoming. Two calls at an average of 25 minutes on hold, 10 minutes for some incompetent fool to deal with the request would have entailed a staggering phone bill in excess of £50+ , most of which would go into Ryanair's greedy hands and all of that for nothing!

On the 10th September 2008, Ryanair announced that,

"Dear Customer - Ryanair sincerely regrets that due to a strike by Boeing staff (our aircraft manufacturer), it has been necessary to cancel some flights departing between the 23/09/2008 to the 04/11/2008. Please see below for details of your flight(s) which has been cancelled.

Please also advise any other passengers who may be travelling in your party of the cancellation of this booking.

Please note that this flight booking will be automatically cancelled and all monies paid for the unused flights refunded within 7 working days. The refund will be processed back to the original form of payment used to pay for the booking.

Ryanair again sincerely apologises for the inconvenience caused by this cancellation. This cancellation which is outside of the control of Ryanair falls under the extraordinary circumstances clause of Article 7 of EC Regulation 261/2004."

One week later I received this email from Ryanair.

"Following your recent refund request for booking confirmation number ......

We confirm that your refund request has been processed to the form of payment used to pay for your booking. Your issuing bank will then take 5-7 working days to process this refund amount back to your account.

The amount refunded to your credit/debit card is GBPUnknown!!!!!!!!!!!!! "

It is now October 8th and to date, no refund has been received from Ryanair. I wrote to them on 27th September 2008 demanding that the refunds be made immediately - no acknowledgement, no payment, nada!

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Dumped in Biarritz
Submitted 19 September 2008

FR747 BIQ to STN 09:50 16th Sept 2008.

My wife and I together with about 150+ other people successfully checked-in and passed through security to wait at the boarding gate in Biarritz - an hour passed and the 'Boarding' message changed to 'Delayed' - then 'Cancelled'. A tannoy announcement told us that we should collect our bags and visit the Ryanair desk in the check-in area.

Despite the fact that some flights were actually leaving, we were told that the flight was cancelled due to Adverse weather (in which case Ryanair aren't responsible under EU261 to compensate passengers) and given a slip of paper with an Irish telephone number if we wanted to rebook or get a refund. That phone number didn't connect for me, though another passenger said they did get an answer and it was a recorded message.

That was it - 150+ people dumped, no prospect of another flight anytime soon as Ryanair don't fly everyday and their customer service line wasn't working.

On my eventual return to the UK (Two days later - not via Ryanair!) I phoned for a refund, to be told by the customer service staff that they had no record of that flight being cancelled and could I ring back later..?

I could almost hear that arrogant ****** O'Leary 'You paid **** all for your flight, what do you expect?

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Charged after Site Malfunction and no Confirmation
Submitted 5 September 2008

Whilst I was booking a flight on Ryanair.com, the website malfunctioned after I entered by credit card details. I waited until the next day but as I didn't receive any booking confirmation, and as the flights had increased in price, I made a second booking attempt, this time successful.

The next week I found that I had been charged for the unconfirmed flight.

I commenced faxing Ryanair daily explaining the situation and asking for a refund. Each day, I changed a line to note the dates that I had faxed them. Usually it took several attempts for the fax to go through (and a Eur16 phone bill) and I kept all the fax receipts, successful or no.

After 7 business days without response, on a Friday, I referred the matter to my credit-card issuer. They asked me to fax all the support paperwork, so I sent them all the faxes I had sent to Ryanair, along with a cover letter.

That Sunday, I received 2 template emails from Ryanair saying that I was not entitled to be refunded for either flight.

I printed out the emails, and faxed Ryanair back complaining that no-one had actually read my request, which was to refund the flight which had never been confirmed. I also notified them again that I had referred the matter to my credit-card issuer.

That day they appeared to process the refund, and I was able to contact my credit-card issuer and let them know that the dispute had been resolved.

I have received NO communication from Ryanair apart from two template "You are not entitled to a refund" emails.

So it appears that persistently faxing does work, but it takes time, at least 1 negative response from Ryanair, and referral to the credit-card issuer.

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Missed Funeral, Indifference and Lack of Information (addressed to Ryanair)
Submitted 3 September 2008

Flight FR 9805 Gerona-Stansted (delayed)
Flight FR411 Stansted-Prestwick (missed due to delay)

This letter is to complain re the above delayed flight and the total lack of customer service experienced by ourselves as we were kept waiting in the airport for 13 hours.

As soon as we arrived in the [Gerona] airport we were informed that there was an 8 hour delay, how the first flight of the morning could be delayed and such a specific time be given is completely beyond me, unless there was no aircraft to fly us home in the first place.

A fellow passenger called his wife in Scotland and asked her to phone your call centre in Dublin to try and find out what the delay was, a ridiculous situation but we were being given no information at all from your staff.

She did this and called him back with the response she was given -adverse weather conditions, now considering we were looking at clear skies and no other flights delayed this was obviously the first of many lies that day.

A group of us approached the service desk and asked to be put on other flights that were leaving on time-this was refused we were told we would have to pay the full price of 200 euros to get a seat on another flight. Once again the passenger called his wife who called back to Dublin to be told that wasn't true, we should be allowed to transfer, who was right and who was wrong didn't matter, the staff weren't listening to reason.

We were treated with total contempt, there wasn't even the slightest inclination to move off a chair and phone Dublin to have the information/procedure clarified.

Sadly this didn't surprise me I fly regularly with Ryanair and on other occasions I have been faced with the same level of intransigence from your staff when faced with lengthy delays.

Our 8 hour delay was soon changed hour by hour with no explanation volunteered, we eventually were informed on constantly asking that it was a mechanical fault on a wheel that couldn't be fixed.

It is to me highly suspicious that a delay of 8 hours could be predicted so precisely, I do not believe there ever was a flight for us.

I did actually have other flights booked with yourself from Gerona-Paris-Prestwick, I tried to get my partner booked on these but was told that it couldn't be done as there was not enough time for connections in-between flights. I explained I had booked them and also had friends on these-to no avail, I was constantly told it couldn't be done.

My friends did get these flights and had no problems whatsoever, we could have been home 12 hours prior to when we did arrive if once again your staff had not given the wrong information.

The reason I had booked other early morning flights after booking my originals was because my brother was terminally ill, we didn't have any timescale on how long he would survive so I thought it best to book first flights incase he passed away.

Sadly he did and his funeral was arranged for the 5th allowing me time to attend.

Due to the sheer stubbornness of your staff and their refusal to even try and assist me to get home I missed his funeral. There were other flights we could have been transferred to which would have allowed us to be home in time but despite constantly asking this was refused.

There was only one member of staff who showed the slightest bit of empathy and was prepared to try and help get us home, by this time I had missed my brother's funeral and just wanted to get home to be with my family.

The woman in question a supervisor was horrified and was willing to get us on a flight to Prestwick, however this was full and it meant going on stand-by, by this point the flight to Stansted was due to board, as there was no guarantee of seats being available on the Prestwick flight we thought it best to travel to London and transfer from there to Glasgow.

We had asked constantly throughout the day if there was any way we could go on a standby list for alternative flights to be told no, Ryanair don't do standby you will have to pay the full price of seats.

On arrival at Stansted we were informed there were only 13 seats available and we could transfer to these for £50, considering the delay and it being a mechanical fault I thought it ridiculous but would have paid anything to get home. I was extremely stressed and approached a supervisor-explained my situation and asked him for assistance to get us on the flight home as I knew there was not going to be any seats left by the time I got to the front of the queue.

Once again I met total indifference, infact I would go as far as to say I was treated with total contempt.

To shrug your shoulders at someone who is obviously under extreme pressure is totally unacceptable. I asked for his name to be told he didn't need to give it, how are you meant to complaint about someone if they don't give their name?

I must point out that at no time was I abusive, raising my voice or being insulting. I work in a call centre and have previously been a supervisor in call centres I know how frustrating it is to be spoken to like that and would never stoop to that level.

Needless to say we didn't get on the flight, as I wasn't willing to sleep on the floor at the airport all night we had no option but to get the overnight bus to Scotland.

This cost us £42 each, plus we then needed to get a taxi home an additional £10.

We should have arrived in Prestwick at 11.55 on Wed 5th March but had infact to endure the delay plus an overnight journey meaning we were travelling or waiting to travel for 27hours, not arriving back in Scotland until 8am on 6th March.

Throughout this experience I tried to phone your call centre from my mobile to plead with someone to see sense and get us on an alternative flight and kept getting cut off I dread the arrival of the phone bill.

I asked the staff at Gerona to let me use a phone to call you to try and get some assistance, to be informed their phones are for internal use only, and couldn't make external calls.

Another lie as earlier in the day they had informed us they had called your head office and we couldn't be put on another flight.

Today at 14.55 I again phoned your call centre eventually speaking to a girl called Fiona. I explained the situation and was advised complaints have to be faxed. I informed her I wanted to speak to a manager and asked for a call back as I had already spent a fortune trying to reach the call centre.

Fiona informed me they wouldn't call me back, never have I heard of a customer service department that doesn't do call backs and I have worked in a few.

By this point I had had enough and advised that I would infact be taking the matter further.

Your company can never compensate me for missing my brother's funeral or for me missing being with my family on that day, or for the sheer failure to demonstrate any customer service skills at all.

As I said previously I myself work in customer services and I was horrified at the lack of any sort of empathy or even willingness to try and assist us. If I or any of my team treated our customers with that lack of service then we would be out of a job, and rightly so. I appreciate there are guidelines, every company has them, but they also have the ability to bend them and on this occasion I would have expected that to happen.

Any company I have worked with would have ensured a solution was achieved as quickly as possible.

Unfortunately my past experience with Ryanair has proved the company to be the exceptions to the rule.

A copy of this letter is being sent to my MP, MSP and also to Air Transport Users Council as I am not willing to just leave this.

If your complaints department show the same level of indifference as your staff on the ground then no doubt a reply will not be forthcoming.

You should maybe look at Virgin for how to operate a public service with good customer relations.

Two family members were delayed on one of their services for 2 hours, they were provided with free refreshments on their journey when it resumed and then had first class complementary tickets for another journey sent out.

That is what you call customer service.

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No Response to Refund Request
Submitted 29 August 2008

I am from Glasgow and was travelling to Newcastle to fly with Ryanair to Barcelona on Sunday 2nd March. Me and my brother arrived in Newcastle and on our way to the airport when my Mum phoned to say that my gran had passed away. We travelled back home so therefore did not use our flight.

A week later, I faxed over to Ryanair a letter explaining what had happened and a copy of my grandmothers death certificate. The next day I received an email from Ryanair asking me to resend the letter and certificate as they could not make out the flight reference numbers. I did this and I never heard another thing from them. At the end of March I sent another fax asking them if they could acknowledge that they were dealing with my request, surprisingly I heard nothing.

Now and again I would try and fax over another letter asking them for an update but I could not get through on their fax machine, in fact it was an absolute impossibility. I was about to give up, which I am sure is what they hope most Customers will do when I decided to write to them.

I wrote to them at the end of July and within 7 days I received a letter stating that they have never received a request from me, they never received a death certificate and could I resend this to them. They have 2 copies of the certificate and they obviously have just disregarded it!

As you all know a death in the family is a very traumatic experience and I absolutely disgusted by how they treat people. As of yet I am still waiting to see if they will refund me and my brother but I will not give up and I will take this to the regulator if they do not refund me as I know I am entitled to this. It would be very interesting to know how many people have been in the same situation as me and simply gave up!?!?!?! That must add up to another couple of million that Ryanair can steal from their cutomers!

TOTALLY DISGUSTED and I will never fly with Ryanair again! I will update you when I get their reply!

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Why Pay for Priority Boarding?
Submitted 27 August 2008

I recently flew back from Rome with Ryan air and had booked a priority boarding pass - although we board the bus first (as we had actually paid for this) once all priority boarders were on the bus everyone else joined us that had an ordinary ticket.

We got to the plane on a journey not dissimilar to a cattle market and everyone jumped off the bus pushing everyone else out of the way and ran to the plane like we were leaving a war zone.

my mum and I managed to get seats together which was a relief as the only reason I booked and paid extra was for the privilege of guaranteeing we would sit together as I am a very nervous flyer - So what is the point in paying extra money for this ticket when everyone else that pays the standard fare can get on the plane first anyway?

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First Ryanair Experience
Submitted 27 August 2008

To give 1 star to this airline is very generous indeed. We (4 adults + 4 kids), travelled from L'pool to Murcia 26/7.

The journey started out well (even though 3 hr ferry to L'pool + taxi to airport). Mayhem started when we went to check-in to be told that we would have to pay £16 per bag (eight in total) as we hadn't checked in online - yes we were caught out by the cr*p website too! We thought we could save £32 by taking the two small bags on hand luggage - forgot that all the sun cream and expensive (Clinique!) stuff was in the case - bye bye approx £50 in the security bin!

Ah well, that was that so onwards we went to the bar for a quick brandy to calm ourselves... Quick shop (£25 down) in Boots for essentials (sod the good stuff) and through to the gate.

Oh my god! We had never flown with a 'budget airline' before but boy did we get a shock when we got on the plane! I thought the check in staff were rude but the trolley dollies took the biscuit! "SIT DOWN NOW" I was told as the plane began to taxi down the runway... "I can't leave my children", I protested. "We are about to take off so just find a seat" she said.

Get the picture, my brother is down the front of the plane after being barked at. My husband is 3 seats up, I am near the back with 4 kids all standing and my sister in law was told to "SIT DOWN" on the back seat. The children aged 12, 13, 9 & 9 are all looking around wondering what to do until a very kind fellow passenger allowed me and my 9 yr old son to sit together (he was crying and upset). The 3 other children managed to get seats but the whole time I just kept thinking... is this all actually legal?

Well, we arrived at Murcia airport safe and sound but a bit shell shocked at the whole Sh*tair experience thinking we wouldn't be caught out on the way back! We tried all week to check our bags in online (is this a big fix?) as we kept getting an error message that it was a 'restricted' airport.

Not wanting to pay another £100 for taking our bags home with us we decided to try and call the number on the website. Don't bother! The number it gives you tells you to call another number and the other number then gives a recorded message telling you that the number is not available. We unfortunately did not get the 'cheap' flights that some do (£149 return per person) add to that the £200 we ended up paying for our luggage both ways and we would have been cheaper to fly BA.

To add insult to the injury the staff at Ryanair have to be the rudest people I have ever come across (and I travel often for work). I said to one of the check in staff at L'pool airport that they must get an awful lot of complaints about the check-in fee, she looked at me like I had two heads and said "I don't care"

All in all we ended up spending a fortune in phone/internet calls from Spain trying to get in touch with this bunch of cowboys and still ended up getting conned - we were not alone, half the airport were in the same position. On the plus side, we decided to be ruthless when boarding, stuck out our elbows and ran like athletes to get a couple of seats with the kids and it worked (apologies to anyone on the return journey 2 August!!) we had no choice!

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Extra Fees and Charges
Submitted 24 August 2008

Hi there, I just wanted to e-mail in regarding the debit-card fee I was levied with after booking my flight recently.

I'll confess that the problem is partly due to my own inattentiveness - I think in the rush to get my flight paid for after I made the booking (you know, "LOW-COST FLIGHTS, SALE ENDS TONIGHT!!!"), I didn't even notice that, while entering my card details, I was being charged another fee. I only realised once I received my e-mail invoice, after I'd already paid it. I used a maestro debit card. This is what the e-mail read:

PAYMENT DETAILS

The reason I thought I'd pass this on out of interest to other potential Ryanair customers is that you can see the total passenger fee (there are two of us) nearly equals that of the flight itself (including taxes, fees and charges).

It's just a warning to all those booking a flight to be more attentive than I was! Not that it would have made much of a difference for me - I know now that they don't charge for Visa Electron users, but I'm 17-years-old - I only have one card.

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Cheap Flights Don't have to be as Unpleasant as Ryanair
Submitted 20 August 2008

After a series of typical Ryanair experiences, no worse than many in your forum, we now reorganise holidays so as to avoid Ryanair wherever possible, and have cut our exposure to them down by 80%. In doing so we have discovered that cheap flying does not have to be actively unpleasant, even on little known Italian airlines.

Our experiences for the record are: - 3 calls to their expensive call centre needed to get a refund from Ryanair when Ryanair cancelled a flight (Rome - Alghero) due to Italian Govenment action two years ago. On the final call we were told that they assumed we would be rebooking and had left the money for that. I don't know if you can make a booking on their web site and navigate to pay from an amount they are holding?

My guess is that many other people are doing the same as we are and taking action to avoid the completely unnecessary, unreliable, insulting and degrading experience that flying Ryanair has now become. Surely no organisation can survive by treating us, the customers in this way. They are telling us at the moment that they are struggling for custom and reducing prices. I think their strategy is fatally flawed.

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No Warning Before or Customer Service After Flight Rescheduled by Two Days
Submitted 19 August 2008

I am so glad to have found your site and to find that I am not the only person to have been in tears and nearly gone bald after a nasty Ryanair experience.

Our story starts last year when myself, husband and children were due to go to a wedding in Italy. The flights we were booked on were re-scheduled and (as I had just taken up a new job) decided not to take the re-offered flights but instead to accept the travel vouchers and use them at a later date.

My husband and I then decided to go away on a long weekend to Budapest, flying on Friday, coming back Monday. We organised care for the children, booked time off work, booked accomodation, traveled down to East Midlands Airport from West Yorkshire to find there was no flight to Budapest. They had 'rescheduled the flights' to fly on Sunday and come back Wednesday - we had had no email stating this would be happening and they even admitted they had not sent us one. As you can imagine we were incredibley angry and dissappointed (although the girl at the service desk was very helpful). As there were no other flights we were forced to go home, having lost a whole day in travel to the airport and back, the cost of parking at the airport, the cost of exchanging our currency etc etc.

Having followed this up we have found the resulting customer care even more infuriating than the loss of our trip away. We have written to the head office in Dublin and have had no reply. The conversation we have had on the number designated for GB have been the worst I have ever experienced as well as the most costly. The last conversation we had I was actually shouted at by one of their Manager - which was completely unprovoked. ( The only call centre we seem to get through to is one in Milan where their grasp of English is hit or miss and I don't speak Italian). All we keep being told is that they will give us a travel credit back - as if we are going to travel with them again after this fiasco!

I am now waiting to see if I get any reply from the email addresses that have been suggested by yourselves. Can anyone recommend a Regulatory body I can write to as I am determined not to let them win.

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Charged After Cards not Accepted
Submitted 13 August 2008

We have lived in Spain for 6 years and travel regularly back to the UK. This is our first time flying with Ryanair from Valencia to E Midlands. We were trying to book a flight for my husband only to visit his mother who is not in the best of health.

After following the procedures for booking, on coming to payment details, we completed the details using my husbands' Visa card but it came up that it was not accepting this card details. After going back several times to try again, as instructed, we had no success. We then tried my Visa card. Again we went through the whole procedure with exactly the same negative results, i.e. it was not accepting the card details. After 2 more attempts without success, we tried using another of my Visa cards. Again, with the same negative result. At this point we gave up and looked at other airlines.

However, on going into our email, Ryanair had sent 2 emails with different confirmation references. Therefore, taking out double the amount of money out of our bank account for 1 flight after not accepting any of our earlier attempts!

On contacting my bank, they confirmed there were 2 amounts of the same sum taken out and that we would need to contact Ryanair.

FROM THIS POINT WE ALL KNOW WHAT A FRUITLESS EXCERSISE THIS THEN BECOMES. IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO EITHER CONTACT THEM BY EMAIL OR PHONE. ALL THEIR CUSTOMER SERVICES NUMBERS DO NOT EXIST AND THERE IS NO EMAIL ADDRESS.

IT GOES WITHOUT SAYING THAT WE WILL NOT BE USING RYANAIR AGAIN.

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Cost of Missing Flight due to Wrong Information
Submitted 11 August 2008

My son and young family missed their flight to Spain because of wrong info given to them by ryanair desk. They had to book another flight for next day and a hotel overnight, which cost £250.

I tried to ring Ryanair absoloutely waste of money and time, I tried to ring head office Dublin, and London, could not speak to a human voice, just waiting in queues forever, pressed all different nos, waste of time, it must have cost me a fortune on my phone bill, I would never nor my son use ryanair ever.

The taxi driver said Ryanair never call gates or names hoping you will book another flight and pay again .I have threatened them with the Ombudsman I dont suppose that will worry them.

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Card Fees, Payment Refused, Crashing Site etc etc (addressed to Ryanair)
Submitted 5 August 2008

On the afternoon of Wednesday 30th July 2008 I tried to book a flight with you from London Stansted to Limoges outbound on 1st August and returning on 4th August. My reason for booking was to fly out to France to join a group of friends visiting a former university colleague who now lives near Limoges. I was motivated to fly with your airline because the return fare (including booking fees etc and allowing for online check in and hand baggage etc) appeared to be around £135 (allowing for quoted taxes and airport fees etc and knowing that I would be taking only hand luggage and checking in online). This was still significantly more than an amount of £70 I had been offered to travel with some friends as a 5th passenger leaving by road early on the morning of Thursday 31st August. However as two children of 10 and 12 would also be in the car it would probably have been a squashed and taxing drive and I decided flying would be better. However as I live in Capel in Surrey 7 miles south of Dorking and 10 miles by road from Gatwick the prospect of either road or rail travel to Stansted (a journey time of around 2 hours 30 minutes by road or rail compared to only 20 minutes by taxi from here to Gatwick) and your failure to match Easyjet in operating to most of your EU destinations from Gatwick Airport was still a major disincentive to travelling with you. Sadly Easyjet do not fly to Limoges or anywhere near to it.

Allowing for all of the above on Wednesday afternoon I nonetheless ploughed through your booking screens and reached what appeared to be a final screen to Book Now where I discovered you were trying to charge me £8 for using a Maestro debit card on a £134 fare, even though the amount you have to pay NatWest for that transaction undoubtedly amounts to well under £1. I carefully checked all the card options but found only a Visa Electron card had no card fee. I have about 12 credit and debit cards but this does not include Visa Electron but does include Visa Debit and Visa Credit plus Maestro, Mastercard and American Express. There was no explanation on this card payment selection screen as to why you were now charging precisely the same for debit cards as credit cards, especially bearing in mind that if I use my Egg Money Mastercard or Shell Citi Mastercard credit cards they both give me 1% cashback (or around £1.34) for using it to make the booking unlike my Maestro debit card.

My feelings about Ryanair's action here is that it amounts to nothing more than a blatant scam and deliberate extortion as the charge made does not reflect the real costs of the customer paying you by debit card in particular, while the £8 return fee charged for credit cards is also grossly excessive and disproportionate for all but your most expensive fares. It is also clearly a quite deliberate attempt to circumvent EU rules requiring you to disclose all taxes and charges up front. You deliberately offer a nil card charge only on the Visa Electron card to provide an excuse as to why you cannot show the £8 card charge earlier on in the booking process but of course you know perfectly well that next to nobody holds the Visa Electron card (neither NatWest or Nationwide who I bank with even issue them). I should also point out that I previously terminated a longstanding Natwest Gold Plus Mastercard account specifically because its full travel insurance (in return for an annual fee) relied on using the credit card to book and Easyjet, Ryanair and others did not then charge extra to use a debit card. This only adds to my anger at your latest scam action over debit cards. Why don't you just fairly charge 2% of the price for credit card use (the actual cost) on the booking as a major tour operator like First Choice does is beyond me. Similarly you are not entitled to charge more than the matter of pence you are actually charged by the banks for a debit card transaction.

Incredibly despite all this I still pressed the Book Now button on Wednesday afternoon as I wanted to visit my friends in France for the weekend but after about 4 minutes of waiting for your website to dissolve itself in to a large heap on the floor I received a message that my booking had not succeeded but with no explanation as to why and with only an indication that I should start all over again from the Home page where I was either not getting any fares quoted at all or having to wait 2 to 3 minutes or more for fares to come up. At this point I contacted Egg Money using a normal geographic phone number on the www.saynoto0870.com website and got through to a person in less than a minute. They told me they had declined the card payment due to extra security measures on their part but could authorise it to be allowed in about 15 minutes time on the Ryanair website.

After all this I sat back breathed heavily and considered the following points:-

  1. Did I wish to go ahead with a booking that was reliant on Online Check-In to meet its Terms and Conditions when Ryanair's website is totally and utterly flaky (unlike Easyjet's which is about the best and most reliable and fastest on the whole internet) and has been in a persistent state of collapse for at least the last one to two years. It is also well known that if the website does not work for online check-in Ryanair still then punishes customers with penalty fees for having to check in at the airport instead. Also what confidence can one have in the attitude towards aircraft safety of a company that persistently cannot even be bothered to make its website work properly, even when its whole product is web based and it charges penalty rates for any phone calls.
  2. Did I wish to go ahead with a booking with an airline so cynical that it deliberately tries to flout EU rules on price disclosure by adding in an £8 card use fee not shown in the original quote and where the £8 is clearly an unfair contract term in relation to Ryanair's own actual costs in offering debit card payments.
  3. Did I wish to book with an airline that I had previously enjoyed one pleasant flight on to Sardinia (Alghero) from Stansted in November 2001 but which I then had then had one of the most unpleasant experiences ever with any organisation of being excluded from a flight to Palermo in 2003 because I could find no open check in for the flight 42 minutes before departure when one should still have been open. Your ground staff at Stansted were then unbelievably rude and contemptuous and tried to charge me £40 for a proposed one day delay in travel that was entirely the airline's fault. As the change fee was more than the original fare and cut a 3 day break to a 2 day break (not to mention that I live a 160 mile return drive from Stansted Airport) I decided not to go. This is an experience that has persistently discouraged me from booking again with Ryanair ever since.
In summary due to the failure of your website and/or Egg to allow my original booking to go through I decided not to give my business to an airline that persistently demonstrates flagrant and repeated contempt for its customers through many of its actions and where the directors have so little respect for their public image that they cannot be bothered to invest the effort to fire their current incompetent staff and/or contractors operating their website and replace them with staff and/or contractors who know how to do the job. I don't see how you can claim to be a totally web oriented airline and do everything to discourage phone calls when you can't even get your act together to make the website or your online check-in system work properly.

Due to the contemptuous attitude towards your passengers so frequently exhibited by Michael O'Leary you will undoubtedly take no notice whatsoever of my views but at least I will have felt better by making it clear how you managed to lose my business and why I have ended up spending the weekend in the UK when I would probably much rather have been out in France.

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Sent to the Wrong Country
Submitted 23 July 2008

here is my story, it took place last month, on the 24th of June.

I was suppose to fly from Madrid to Paris Beauvais. I gave the woman at the check-in desk my passport, booking confirmation number and my name, the woman was first confused and said i was not on her list with a very bad attitude, and finally made a few phone calls after i insisted. So it appeared to be they have found me on their system so she just scrumbled down my name on the boarding pass, not even printed, and sent me to the boarding gate.

Since i would never think they would actually give me a wrong flight and everything, i followed the time and information printed on the boarding pass to the gate that i was SUPPOSE to be boarding at. someone even CHECKED my boarding pass, and without questioning anything they let me through.

And the next thing i knew was standing at this tiny airport and found out that I was actually at OSLO, NORWAY!!!! Instead of Paris. I was asking for help from the Customer service desk by Ryanair but the woman told me that i had to find another alternative from other companies as they did not have anything to fly to Paris at all.

It was a nightmare trying to find a flight to leave the country as i was suppose to go to Belgium on the 26th. I had no more time to lose so i had to spend 3000 norwegian money in order to get myself out of there! I had to take a shuttle bus to get me to the train station, in order to cross half of the city to get to the main airport in Oslo. It was a total nightmare and i was all shock.

I'd like to publish my story to anyone who's suffered the same service as me. I just sent them emails and hopefully i will get replied soon.

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No Response Over Smashed Suitcase
Submitted 21 July 2008

On april 8, I flew from ciampino airport in rome to charleroi in belgium, on flight FR 6106. My suitcase, which they charged me € 80,00 for 3kg overweight for, arrived completely smashed on all sides, ready to be scrapped.

I filled the report at charleroi airport, they gave me a damage report with file reference no. which I had to send within a week by fax to the baggage claim office in dublin, together with a copy of the passport, boarding card, baggage tag, blablabla, which I did and I've never heard again of this matter.

After checking online, where it says that the claims are attended within 14 working days, I checked in the luggage session and it says my claim reference no. does not exist. I talked for half an hour with charleroi airport and in june they don't have access to april claims anymore, they tried to pass me with some ryanair representative, another 15 minutes of music with no result, in rome, no joy, they don't know where to reach anybody from [Ryanair] and on [the] web page there is no useful phone number whatsoever.

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The Full Ryanair Experience
Submitted 21 July 2008

I have just returned from Cork and I had an experience with RyanAir that I think your readership should be aware of. Actually the whole experience from booking the trip Online to arriving home left a lot to be desired. I have not had the time to read all of the donated comments listed on your website and apologise if this is repetition of any.

Regarding the Online Booking process: - Does anyone find this process as painful as me? Its been turned into the Spanish or in this case, Irish inquisition. So many questions. So many possibilities to screw more money out of you. Obviously this means open to a lot of Online errors from failing to tick or untick a box. Surely that is their plan?

I was arranging a long weekend for my wife and myself and after finding the flights; Outward cost £3.99 and return cost £39.99 I thought what a pleasant surprise. But I'm no fool. This is without all the airport charges and taxes of course. I then recall a further series of questions about how they could fleece more money out of you, well, thats what it appeared.

We were travelling light, so only cabin luggage. I was quite surprised at the cost of being able to take one item of luggage into the hold, but I could ignore this as we had no further luggage. We also have our own insurance so this was also ignored.

Finally I get to the penultimate screen and could see the total, with all the charges and taxes. Blimey! £185! But what else could I do but accept this? Took me so long to get to this point, so I felt I had to continue. Once I did and reached the final screen, I spotted another 'tax' of £6.40 per passenger being stealthily added. If you click on the 'details' tab it just says something like 'airport tax'? Well, how does this tax differ from the previous tax and charges?

I wanted to know so I found the 'helpdesk' number and noticed that it was £1 a minute. Dilemma. Do I take the extra tax charge hit or do I run the risk of sitting in a £1 a min phone queue for God knows how long? Daylight robbery. The press coverage was true about RyanAir but no one has mentioned these extra final screen taxes.

When I told my wife the news that we had the trip booked I told her the flight times and would you believe it, due to work commitments, she could not make the outward flight time now and I therefore had to change it. If things were not expensive enough, I had to take a further £75 hit for changing the outward flight time. Classed as an admin fee? Online? What administration? No person was involved. Is this legal? Smells bad to me! But again I had to take this on the chin as I chose the wrong flight. My fault at what cost!? Lesson learned!

Fast forward now to Stansted Airport and the outward bound trip. No major problem here only that the flight was delayed 90 mins and no explanation given. On the subject, it never ceases to amaze me that RyanAir announce 'Final Calls' to the gates when the plane has not actually arrived in yet. Anyone else noticed this? On a previous visit to Stansted, we all stood around incredulously while the lady with access to the tannoy system in front of us asked for the remaining passengers to come to the gate as they were holding up the boarding... but we were standing there and there was clearly no plane landed yet. Images of lemmings cascading off the end of a gangplank come to mind.

Now to the homeward bound leg and what could go wrong? Well, it was clear to all in the queue at Cork airport that things were going wrong for a lot of people. Every couple/group in front of us was being re-directed to the RyanAir Service Desk with a piece of paper which indicated what extraordinary fine/charge the airline had chosen to hit them with. I could see the favourite 'excess baggage' card being played mostly but in their defence, their website does explain implicitly how they will screw every penny out of you if you dare turn up with a) a bag to load in the hold b) the weight is too much over their maximum allowance (which we all know is very low). God help the guy with his wife in a wheelchair who was in front of us. The check-in lady was baffled. Seems she had never seen one before!

It came to our turn and the check-in lady behind the desk took our details and then shook her head very negatively and said something inaudible about failing to check in Online. She spoke very low and it didn't help a lot that her Polish accent was still quite strong. (I've been to Poland and she was clearly from there).

Apparently she could not find a way to inflict more costly damage to us on the baggage allowance or a whole host of other things obviously on her 'primary list' so she went to the 'reserve list' and found that we had not checked in Online. Is this a crime? Well, as it transpires, it is! She made us feel like idiots!

So I explained that we actually had tried to check in Online but were prevented from doing so as my wife holds a non-European passport and RyanAir Online checking only allows acceptance from European passport holders. Racist? Probably. But surely she was kidding that she was going to make us pay a fine for that!? No. She was serious. There was no room for negotiation. So, beware! Ok, it was only €10 but it was the principal.

She said it was compulsory for everyone to check in Online or face this fine. I was gobsmacked! When we queried this at the Service Desk we were met with equally blank expressions. They would not reason with us. How can you be fined when the website will not allow you to check in?

Fortunately every cloud has a silver lining and mine is that I will never travel with RyanAir again. I have a choice and I choose not to use them. They are a joke. I am sure that what they are doing is illegal. The press coverage about them agreeing by a court order to advertise the 'full costs including charges and taxes' seems to have not been adopted but watch out for the other taxes and fines they can impose also.

For the two 'ladies' I dealt with at Cork, I would be so embarrassed if I was them. Virtually every traveller had to make the trip from the main desk to the Service Desk and was fined about something pathetic. I was speechless at the time. Perhaps this is why the airline has lost all of its locally employed staff and gone to eastern europe. That is not a racist statement - that is fact! They are willing to work for less and up to a point will endure the 'illegal' policies imposed on them from their employers to extract more money from their customers.

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Change of Flight Time and Can't get Through to Cancel
Submitted 21 July 2008

im not a english native speaker..but i also would like to publish my experience with ryanair.

I booked two flights. One from granada to london stansted and one 7 hours later from london stansted to berlin. I booked them 5 months in advance. After one month they changed the flight time of the first one to 24 hours later, so that i also couldnt get the second one and just offered me a travel credit that also just could be used by phoning ryanair client service.

i tried this many times and i just didnt reach nobody. so i worte a cancellation and sent it by fax to dublin. Nobody answered me while i was waiting 2 months. Now i tried again to phone and 2 times they just hang me off after 30 seconds when i started to speak and explain my situation.

So now I am very angry and I am sure I wont use Ryanair no more.

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Excess Baggage and Stolen Phone (letter not responded to)
Submitted 11 July 2008

Dear Ms O'Neill,

I am a regular customer and am writing to complain about the service I received on flight FR1707 from PSA to EMA on July 3rd 2008.

When I checked in at Pisa airport I was informed that one of the bags was 2KG overweight and that I would have to pay a charge of €30 before I would be allowed to board. The other bags in the party including the hand baggage were sufficiently underweight to allow the weight to be redistributed, but this was not allowed by the operator at the desk and we were effectively held to ransom until we payed the fine. Our bags were taken away, but not loaded onto the plane. We payed the fine under protest and returned to the desk and were given our boarding cards and our bags were retrieved and placed onto the flight. On arrival at EMA I checked my bag that had been placed in the hold and discovered that it had been opened and my mobile phone stolen. The phone was in the bag when I handed it to the care of Ryanair. The phone was used in Italy by the thief until the remaining credit was spent.

I believe that the excess baggage charge of €30 is unfair, especially given that the other bags were under weight. I also suspect that the phone was stolen while the bags were held to ransom. It was in my bag when it was checked in, and calls were made from it to mobile numbers in italy within minutes of check in.

I would like to request Ryanair to refund the €30 excess baggage charge and compensate me for the loss of my mobile and the cost of the calls that were made. I would modestly value this at an additional €30.

I can provide baggage labels, the receipt for the baggage charge etc if you need to see these.

I look forward to hearing from you, or one of you colleagues soon,

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One and a Half Day Flight "Time" Change
Submitted 9 July 2008

Just spent an interesting morning arguing with Ryanair.

I had booked a return flight to Lubeck some three months ago and had an e mail from Ryanair saying that they had changed my flight times so that I would be returning approximately one and a half days later than i had booked. this was not acceptable for me as this would have meant loosing just short of 1000 pounds income.

I checked flight availability and noted that I would be able to return late on the evening prior to the the original morning flight and though this would create problems in itself I accepted this as I am aware that situations change and am happy to accommodate this.

So on ringing Ryanair (after five attempts where I was cut off before connecting to the protracted message that they have, and then waiting for more than ten minutes to talk to someone) i was amazed to be told that I would be required to pay an additional 145 pounds to rebook on my chosen flight. I must admit that the conversation on my part became progressively heated (during which the poor Ryanair agent responded to my statement that this is outrageous, stated "I know I have worked for them for three months and I think their behaviour is unacceptable') and as I was getting no where I asked to talk to her manager. I was duly transferred and part way through the discussion I was cut off.

I will not boor you with the the details of the subsequent conversations but this exact process occurred a further five times. Each time the agent following the set dialogue and when it was clear that I was not going to pay the additional money they put the phone down necessitating the 10 to 20 minute wait to be connected and the whole process to be started again. I even tried one of the recommendations of your contributors of keying in ##, it rang but was cut off immediately.

However on the seventh attempt the manager was silent for a very long time (which made me think they had put the phone down on me yet again...) she said, to my amazement, you are now booked on the Sunday flight (the one I wanted) and will send an e mail. This duly arrived.

From this all I can presume is that you have to persist and eventually they will give in, unless i was very lucky and eventually got someone reasonable. However it was fortunate that I had the time to do this as it literally took from 9AM to 1.45 PM to achieve this result, during this time I was constantly on the phone.

I do not need to say how frustrating, unprofessional and generally depressing I found this process. And it goes without saying that I will not be using Ryanair again. I wish you well in your campaign as it is important that such companies are not allowed to get away with such disgusting behaviour.

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Birthday Message
Submitted 8 July 2008

Like most people I have my issues with Ryanair (and any other company that charges you for the privilege giving them money!) but I recall one single pleasant moment on a Ryanair flight.

A couple of years ago my friends and I travelled to southern Spain to celebrate the birthdays of two of our group. As it was busy we weren't all able to sit together - we had some at the very front (including one birthday girl), some at the very back (including the other birthday girl), and some (including me) in the middle. I was bored, as is usual on flights, and decided to play a prank!

I called the air hostess over and was going to ask her to get the pilot to embarrass the birthday girls over the PA system. She grumbled at me that I should write something down and she'd see what she could do. She seemed in a bad mood so I toned things down, just asking for a simple Happy Birthday message. She read the noted, made a sulking face and passed it back saying, "Make it funnier". Red rag to a bull!

A few minutes later we gave the revised message to the hostess and she left to go to the cabin. We had our hopes raised, but 10 minutes later and nothing had happened. 30 minutes later, still nothing.

Then, about 45 minutes later just as we were preparing to land, the pilot spoke over the PA system. He gave the usual rant about local time and temperature, and then, just as we thought he was going to deny us our birthday prank, he asked the girls by name to stand and make themselves known to the cabin crew for a security matter. They both stood up looking rather scared, thinking there was a genuine security issue, then they looked mortified when the pilot announced that it was their birthday and made the whole plane sing Happy Birthday to them! Their expressions were priceless!

After we landed we found that another of our group had somehow thrown his passport in the bin on the plane! The staff were utterly useless and wouldn't allow anyone back on the plane to help look for it and gave him no help, threatening to send him back home. Luckily, after 20 minutes of him trawling through bits of food and other waste he found it and was allowed to stay. For him it ruined a very funny and memorable flight, for us it simply added to the humour!

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Administration Fee More than Tax Refund
Submitted 2 July 2008

I am writing you to tell what happened to me regarding my experience with Ryan Air - and a missed tax refund.

I booked a flight from London to Pescara that unfortunately I could not use. I knew I lost the money of the flight but I thought I could have refunded at least the money of the airport tax. I know for sure that the company MUST refund you the money if you do not use the flight, it happened to me another time with another company and I had the tax money refunded with no problem.

I tried to contact Ryan Air by email, I used the addresses found on this site (thanks!); I emailed them at least 10 times before getting an answer.

Finally they replied me, what they said was that, to do the refund, they apply a "reasonable administration fee"; in this case the tax amount was less than the fee, so I had right to nothing.

I was very annoyed because I am sure this is illegal; also they do not say how much the administration fee is, I bet is always higher than the taxes, no matter how much your taxes are.

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Booking Charged After Web Error and no Confirmation for 22 Hours
Submitted 21 June 2008

I would just like to say a big thank you to you, as without your site solving my problem would have been more complicated.

Basically I had tried booking flights with Ryan air as I have done before, but I kept having problems with the website, I clicked the purchase button and it said it would take about 45 seconds to complete, then another error came up saying there had been a problem with my booking.

The following morning I checked my email and had received nothing, I also checked my available to spend balance on my credit card, and this had not reduced, so I presumed the booking had failed completely, I also could not attempt to access my booking as I had no conformation number.

I proceeded to go through the booking procedure again, but the special offer had gone, so I decided to book with Monarch.

6 o'clock in the evening I received an email from Ryan Air containing my travel itinerary! I checked my credit card available to spend balance and this had reduced - Ryan Air had booked the flights and charged my card 22 hours after I tried to book them! I now had two lots of flights booked for a total of £1800!

I tried to contact Ryan air, no luck, I tried to contact my credit card company, no luck, I then found your website.

The following morning I phoned Ryan Air reservation line, and got no reply, second time the other caller hanged up message, then I phoned Ryan Air head office and pressed 0, after 20 minutes I gave up. I then contacted me Credit Card Company and they said they would send a form out for me sign to say the charge was not authorised and then they would cancel it, so I now had that as a back up. They also confirmed that my card was charged at 6pm.

I then emailed all these addresses taken from your website walshg@ryanair.com; penstonm@ryanair.com; greenc@ryanair.com; info@frsc.net; KellyG@ryanair.com; oneills@ryanair.com; WiniarkskaA@ryanair.com and requested read receipts. I had two read receipts from Gemma Walsh & Siobhan O'neill, but no bounce backs.

I also had two emails during the course of the day.

First one from Refund@Ryanair.com, second one from Ryanair Customer Services [info@frsc.net] both apoligising and stating my money had been refunded in full

The money has not yet been credited back to my account, but then it's been less than 24 hours and it usually does take a while, hopefully it's on its way.

I am pleased that I got a quick result to the emails, but it should never of been that hard to contact them, and they should have checked I still required the flights, they did have my contact details from the original booking attempt!

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Deported After Lost Passport
Submitted 20 June 2008

My daughter and her boyfriend went to Sevilla from Stansted. He lost his passport on the plane. Ryanair staff refused to let him return look for it.

The pair were separated by shouting customs officials with guns who spoke no English. He was deported from Seville as an illegal alien and treated like a criminal. I had to listen to my daughter (aged 16) crying down the phone to me from Spain because her holiday was ruined.

When he returned to Stansted his passport was reported stolen and he must buy another, It had been handed in as lost to Ryanair staff. Anyone who finds a lost passport on the plane MUST understand that it is necessary to return it or the owner's holiday will be ruined.

Ryanair provided no documentation to the BF to explain what had happened. Their behaviour was appalling. I am shocked they could be so cruel and inhumane- it doesn't matter how much or how little I paid for the ticket: this is dreadful dreadful treatment of passengers.

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Marathon Refund Attempt
Submitted 20 June 2008

Well I had a booking with this low budget airline early in June to go from Leeds to Dublin. The flight was scheduled to leave at 10.50am and arrive at 11.45am, giving me plenty of time for my appointment. After various changes to the departure time, the plane was then due to depart at 12.15pm, meaning I would miss my appointment. I contacted the company I was visiting who advised there was no point in catching the flight, so could I re-arrange it.

The ground crew were less than helpful when I explained I was not now flying (even before boarding began) and I was forced to sit and wait like a naughty school boy until they had boarded everyone. The ground crew then advised I contact Ryanair in the check-in to re-arrange my flight.

After eventually being allowed to leave the airport (airports are not customer centric), I duly made my way to the check-in desk, only to be informed that they are Servisair and nothing to do with Ryanair, so I need to call the over priced 10p per minute call centre. So like a good little customer I tried calling, after being cut-off 5 times by the call system I eventually got through to one of the many foreign call centres who advised that the plane had left on time (even though it was still sat on the runway) and I must have missed it. It took several more calls to eventually be told that they do not get an update until 24 hours later on whether the flight took off on time or not (strange then that both Leeds and Dublin show immediately when the flight leaves and arrives, maybe Ryanair should invest in real-time systems).

So I decided to try and contact the Head office, but you can't, you have to contact the customer services, who send the emails to the head office and then never bother to get back in touch with you. I put together a letter, with all the information they require (as detailed on the terribly unfriendly website) including a real-time screen grab of the Leeds Departures screen and the Dublin Arrivals screens, showing the delay.

Now you have to fax any communication to the Ryanair Head Office in Dublin (fax, I mean who uses fax these days), how crazy is that, pay for over-priced call centres and then pay for over-priced fax charges (bear in mind that BT charge a "set-up" fee for the international call, even if it is engaged). It took 15 attempts to get my fax to go through, requesting they change the booking to a date later in June due to the delay. This fax was sent on the day of the delayed flight and I did not receive a confirmation email from them.

The day after the delay I contacted the customer services again, this time I was informed that I could now move my flight, however I could only move it to a day within the next 7 days, which was of no use to me at all, the only other option was to request a cancellation, which they can do for you, but you have no control over anything at that point, it again goes into the "Ryanair Systems" internally and no-one contacts you or keeps you updated. So I requested a cancellation and refund, since Ryanair in its infinite stupidity had decided to update my booking to 7 days after the initial departure, which was really of no use to anyone.

I decided after hearing nothing over a 3 day period, to send a second fax requesting full refund in-light of:

The second fax actually took 23 attempts to get connected (no doubt all the other satisfied customers out there were trying to send letters of praise to Ryanair).

Again I had heard absolutely nothing from Ryanair, no email communication to my registered email address, no telephone call to my telephone number listed on both faxes, so I sent a third fax 11 days after the delayed flight, pointing out that I had still heard nothing in response to my numerous calls and faxes so far. Now Ryanair state that they respond to communication to the original email address as outlined in their "Customer Charter", which I have struggled to find on their website.

Then 2 weeks after the initial booking and delay in question, I checked my bank account and my flight was actually refunded, wow I was amazed!! No email communication, no telephone call, nothing. So un-customer friendly.

Upon checking my email I found a short and to the point note from Ryanair (at 1.45pm, two weeks after the delay and one day after the refunded money), with the following information:

Dear Sir,

Following your recent refund request for your booking.

We confirm that your refund request has been processed to the form of payment used to pay for your booking. Your issuing bank will then take 5-7 working days to process this refund amount back to your account.

Yours sincerely

Ryanair Customer Services

So I have my money back, all it took was 9 telephone calls (totalling approx 55 minutes) and 3 faxes (taking 53 attempts in total to get through), was it really worth it, well yes it was the principle of getting back my money from a company that does not know how to deal with customers and on the surface would appear to believe that since you are paying a knock down fare, you should be happy with a knock down service.

My advice to anyone trying to get a refund, or in a similar delay situation is this:

I would strongly advise Ryanair to sort itself out or it will continue to alienate customers, some words of advice (from someone who has worked in busy customer service environments): Well that's it really, my war and piece is now over and I have to say I will be avoiding Ryanair unless it is the only option available (heck I would now consider driving to Liverpool and catching a ferry to Ireland than use them), given my experience with this company.

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Successful Refund thanks to Contacts Given Here
Submitted 19 June 2008

Early this week I had problems with the Ryanair booking website freezing as i attempted to book a flight. When I finally succeeded (the next day) and went to my mailbox for the confirmation I found 2 reservations for the same flight.

Looking for the customer relations address I found your website, and decided to carpet bomb Ryanair for a cancellation and refund.I emailed Ms s Penston, Walsh,Greene and O'Neill with the saga and request for a refund.

Ms O'Neill responded within a few hours with an apology, a cancellation of the unwanted duplicate and a full refund. Result- one happy customer!!!

Many thanks for the list of addresses.

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Taxes Not Included?
Submitted 17 June 2008

I have just tried to book with Ryan air winter sale which tells us that the fares include all taxes - WRONG for a return flight in November complying with time and day restrictions from Prestwick to Malaga they are charging an additional £90 in taxes to the fair.

How long is Ryan air going to be aloud to do this (think ill stick with easy jet?)

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Cabin Crew Thanked Through This Site
Submitted 14 June 2008

Hi im crew for Ryanair and I have just seen a thank you letter, dated the 24th April 2008. I was crew on this flight and I would like to say thank you to the customer who wrote about us, I will be printing it off and putting up in the crewroom with the other crews names on it

Kind regards

One of the caring cabin crew at EMA

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Customer Service Problems (addressed to Ryanair)
Submitted 13 June 2008

I am e-mailing you with regard to the above flight booking and the level of service I have received this morning at your Customer Service Centre.

Last night (12/06/2008) I endeavoured to book 2 adult flights to Trapani on the Ryan Air website. I made numerous attempts at trying to make this booking only to be booted out of the internet site on each occasion and an error message appearing. I called a friend to try and make the booking for me only for them to encounter the same problems. It was not possible to contact your Internet Support as the telephone line is not open at this hour.

Eventually at approx 10pm the site seemed to be working correctly and the flights were booked.

However as the confirmation came through to my e-mail address at 22.17hrs I realised that flghts to Trieste had been booked instead of flights to Trapani. I'm sure you are aware that this is the destination sitting directly below Trapani in the drop down menu. I immediately realised the error and searched your website for a phone number to call Customer Services. The Internet site was having problems again and again it took several attempts to access the site and indeed locate a phone number. As you will be aware the phone number given is not available to call at this hour. I then looked at the issue of changing the flights and the procedure on how to do this. On reading that a total charge of £112 (£28 per flight one way) would be made I decided to make the destination change (as originally required) as I was concerned that the flight would not be available if I left booking until this morning. Following this I would make a call to your Customer Service department this morning (when the line is open) to explain the situation and hopefully get this rectified.

On calling 0871 246 0000 , option 8, at 9.00am I was connected to Rachel who I explained the situation to only to be hung up on. Re-dialling I was connected to Andy who after again explaining the situation to, said to me that I should have called Customer Services straight away last night and they would have rectified it then. I would have thought he would know that the lines are not open at that time of night and that this was impossible to do. After I pointed this out to him he then stated that it would have been cheaper to have contacted Customer Services this morning and make the change - however on your website it clearly states that the charge would have been £44 per flight one way had I done this. I asked to be put through to his Manager, he then put me through to Nicole who I had to explain the whole situation to again and who consequently hung up on me after an 11 minute conversation which involved her telling me that the website often has these problems but there was nothing she could do about it.She aslo said that I had 2 minutes in which to make a change with no charge. I am sure you cannot dispute that this would be physically impossible.

I feel totally dissatisfied with the way in which your customer services dept has dealt with me this morning and I am sure that this cannot possibly be the way in which Ryan Air would wish to be perceived. I would appreciate your assistance in looking into the problems I have experienced both with on line booking and customer service and trust that I will receive a speedy reply and resolution.

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Ryanair Staff Embarrassed to be Named
Submitted 13 June 2008

To Whom It May Concern;

I note from your website a topic titled "Correspondence About Luggage Size and "Professionalism" at Beauvais" submitted to your site on 25th May last. This includes a response from Ryanair, which I wrote.

I would appreciate it if you could delete my name from any correspondence in your possesion with reference to me. You do not have my permission to display my name.

If my name is not removed from all areas of your website within 48hrs, please be advised that I shall not hesitate to take matters further.

Our Reply, 13 June 2008

Thank you for your message. It is good to receive correspondence about a specific matter that we can comply with rather than the vague general objections and threats that we used to get.

We will remove your name on the basis that names are normally removed from stories received, and we are sorry if this error has caused you any personal upset.

However, your implication that display of names requires permission of some kind is surprising. I can only assume that all newspapers get permission from George Bush, Robert Mugabe etc before publishing any relevant news stories (in print or on the Web presumably).

This must be a huge burden for them which we were never aware of till now.

Any details of the legal basis for the action that you were considering would be fascinating if you are able to provide any links.

Thanks

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Complaints and Replies
Submitted 9 June 2008

Here is my letter after my ghastly experiences on Ryanair, and the dishonest replies of Mr O'Leary, Chief Executive:

I wrote to complain about the airline, its insulting service, and its disgraceful ethics. Ryanair is not a low-cost airline, and its advertisements falsely give that impression. It does not give child discounts, or advance booking discounts. It also hides a huge array of hidden charges.

Dear Mr O'Leary,

  1. You do not give any contact details on your website. Presumably because most of your customers want to complain. (Mr O'Leary claims otherwise - he obviously has a secret code to unlock the relevant webpage.)
  2. Your baggage policy is unfair, illogical and penal. Why not allow weight sharing within a family? This has nothing to do with turnaround - it is another way of swindling more surcharges out of your passengers. Why should I drag my family's three suitcases into the aircraft cabin to suit your perverted corporate strategy? (Mr O'Leary simply didn't answer this question. He thinks his luggage policy is "completely fair" and boasts that he allows 10kg of carry-on luggage. Who wants to lug 10kg of hand luggage onto one of Mr O'Leary's cramped planes? Who wants to spend twenty minutes on the floor of Stansted Airport trying to cram their belongings into their children's suitcases because of Ryanair's insane no-weight-sharing rules?)
  3. Your planes are uncomfortable, smelly and filthy (Mr O'Leary claims that his planes have "slightly more leg room" than British Airways economy, and are cleaned on each turnaround. He obviously hasn't been on a Ryanair flight for a very long time. What about the seats being locked in an upright position to save a few pence?)
  4. Your ticketing procedure is an insult. Now it's £2 to have a proper boarding procedure, even with children. (Mr O'leary offered me the option of "joining the checking queue early" with my children. Thanks, Mr O!)
  5. Your check-in staff are rude and unhelpful. (Mr O'Leary apologised for this, but he must know that working for Ryanair and dealing with its petty rules and disgruntled passengers would test the patience of a saint. I don't blame the staff. I blame the greed and dishonesty of their employer.)
  6. You are prepared to stoop to any deceit or subterfuge to squeeze more profit from your long-suffering customers. (Mr O'Leary said this was "absurd". He advised me to "please feel free to travel with any of our competitors". Don't worry, Mr O'Leary, I now fly to Barcelona with a proper airline instead of to Gerona with Ryanair, even though this more than doubles my car journey in Spain. At least I don't feel I've been treated like a piece of shit by the end of it.)
  7. You make me ashamed to have an Irish name. (Mr O'Leary told me to "have a bit of common sense and stop complaining when you have nothing to complain about". He was surprised that I was so willing "to complain unnecessarily". He described my letter as a "baseless, unjustified rant". This was rich, coming from the world's greatest purveyor of the "baseless, unjustified rant".)
If more people would write to Mr O'Leary about their experiences on his airline, then he might have to admit that although he makes a profit, it is only because of his half-truths, dodgy propaganda and above all the ruthless exploitation of people with small budgets who want to fly somewhere on holiday.)

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Can't Even Get Insurance Claim
Submitted 3 June 2008

Hi, i am absolutely frustrated with Ryanair and their trading terms and conditions.

My husband and i live in cornwall and caught flights from newquay - stanstead- rodez with ryanair on line booking system, complete with insurance as i am partially disabled with a serious hip condition.

Our return flight with them was delayed which meant we missed our last flight home to newquay. We went to speak with a rep at stanstead to see if they would transfer our flight to the following morning but to our horror they did not want to know and offered no help what so ever. In the end we had just enough money left to find a hire car at 8pm and had to drive the 5 hours home which took forever as i cannot sit for too long. Instead of us being home for 7pm we returned home at 2am.

I have called the ryanair insurance people requesting claim forms 4 times now but am still waiting. There is no way of contacting them by phone and refuse to respond to our letter, personally ryanair need a serious kick up the arse !!!

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Getting Through Thanks to Tip Given to This Site
Submitted 2 June 2008

I have been trying the 0871 246000 number all day and been only receiving a long uninterupted tone as if unobtainable. However, ironically after finding your site in an attempt to find another number i tried again and it rang, I used the ## option as mentioned by someone else on your site and was put through, the message began to say to go to the web site so i used ## again. Though it kills me to say it i was put through to someone imediately who gave me all the information I required.

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Experience Returning from Lourdes
Submitted 2 June 2008

We were a frequent flyer with Ryanair as they had a good link from Blackpool to Stansted now sadly no more.

On a flight last year coming back from Tarbes near Lourdes we had a rather nasty episode on board. We can sign i.e. lip read and we asked to view a bottle of champagne which the attendant tried to dissuade me from viewing showing by hand gestures that it was so big. However despite the attempt to publish my request publicly we persisted and asked for the chief attendant to let us see the bottle Eventually Franchesca the Chief attendant brought it.

It was a 25/cc We decided all in the party if we wanted to splash out on 4 mini bottles or not We all decided not but asked for a small gin and tonic instead. We were refused as Franchesca as i read sign language said to her colleague why did you not push the sale well its either this or no drinks we are closed

This was 45 minutes from landing It was not a busy flight as all work was very efficiently carried out. We were informed by Carol the bar was closed. No explanation but i knew why because of my ability to sign / read I informed Carol i would report this incident to Ryan air direct.

When i had to use the toilet at the rear of the plane my bat was blocked by a very irate Carol who was insisting to enlist more information. I informed her politely that i was able to sign and that Franchesca decision was bad business policy and if she did not get out of my way urgently a Major Diplomat Incident was about to occur due to my weak bladder.

Lucky for both of us she moved. I informed Ryanair but no reply or apology. Now we have always been fair to Mr O Leary as on 1 previous occasion we reported that instead of flying back from Stansted we would hire via Ryanair a Herts Car as the price offered a good deal and we could be back at base well before the evening flight left the ground.

So decent harry went to the Ryanair desk to inform that we would not be travelling back and the seats could be offered for sale, well what happened next beggars belief "Sorry Sir no need to tell us there is always plenty of spare seats on that flight."

We then just out of curiosity decided to see the situation via the laptop. This was 1.15 pm .3 places left at £145 each. I informed Ryanair in writing that he Mr O Leary was in my opinion was loosing money and i got a letter from Dublin asking for more details and thanking me for bringing this important matter, etc. , etc.

On this occasion we did not even bother. I did inform however our experiences by letter but to date no reply. I like Mr O Leary after all like myself he is Irish but would i fly again perhaps not but then who cares. I am just another punter but our Congregation have very uncharitable views and despite my efforts they have pledged a sympathy vote to me and vote themselves with the credit cards on alternative arrangements via Liverpool and Manchester.

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No Warning of Error When Changing Details
Submitted 28 May 2008

My friend, her two year old daughter and I were booked to fly out to Girona, flying out of Stansted on Monday 26th May, 2008.

However, due to personal reasons we were unable to fly out on this date and were relieved to discover that with Ryanair customers were able to change their flight details and dates up to 12 hours prior to departure. We therefore took advantage of this benefit and on Sunday 25th May at approximately 3pm we proceeded to change our flight details and dates online, following the online prompts. The procedure was straightforward and at the end the screens confirmed that all the flight dates of all the passengers had been changed.

However, it was not until the following day that we noticed that only one of the passengers had received an Itinerary/confirmation email.

Concerned by this we immediately telephoned Ryanair and were informed that, contrary to the information we had received online that all flight dates etc had been changed, only one passenger's flight details had been changed. The representative for Ryanair then asked 'Were both screens opened at the same time?' to which the response was yes - the system allowed us to do this. The Ryanair representative then replied that the system only accepts the changes of the 'second screen'. We were then advised to change the return flight details as it was now too late to alter the outbound details as the flight had now closed. We were also informed that we would have to fax a letter of complaint as there was no telephone contact number for us to do so.

The fact that the Ryanair representative asked us if we had two screens opened simultaneously (even before we could volunteer this information) suggests that Ryanair are aware of this fault in the Ryanair online booking system. It would also suggest that our case is not unique and that other unfortunate customers have had the same problem.

We are now faced with the dilemma of having to pay to change the inbound flight dates and wait until we get a response to this fax from Ryanair complaints department as to whether Ryanair will honor the fact that due to a technical error on their part we were not aware that all of the flight details had not been changed as the system allowed us to open two screens at the same time. Again we stress that the screens on both pages confirmed that the details had been changed!

As the Ryanair representative was aware that if two screens are opened simultaneously only the second screen's changes will be processed, then why has Ryanair not put measures in place to protect its online customers.

I have not previously traveled with Ryanair and after shopping around was impressed by the very competitive fares. My daughter is currently studying for exams and so unable to come on the trip. Now we have delayed the trip to July I was planning on booking her ticket through Ryanair also. Both my friend and I feel cheated as in good faith we believed and were led to believe by the on-screen message, that we had successfully changed our flight details. We are both single parents and cannot afford this extra expense.

The situation is grossly unjust and unacceptable. We urge Ryanair to show some goodwill in this matter, also that they would remedy the situation so that other Ryanair customers do not fall into the same trap. Please adjust your system so that flight details/date changes cannot physically be done simultaneously.

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Wasted Evening Trying to Book
Submitted 26 May 2008

I have just spent the last four hours trying to book a flight online with Ryanair to Shannon. I had previously booked a return flight from Shannon to Stansted for my daughter-in-law and grandson and want to return with them to Ireland for a few days.

Having booked the first flight with relative ease it has taken me 4 very frustrating hours to book my flight. The Ryanair website has been excrutiatingly slow with pages freezing, or inaccessible. The few times I was able to access it the flight page kept quoting prices for flights other than those I had selected and it kept charging me for priority boarding when I had not selected it. When I tried to go back a page to correct this it would tell me that the web page was unavailable. I have had two computers with different internet providers running for the past 4 hours to see which one would 'win the race' to make a booking.

The flights in question were on a special offer of 0.01p with no taxes or fees and had to be booked by midnight, it look like I have just managed to get in before they close!!!

I wonder if this is a ruse by Ryanair to offer such 'good deals' and then to make them impossible to book. I would have gone elsewhere but having already booked by daughter-in-law on I wanted to travel with her. T

Thank you Ryanair for totally spoiling my evening!!!

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Getting Round the Booking System
Submitted 25 May 2008

Hi, I use Ryanair on a regular basis and generally have no problems providing you read know and understand all the terms and conditions. However what really is a clever marketing trick is the use of cookies on your PC. If you remove all the Ryanair cookies their system will not let you proceed with costs or anything else, it then directs you to the call centre Recently a small group of my friends (8) and I were looking for Rimini from East Midlands. As we agreed the flights and costs to each other over the telephone, we said book. My mate booked first...... seconds later the return section had gone up by £30. The rest of us waited a few days and guess what it dropped £30. They must think that there is a major event on somewhere due to the interest on a route on certain days, of course ALL MAJOR EVENTS are excluded from any offers.

Can anyone please tell me why the airport taxes and charges seem to vary from time to time eg £24.98 in July and £9.99 in September. These are on the same flights on the same routes and on the same days

Finally..... How do they get away with the offers the advertise.... if you look at the offers for East Mids to Rimini it states applicable days in July/Aug are Tues/Wed subject to availability but yet the only fly on MONDAYS AND FRIDAYS..

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Correspondence About Luggage Size and "Professionalism" at Beauvais
Submitted 25 May 2008

(this is my first letter of complaint)

Dear Sir,

This letter concerns my experience on Friday May 9th 2008, code JCJK8U, Paris - Rome, fr9636 at 21h20 pm. Hereby, I ask for a refund of the unexpected last minute fee paid for checking in my hand luggage, as well as a reply to the following:

-How can a cabin luggage corresponding to what you state on your website (40-55-20cm, under 10kg) do not fit into the sizer at the registration desk? It seems that a correction must be made on your web site, otherwise this lack of coherence in your service is taken as an organized robbery.

-My hand luggage fulfilled all Ryan Air's requirements. How can the lady of the registration desk oblige me to check it in? I insisted on measuring it together. This request was ignored. Instead, I was cynically advised to give up flying by the same person. This is an insulting suggestion. I hope this obvious intimidation practice is not an instruction given by Ryan Air to its employees. Some passengers fly for pleasure, some HAVE to fly.

-I asked to see a supervisor. The answer was that there wasn't one for the Company. Is this information right? After so much insistence (I remained about one hour at the registration desk) a supervisor was called, and stated not being at all responsible for Ryan Air but for the whole Beauvais airport.

I don't think you are aware of how much chaos exists at BVA. The lines of passengers in my situation were enormous, due to what the registration for the flight lasted until 20 minutes prior to departure.

Another surprising fact is that we boarded an aircraft which had just landed. Isn't there a minimal span of time to be respected between flights? Is an aircraft safe when treated like a bus?

I think you are relying on incompetent and insolent employees. ( end of it, I have eliminated my signature)

(Now, their reply:)

Dear Mr. ...,

I acknowledge receipt of your letter dated 15th May 2008.

On behalf of Ryanair, please accept our apologies for any inconvenience suffered whilst checking in for your recent flight from Beauvais Airport.

Please be advised that the hand luggage sizer at any of our airports are all the same size. I have been informed that the sizer is slightly bigger than the dimensions shown in our Terms & Conditions by approximately 2cm in each way to allow for bags that have wheels to fit comfortably.

Given the above, the dimensions provided on our website are correct and bags do fit within the sizer comfortably, providing they are not over-packed. Therefore, we are unable to consider your refund request.

Furthermore, we pride ourselves upon the high standards of service and professionalism provided by all of our staff and as such we do expect the same level of professionalism from our handling agents. We maintain these standards with regular retraining programmes which ensure that not only our own staff but also our handling agents are constantly reminded of their most important function; to be friendly and professional at all times. I do sincerely regret that this was not reflected to you on this occasion and as such I have forwarded your comments to our Operations Manager at Beauvais Airport to ensure that such a situation does not recur.

Additionally, please be advised that there is a turn-around time of 25 minutes, which is sufficient time to get all pre-flight checks and preparations done. Therefore the safety of the passengers is not at any time being compromised.

Whilst your comments and dissatisfaction have been noted, we regret that we are unable to be of further assistance on this occasion.

With renewed apologies.

Yours sincerely

For and on Behalf of
RYANAIR LIMITED
Anonymous
Customer Service

(Finally, my second letter, which haven't had an answer yet:)

Anonymous
Customer Services Department
Ryanair Head Office

Dear Missis Anonymous,

Your reply arrived immediately after my complaint was sent. I sincerely thank you. After the Beauvais events, such a kind letter remains unexpected. I have enclosed a copy of my original fax as well as one of your reply, so as you can easily keep track of our previous correspondence.

As I mentioned before, my hand luggage -corresponding to what your Web Site states- didn't fit into the sizer regardless the 2 additional cm. It wasn't over-packed, it wasn't over 10k. I insisted to call a supervisor to verify all this, but gave up when I understood that I was about to miss the flight. Therefore, the only possibility left is that something is wrong at Beauvais where the queues of people in my same situation where enormous. Passengers wouldn't prefer to pay twice more for their bags at last minute... Through your letter you don't seem to have analysed these elements.

"Furthermore, we pride ourselves upon the high standards of service and professionalism provided by all of our staff and as such we do expect the same level of professionalism from our handling agents", but in fact Ryanair doesn't have its own supervisor to control what ACTUALLY takes place at different airports! Definitively, handling agents at Beauvais don't seem to be willing to defend the reputation of the Company. On the other hand, I don't find neither honest nor professional to pride on imaginary or virtual qualities.

You mention that my comments about Beauvais have been forwarded to its Operation Manager. I would like to be informed of her/his reaction. Could you forward me the mailing address and phone number of the person you contacted at BVA?

I talked to several passengers, who said not being able to write to the Company because of the language barrier. I understand that you can't afford having a multilingual team to answer to complaints, but would like you to know that I am not the only passenger astonished by chaos, insolence and robbery.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Yours sincerely,

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Chaos at Pisa
Submitted 20 May 2008

Having just encountered Ryanair on a recent trip to Pisa I feel I must warn other users of the awful way in which this company treat fare paying passengers. It is a real eye-opener the way that you are herded around and treated with utter contempt by the operators on the ground with disgraceful actions form the majority of both Ryanair staff and the airport staff who work for them.

Travelling with 9 people including 2 infants we attempted to check in, they opened up the desks only 2 hrs prior to the plane leaving with a full plane. It resembled a rugby scrum as rumours flowed concerning Genoa closing and people were left stranded with no information and forced to travel 2 hrs to Pisa where they might get on the plane. Apparently BA laid on a coach to ferry passengers to Pisa, Ryanair not a chance there's a hire car book it yourself and pay it also.

We all get to the desk (only 1 check in desk) suddenly another opens which my wife goes to beckoning the other members on our booking (as we are always told for security all named passengers must be present) No you can't all come I will only book one person, chaos kicks off then the original desk closes leaving all the passengers in that line wondering what the hell was going on. Eventually got through with seething wife in tow, we then hear of the most disgusting thing. An Italian couple with an elderly lady of 87 were at Genoa, that closes (as apparently the pope landed) unfortunately they were overweight with the baggage which was charged at checkin, the flight was then cancelled with no help or assistance, they then travelled 2 hrs to Pisa where once again they were charged excess backage! Never again what an absolute s**t airline. To treat passengers like this is an absolute disgrace, I would rather pay a lot more at least you get treated with more dignity.

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Continued Problems with Booking, Service, Charges ... (and everything)
Submitted 20 May 2008

I was amazed to find your website and would like to alert you to the fact that there are still problems on the Ryanair website, which I found to my cost last week.

On 15th May I booked a flight to Palma flying on 8th September and was stunned when, on completion of payment, my confirmation was for a flight on 16th September!

I rang the customer service number and was cut off immediately I got through, then I managed to get to the recorded options only to be cut off when I pressed the number of my choice! During this time I attempted to change my booking on the website, which then froze after asking for a further £28.00.

In desperation, I rang the £1 per minute number to explain that there was a problem with the web and that I did not feel that I should have to pay extra for Ryanair's error. Well, I have never experienced such total arrogance! I spoke to a clerk and then asked to speak to her manager. They both displayed a total lack of understanding of the situation and told me that I had made the error myself! If they were to change my booking I would have to pay a further £7 on top of the astronomical cost of the phone call and if I cancelled there could be no refund.

I wrote to Ryanair customer services. What a waste of time that was! The reply displayed the same lack of empathy, suggested that I had had ample opportunity to check the flight date, and pointed out that, according to the terms and conditions of the booking, I was not entitled to any refund.

I do not know how they can keep the £12 baggage charge and the £4 check-in fee if I do not travel! This is totally immoral. I have now booked my flight with EasyJet. It has been a very expensive learning curve, but it is certainly the first and last time I will attempt to use Ryanair. I would rather swim to Mallorca!

I wish to goodness that I had discovered your website beforehand.

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Attempt at Making Claim (note that this is an individual experience, NOT legal advice)
Submitted 19 May 2008

Late last year, my wife and I were abandoned (with 180 others) at 11 pm in Austria when our return flight to Stansted was cancelled less than one hour before the time due for our take-off for home.

I tried to claim under the European regulation 261/2004 which, under articles 7, 9 and 14, requires the airline to compensate, reimburse and inform passengers. Ryanair did none of these.

However, because Ryanair is registered in Ireland (not UK), any claim made through the Internet and the small claims court Money-Claim-On-Line (MCOL) in Northampton will fail, because MCOL only deals with UK-registered companies - but its website does not mention this! The only way to get full satisfaction is EITHER to submit a claim (via the Internet) with the Irish equivalent to MCOL through the Irish courts, OR to submit a claim through a UK county court (which will require solicitors, bureaucracy, costs and complication).

My claim through MCOL failed, but it did put me in touch with Ryanair's UK solicitors (who are Manches LLP, Aldwych House, 81 Aldwych, London WC2B 4RP; tel: 020-7404-4433). Discussion with them led me to being reimbursed our expenses for a 24-hour overnight delay (but not any compensation as listed in the EU Regulation). I also had to pay my own MCOL costs (of £35) so, overall, I was still somewhat out-of-pocket. In short, claim through the Irish small claims court via the Internet.

PS: By the way, Ryanair's address at Stansted is: Satellite 3, London Stanstead Airport, Bassingbourn Road, Stansted, Essex, CM24 1RW. Also, the company Ryanair UK, listed in the UK at Companies House, is a non-trading Ryanair subsidiary. Any attempt to claim against it will fail - it's the wrong company!

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Can't Redeem £100 Voucher
Submitted 19 May 2008

I purchased a £100 ryanair voucher that I purchased for my father as a Christmas present. Apparently, the vouchers can only be redeemed by calling the ryanair hotline (08712 46 0000) during office hours. My father had been trying without success for three weeks to make a booking for two flights to Bergerac afraid to tell me how problematic the 'gift' I had given him was proving to be. Herewith his account:

It took him several days to get through to the above number at all, the phone just clicks and the operator says 'the other person has hung up'. After 4 days of trying he finally got through to a long looped answer phone message (stating any reservation would be subject to a £14 booking fee!!), listened patiently and then got through to an assistant. He got as far as giving his name and then got cut off - the line went dead. A second time he got through and the obviously foreign assistant, ironically claimed she could not understand him - again the line suddenly went dead. A third time he got through and got as far as giving his name and the voucher references, which the assistant could not find on her system, she then spent a long while searching and finally found the booking under the surname, my father got part way through the booking about to give his credit number and AGAIN the line went dead. This is when my father recounted the story and his frustration to me & I was anxious to resolve the situation.

I called the number and got through the first time - proceeded with the booking and again they could not find the voucher references. The assistant accused me of having the incorrect voucher numbers although I had them clearly in front of me. Apparently under the reference number was a booking for a different name - she continued to look and eventually surmised that the voucher reference that we had been given was incorrect, we proceeded with the booking, confirmed the dates and prices, which of course had inflated greatly since my father checked online 3 weeks previously and I passed on the credit card details. The assistant confirmed the details back, said the booking had been processed and went on to read me my rites about baggage allowance etc. Anxious that we could be cut off at any point I kindly asked for my booking reference, she asked me to hold the line and the line then cut off and went dead. How frustrating!

I was then unsure if the booking had been fully processed or not, so since 5 days have been trying to ring the number to find out - the line does not connect at all and I had the original problem my father had where the line clicked in and the operator says the other person has hung up. My father has checked his bank to see if the transaction has been processed, which it has not. I don't know what else to do. Has the booking gone through?? I am furious that such a reputable company can operate in such a way - it is a disgrace.

Due to all the inconvenience, the fact that the flight and hotel prices have greatly increased in this three week period and the fact that my parents holiday planning is in complete disarray I would like a full refund on the voucher, some level of compensation for the cost of calls and time wasted and not least an apology from Ryanair. Alternatively, perhaps they could offer my parents the flight at the original price without any further inconvenience - hoping that they can still find a hotel available.

I simply do not know how to contact ryanair other than fly to Dublin and confront them directly, which is simply not feasible.

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Inconsistent Scales
Submitted 18 May 2008

The worst service I have received, travelled with my wife to Belfast with two others I had a bag for the hold the others booked hand luggage only. I paid more yet had to stand in the non priority line for ages. my bag on the way out weighed 14.5 kg on the way back it was allegedly 17 kg I travelled back with the same luggage nothing added, I had to take one shoe and small jacket out and put them in hand luggage the weight in the bag was now 14.5 kg there is no way this is true; one shoe and a jacket 2.5 kg! Due to the shoe containing a bottle of aftershave which now was in my hand luggage I through security again and put the offending item in a clear bag. My wife is 30 weeks pregnant other parents had small kids yet they were not called forward as priority like other airlines they had to queue for ages whilst people with large hand luggage who pay less get priority. This has to be wrong, what service!

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Priority Booking Refund Mystery
Submitted 18 May 2008

On 13 December 2007 I bought priority boarding at Krakow Airport. This service was not provided and we ended up as part of the usual mad scramble for seats. It took 2 letters to get an email response from a Mr Smith on 29th January 2008 to the effect that a refund had been made to my Wife's card and the refund would appear on her next statement.

This did puzzle me because my Wife has never used any of her cards either directly, or indirectly with Ryanair. Unsurprisingly no refund appeared and I queried this, but despite numerous emails both to Mr Smith and a Ms Green of Customer Services (That's a laugh!), I have had no response.

What I have had, however, is an email from someone at Krakow claiming to be a handling agent who has a refund and asking for my Wife's bank account details. I have put it to Ryanair that my receipt mentions only Ryanair and that, as my contract is with them, I have no intention of dealing with a third party.

In any event I suspect this email could be a scam and, whether genuine or not, my Wife has no intention of disclosing her bank details to someone she has had no dealings with, especially over an insecure email or fax. Thus in its one and only response to me, Ryanair attempted to mislead me by telling an outright lie and, by ignoring my attempts to get a satisfactory explanation and a refund, one has to wonder if these doubtful practices are Company policy.

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Checkin Costs for Non-EU Passengers
Submitted 17 May 2008

As a non-EU passenger I am not entitled to the free online check-in. The Ryanair website does not have provisions for non EU passport holders to check online. Ryanair then has surcharges for counter check-in, there was a hike to £4 Recently.

I have consistently argued that this is discriminatory in pricing and racially. They suggest to passengers like me that such surcharges will be refunded. I was promised on the 10th May at Belfast City airport that my surcharges of £6 ( for two and before the hike came to effect) will be refunded and the lady who took the payment off my credit card, gave me the receipt and a slip with the address of refund dept.

I sent to Ryanair Refunds dept the receipt with my claim for refund. The Customer relations dept replies to me that I am not entitled to the refund as per their terms and conditions. They say one thing to collect surcharges and then back away from what their own staff tell you.

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Abandoned at Brno
Submitted 17 May 2008

Passengers booked onto flight FR8404 from Brno to Stansted scheduled for Saturday May 3rd experienced serious inconvenience. Being one of them, I herein state my right to some reimbursement for personal expenses resulting from the situation. The flight, which was due to take off at 17.05, was initially delayed for around 50 minutes. During the take off procedure the aircraft suffered, we were told, a bird strike forcing a return to Brno.

Such an accident could, of course, have happened to any aircraft from any airline. What I would like to bring to your attention though is Ryanair's cavalier, not to say cynical attitude to the well being of its passengers following this incident. Information was painfully slow to emerge. The first thing I was told by a member of your staff was that Ryanair was a low cost airline and that whatever happened passengers would not be given any food or drink while we waited in the transit lounge.

We were later told that we could either stay in the airport and expect the flight to depart at midnight, or leave the airport with a view to taking a chance and re-booking onto a later flight. Here again we were explicitly informed that Ryanair would not reimburse the cost of a hotel should we choose to leave the airport and return the next day.

Anxious to return to the UK as quickly as possible in order to resume work commitments I stayed at the airport in the hope of a flight at midnight. This time was then put back to 1.00, then 1.30 and then we were told that the flight had been re-scheduled for 15.00. As well as being a low cost airline Ryanair also advertises itself as the 'on time airline' though on this occasion the company's grasp of the concept of 'on time' seemed at odds with the understanding the rest of the civilised world has of it.

What was particularly striking about Ryanair's abdication of responsibility for their customers was that there no English speaking representative of the company appeared to be present after around 20.00. This left the many English speaking passengers confused and bewildered as they tried to ascertain what was happening and what their options were from Czech passengers (the Czech staff present being unable to help at all).

I later learned from a member of the cabin crew that having gone over their duty time departure later than midnight would have been impossible anyway. This being the case it seems nothing short of callous that the passengers were not afforded a swifter and more honest assessment of the situation.

Eventually, through the good office of a few young Czech women, I was provided with a handout entitled 'Notice of your rights in the event of denied boarding, flight delay or flight cancellation - version 5 - updated 19/04/07'. My attention was drawn to Section 3 : Right to Care, which states clearly that in cases such as this passengers do in fact have the right to claim back hotel accommodation.

This is something that we might usefully have learnt some hours before 3.00 when I took a taxi back into Brno and found accommodation. The receipt for my stay there is enclosed and I now expect it to be fully reimbursed accordingly (£86.95) in line with the conditions set out in the above mentioned document.

Ryanair treated its customers in the most appalling manner on this occasion. The fact that it is a low cost airline is no excuse for such rudeness and what appears to be a wilful attempt to deny people there rights as stated in Regulation EC 261/2004 of the European Parliament.

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Delayed by Security Check
Submitted 11 May 2008

Yesterday a friend and me had booked a flight to London at 10am. We went through the security control and staff members of the airport checked our hand baggage twice without any reason and it took 5 minutes for sure. At 9:35 our gate was closed. We saw trough the windows that all passangers were entering the plane. We knocked on the window and an employee of the airport openend the glass door. We talked to her, that we are already checked-in (priority passengers) and we just need to go to the plane. It would have taken just 3 minutes (!) to enter the plane, but she told us, that our tickets are invalidly now! If the security check would not have taken so long without any reason (it's not our first flight, we know the rules, all liquids were stored in plastic bags), we had cought our plane in time!

Any further business with Bratislava Airport and my feedback to other potentially customers will depend on how this matter is settled! I'm awaiting an answer from your site till the end of may 2008!

I am working at Capgemini so I have a really wide network of colleagues in Europe! If I won't get my money for the Ryanair tickets (108 Euro aech person) and costs for the hotel in London (110 Euro) back, I will tell my opinion about this crappy airport and the slofuck morons, that are working there by various channels (internet blogs, austrian newspapers).

I also put a copy of this complaint on my internet blog! This would be a good marketing for Bratislava airport and Ryanair!

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Bugs in Booking System?
Submitted 30 April 2008

Our last weekend has been a terrifying experience thanks to Ryanair. The three of us has been booked a ticket from Paris to Barcelona for a 4 day-vacation a month in advance. (each ticket booked separately for 62 EUR)

We arrived to the check-in with our three printed confirmation letter...and in fact only one of us appeared in the system. As this friend got the boarding card, we run to the ryanair office at the airport, claiming that we got rejected at the check-in. It turned out, that the booking system didn't book three tickets, but consequently changed the name of the passengers.

What is this? Is there a bug in the ryanair booking system?? We performed three bookings one after each other and even more, we used a different credit card for the third booking. I really think this is a scandal, that the booking system kept the information of the first card we used and charged every cost from the same card!!

As a summary, we had to pay 430 EUR/person extra at the airport to buy new tickets and we want to claim a refund. We sent a postmail and a fax as well, but no reply so far. We are really desperate, you can imagine that this amount of money is really missing from our budget!

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Checkin for non-EU National
Submitted 25 April 2008

Hi, I am a south african national, and recently tried to buy a flight to Dublin from London.

I wanted to avoid paying 3 pounds to use the desk check in, but their site refused to allow me to check in because I am not an EU/EEA national.

I do not need a visa for ireland, so why I have to use a desk is strange.

I feel that this is discriminatory because they are basing my check in choices on my nationality.

I understand certain nationalities need to be checked buy ryanair should know who and who doesn't need a visa. The fact that I am a nationality other than EU should not be a bar from using a desk, or if forced to it should be free..

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Thanks to Crew for Help with Illness
Submitted 24 April 2008

Would you please pass on my thanks to the crew of Flight Number FR9652 (Rome Ciampino from East Midlands on 15 April 08). Also thanks to the medical staff at the airport.

Unfortunately I was taken ill on that flight and the staff proved to be very competent and did their best to make me comfortable. They also arranged for medical services to be ready to meet the plane upon arrival, where again I was well looked after and assured that all was OK.

I was also ill while in Rome and again was well cared for by a local doctor.

I must sound like a total wreck. However I am normally reasonable healthy & go regularly to a gym as well as doing a lot of walking so this came as a mighty shock !!

Happily I am fine now having been to see my doctor and the cause we believe on the flight was due to taking Blood Pressure pills at 3 A.M. on an empty stomach and later in Rome due to a bad dose of food poisoning, because my wife also succumbed to this.

Its all to easy to complain but its also only right to say thank you so once again, many thanks crew of Flight FR9652.

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Praise for Liverpool Baggage Handling Number
Submitted 24 April 2008

Like many of your contributors I have been trying to contact Ryan air with a very simple enquiry.

None of the phone numbers on the website work - I tried the Irish number one of your contributors said they had success on - didn't even get a ring tone!

Rang the Liverpool baggage handling number (0151 907 1025) - answered after one ring - lovely girl - very helpful.

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Hidden Costs
Submitted 23 April 2008

Our Two best friends, my wife and I flew 19 April, 2008 to Edinburgh and back to Frankfurt Hahn, 22 April 23, 2008, Germany.

Two things happened that are worthy to note.

1. Understand that we had only carryon baggage, no check in baggage, and never were in France. Yet Ryan air charged my wife and I French Baggage handler fees of 8 Euro each.

2. Our Friends, on the return trip were charged an extra 6 pounds airport check in fee. When they asked at the terminal they were pretty much told either pay or do not fly. Of course they paid. But they were NOT charged the French Baggage handler fees. Same flight booked the same time.

Yes we have contacted Ryan-Air and no response.

We have flown with them several times, and I will say, if you can find an alternative, take it. Seems like every flight has more and more hidden costs!

We also have experienced, 11 hour delay, Rescheduled, immediately after booking, and many hidden costs!

I laugh at the people paying extra for priority boarding! I get the same sits and I do not pay the extra.

Ryan Air, Never Never Again!

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"Complete" Booking not Gone Through and has to be Paid at Walk-Up Rate
Submitted 23 April 2008

Hi there, I have just sent the email addresses for Ryan Air on your site this email. I thought it would of interest to other readers on your site:

I was wanting to talk to someone at Ryan Air regarding a flight I made out of Stansted Airport yesterday morning to Newquay and the stressful in counter I had when checking in.

On the 4th April I booked my flight on line with Ryan Air for £20 return to Newquay and I got through the standard form saying: "Your booking is complete, this is your Itinerary/Receipt, please print this page and bring it with you when you check in along with the required form of photo id, and further down the page I got my confirmation Number: K9EI3A"

When I arrived at the airport the man checking me in said I was not booked on to the flight and told me to go to the Ryan Air booking desk. On arrival there (with no time left to spare for the flight) they advised me that my card hadn't gone through while booking it on line??????

Even though there was plenty of money on our card, so it must have been a fault with your web system, and that I would need to pay today's price for my flight to Newquay which was £300!!!! I asked her if she would please honor the price I had thought the ticket had been booked at, but the lady was not prepared to do that and offered me a letter with a postal address for your complaints department. She also explained this happens all the time to customers and that under the "Confirmation number" it said pending and it should say confirmed?

My biggest complaint is the fact I printed my itinerary/receipt and it told me my booking was complete and I got a confirmation number! And while booking on line it didn't tell me my card hadn't gone through! It gave me a confirmation number?? The pending word under the "Confirmation number is very very misleading" It shouldn't give you a confirmation number at all and it certainly shouldn't say "Your booking is complete" this is your itinerary/receipt

Under the circumstances I would really like Ryan air to Honor my original ticket price of £20 and to please refund me for the rest of the ticket I had no choice in paying. When I got onto the flight it was only a quarter full, I am so upset that they charged me £300 when clearly this is an extremely grey and misleading area.

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Flight Booking Error and no way of Checking
Submitted 22 April 2008

I'm an Englishman living in Finland married to a Finn and we relied on Ryan Air's flights between Stansted and Tampere throughout the 2 years of our 'long distance relationship.' I even thanked them in my wedding speech! I now use them to go back to the UK about twice a year . . . but never again!

I booked a return flight April 11th - 93 euros all inclusive. I printed out my receipt and for some reason it said 'pending' under payment. I've waited and waited and had no email confirmation. I rung the Finnish number on the site to find that i'm not even put in a queue. The line just goes dead at once every time.

Moreover, that line explicitly states 'English speaking' which I assume means that nobody speaks Finnish which is obviously indirect discrimination against anybody in Finland over about 40 that hasn't been to university. It would render it literally impossible for about a third of Finns to communicate. This is also true in Hungary and Portugal where the standard of English is notoriously poor.

Anyway, after ten days . . . nothing, and I checked with the card company and no payment had been taken. When I tried to check my flight online it was impossible. It didn't recognise my email address, or my confirmation number in combination or it just sent up a message saying an error had occurred and I should telephone. As I've said, there isn't even the semblance of a Ryanair telephone service in Finland. The line just goes dead. Just for a laugh, I tried ringing the Irish number . . . and was put in a queue.

I have therefore rebooked the flight, for 13 euroes less! I suspect that my earlier flight was never properly booked but I can't be a hundred percent sure and, moreover, it is impossible to cancel the earlier flight - and get some money back if it did go through - because the website won't let me and there's no phone service.

Also, the website went funny while I was using it and my 0.00Euro flight suddenly became 14.99E. You pay for procrastinating at 1am!

I wrote to some of the email addresses on your site, obviously to no avail and was reassured to find, from your site, that I wasn't alone with this happening with regard to bookings online not seeming to go through. The consequence may well be - and they probably know this - that people book twice and are charged twice and, if so, I will insist on moving between two seats throughout the flights!

I will never use RyanAir again even if I'm not charged for the first flight.

The Dispatches programme should have persuaded me but now this, and your site, finally have. Thanks a lot!

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Ryanair Forces Change of Holiday and Charges for the Change
Submitted 22 April 2008

Booked a return flight from East Midlands Airport to Riga back in March for June 21-June 26. Flying from EMA is ideal as we're (the four of us) only in Derby so petrol/parking not a problem as we can rely on friends/relatives for lifts.

Rec'd an email from ryanair on Friday 18th April stating that my our flight dates had changed to June 19 - June 26 (still from EMA), unfortunately not all of our party are that flexible and some have to actually work for a living so cannot have the extra time off. Also this puts the cost of our accommodation up by approx £90 (two apartments booked) provided that we can extend our stay over there. Ryanair say that we can have a full refund but of course the deposit of £125 I have already paid for the apartments would be lost.

As the email was sent when it was I could not phone the reservation unhelp line until Monday. Got through on the 6th attempt (5 being the person you called has hung up), when I got through the operator said that if we wanted to we could travel from Stansted as an alternative on the same dates. This would cost around £35-£50 parking and also around 280 miles worth of petrol of course but it seemed a viable alternative.

I said I would check with the other parties and phone back, we said that ok, to save losing the holiday we would do that. Phoned Ryanair today and spoke to two operators (one manager/supervisor) I was informed that they would change our outbound flight free of charge as that was Ryanair's doing but if I wanted to change the inbound one it would cost £128 as they hadn't changed our inbound one!

This was the admin charge for changing and difference in price of tickets. I explained that my holiday was being changed by their doing but they were simply not interested and kept repeating the same thing - we've not changed the inbound one so you have to pay. The inbound flight only cost £140 in the first place so this has virtually doubled it. They kindly explained that they would change the outbound one free of charge so we could leave from Stansted and leave the inbound one as it was therefore coming back to EMA.

I asked if they thought this was a reasonable idea, asking me to fly from London and then come back to Nottingham as then I would then have to drive down to London to pick a car up to bring back again but got no answer. I also got no answer when i asked to speak to someone who could actually be of some help. If I decide on the last option and get a taxi down there it would cost approx £100 so I can't win either way.

Seems the only thing is to cancel the whole thing, lose the deposit on the apartments and visit easyjet.com - by the way, when I asked why the flight had been cancelled they blamed the airport - I have phoned the airport who cannot confirm this. Also the operators seemed surprised when i asked why it was so difficult to get through on the phone. Anyway, thanks for letting me get this out of my system a little, will send you a postcard from wherever we end up.

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Can't Get Through, Go to Stansted ...
Submitted 20 April 2008

In February I booked flights for June but forgot to write down the booking reference. However, I didn't think this would be a problem as Ryanair would send me a confirmation email which would include the reference number.

But no email came although the money was duly debited from my account. After trying to phone Ryanair but to no avail, I decided to go to Stansted and talk to somebody face to face. I was directed to Ticket Sales and after quoting my flight and surname I was duly given a print out of my flight confirmation which included my reference number.

I asked what would have happened had I arrived at the airport in June to take my flight but with no flight confirmation printout (and therefore no booking reference number) and was told I would have been issued with a new reference number there and then so that I could board my flight.

Editorial Note: while we hope that this would happen, we can't necessarily encourage anyone to take the risk, given that Ryanair has a record of refusing to allow people to board for apparently unfair reasons.

Therefore, it seems that the reference number is not critical. So just an encouragement to everyone out there who isn't as fortunate as me to live in London and thus can nip down to Stansted.

The biggest lesson of course is to write down that reference number when you book and you can always use it view your flight details in the "Manage your booking" section of the website.

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Finally Got Through
Submitted 9 April 2008

Wow! I managed to get through to the booking line today, with not too much waiting.

I did mention that I had been trying from the end of March and had been going frantic ,as I am responsible for a large party booking and wanted to make sure all was in order( at the end of March had received an email with a 'do not reply' saying there had been a change in schedule for our flight in May,but in fact there was no change according to the itinerary and the website).

The person I spoke to said it was a computer error and our bookings were fine (that was all I needed to know). She also dealt with a query about luggage quite efficiently.

However, when I said how absolutely impossible it had been to get through in March when I first received the emails, she made no comment! (I politely asked if there had been a fault with the system, but received no answer). I am sure they have in fact altered their telephone system as there was no menu this time....

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Reservation Fee
Submitted 9 April 2008

I flew from Durham Tees Valley airport to Alicante on 3rd April.

On arrival at check in I was held to ransom for a £3.00 reservation fee. (2 passengers - £6.00 in total)

As a frequent traveller by air I did some quick research before booking my flight to determine if both these airports had on line check in capability.

The attached document contains two screen dumps from the Ryanair website that clearly indicates that both these airports do NOT facilitate on line check in.

I therefore require confirmation by email of this request and a refund of £6.

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Getting Through to Customer Services (letter to Ryanair and follow-up)
Submitted 9 April 2008

"I am writing to complain about the terrible customer service that I have experienced over the past few weeks and to ask for someont to please help me!

I booked a return flight with yourselves nearly a fortnight ago, payment was authorised (and has been taken from my account) and the flight confirmed. However, due to my computer crashing shortly after it was confirmed I was unable to note down the confirmation / reservation number, but was not worried as I knew I would receive a confirmation email from yourselves as I have done every other time I have flown with Ryan Air.

I checked my email shortly after and had received a confirmation email from the insurance company for the travel insurance on the flights but not from yourselves. So I checked every day since, but still no email.

I have searched your website for some way to confirm my travel itinerary which I am unable to do without the reservation number, which I do not have as it has not been emailed to me.

So I attempted to call your customer services. I must day I have never experienced a more frustrating, disappointing and non existent "customer service" in my life.

I called your 0871 246 0000 number over 50 times! I only managed to get through (to an automated message!!!) 5 times. All of the other times the line went dead or I was told "Sorry, the other person has hung up!"

When I did eventually get through I was given a number of options, and I selected the option to confirm my travel reservation, was told by an automated voice to go online and view it there! But I can't view it online, as I dont have the reservation number! So I called again, and selected an option in which I was told I would be put through to a travel advisor - phew - but then the line went dead and I was told again "sorry, the other person has hung up"!!!!!! SO - I called again and was told I would be put through to an advisor - but was then kept on hold for over 8 minutes with no answer on one occassion and over 10 minutes with no answer on another occassion. I tried ringing over the weekend and was given another number to call - 0905 566 0000, which I have rung a number of times only to get - what a surprise - a dead line - again.

So, I tried to fax you a letter of complaint to the fax number on your website 00 353 1812 1230 - only to get a dead line AGAIN!!

I then found a website created by other unhappy Ryan Air customers who have received the same appalling treatment, and managed to find some contact email addresses which I have emailed a number of times. And guess what? No response!

I have also sent letters begging for some assistance with no reply whatsoever.

God knows how much money you have wangled from me with all these calls I have made and stamps I have bought to mail you - but even still - I have received NO customer service and am VERY unhappy to say the least.

I am now forwarding all documentation onto The Office of Fair Trade and Watchdog as I am fed up of being ignored by Ryan Air.

All I want is my reservation number. You have my money, now please could you confirm my reservation number as soon as possible??

And could someone please call me immediately on my mobile number to acknowledge receipt of this letter and that the reservation number has been sent to me - and to install me with some confidence that you do care about your regular customers, despite your very poor customer services "help" line. It really isn't acceptable to treat your regular loyal customers in such an appalling way."

Update to Story

Following my last email to you, I called another number I found on your website - 0035312497791 - and - you might want to sit down - but I got through to an advisor! After being kept on hold for 22 minutes mind you.

And after all the time, money and complete disappointment - I have finally managed to get my reservation number!

Saying that - with all the money Ive probably spent on calls and stamps etc... I may have well of paid for a private jet to take me.

Lets hope one day soon RyanAir take note of your website and realise what a bad name they are giving themselves - and do something about it.

Thanks for all your help

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Rudeness and Inconsistency (letter to Ryanair)
Submitted 1 April 2008

Yesterday I flew from Girona to Liverpool airport with your airline. It was the worst travel experience I have had in all my years. From start to finish it was a nightmare.

Firstly, I feel compelled to inform you of the rudeness of one of the check-in staff. To begin with she was 20 minutes late opening the desk. We were on time and near the front of the queue.

When it was our turn, the case was 1 kilo over the allowed allowance. I had put a pair of shoes in the top of the case just in case, and as we were taking out the shoes we were spoken to very abruptly and told if we didn't move, go to the end of the queue (we were about 8th in a very long queue), then she would call the police to remove us.

We are reasonable people who never cause a fuss and felt totally embarrassed and like naughty school children.

We went to the end of the queue, as requested, and as we waited an hour to reach the check-in desk again, we saw several other people in front of us, being allowed to open cases to remove items, some people were allowed to even put on pairs of jeans out of their cases to reduce the weight of the case. Some passengers were taking hand baggage onboard that weighed more than our case and were not asked to have it weighed.

We understand the need for rules and procedures, but surely these need to be consistently applied to everyone.

When we reached the desk for the second time, the girl told me I had to have my hand luggage weighed as well. All of our bags and cases were under the weight allowance.

We watched as she allowed others to rearrange weight in cases and bags. All we wanted to do was take out a bag at the top of the case with a pair of shoes in, which would have taken 2 seconds!

We eventually reached the gate and after another delay of 10 minutes the gate opened and as our tickets were checked she noticed, the rude woman at check-in had incompetently given me an extra boarding pass. She took it from me as if it was my fault and said she'd been looking for this!

We are frequent flyers and have travelled with many airlines. We have always been treated with respect as a paying passenger should.

I am not against paying for excess baggage or being sent to the end of a queue to sort baggage out; my complaint is the lack of consistency, rudeness and unnecessary threat your staff showed. I feel we were treated very unfairly and that this particular check-in woman needs to be re-trained.

I will think twice before spending my hard earned money on a service which caused me a lot of distress, embarrassment and spoilt which was up until then, a lovely holiday.

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Not Allowed in Front Seats
Submitted 1 April 2008

We flew from Liverpool to Pisa via Dublin 29/3/08 returning 31/3/08. We joined the Pisa - Dublin leg late because the airport video screen was down and there were no announcements to find that the first 7 rows were officially unavailable due apparently to "balancing the aircraft (737-800) However the first row soon had 6 people who were apparently "trained" in emergency procedure but who looked pretty ordinary. I'm disabled so when we were at altitude we moved into the empty seats asking the attendant if we could sit there for landing. She agreed but 10 minutes from landing, with the seatbelt sign on we were set upon by an officious purser who threatened to have us arrested if we didn't move.

These seats are apparently left free "by law" but I can't see why. Is there some proper reason?

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Newquay Bad Experience
Submitted 1 April 2008

We used this flight to return after a long weekend recuperation in Cornwall. Travelling were two friends, myself and my disabled husband. He had been crushed at work a year earlier and was just beginning to get about successfully with the aid of crutches. At this point I would add we are seasoned travellers to both USA & Australia (11 times over the last 5 years - and once to USA wince my husband's accident) The 1st injustice was the 5.00 per person airport charge at Newquay Airport - no mention of that enforced charge anywhere, but you could not proceed without it.

The 2nd injustice was the weight allowance of the suitcase - how could I carry two suitcases on my own, plus hand-luggage, plus passports, etc. as my husband could carry nothing other than his crutches! I was charged 72.00 for this suitcase.

The 3rd injustice was going through security - no-one to help at all. I had to manage this alone for myself and my husband who had to hang on to the xray machine itself to get himself through as the crutches had to go through security!

The 4th injustice was the stampede to get onto the aircraft (which was delayed) We had not registered him disabled as he was walking with his crutches and each flight is only limited to 4 disabled per flight and he wanted to travel with his wife and friends(!!) The rudeness of the Newquay Airport staff was quite unbelievable but at this stage you have no option but to accept it or walk.

By the time we reached the aircraft, my husband was exhausted and so was I. His medication was in the suitcase in the hold. However, one of the stewardesses did arrange for him to be met by a wheelchair at Stansted - she was the only kind person working for Ryanair and I am sure if I mentioned her by name she would be repremanded. The whole experience has cost us dearly - almost 250.00 just to get to Cornwall - we could have gone abroad. RYANAIR - NEVER NEVER AGAIN - NEWQUAY AIRPORT - NEVER NEVER AGAIN.

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Vouchers Cost More in Phone Calls than they are Worth
Submitted 25 March 2008

After falling foul of Ryanair's telephone booking system, I am emailing to add my experience to others you have already heard. My son bought my husband & myself a Ryanair gift voucher for Christmas & we were hoping to use it to pay part of the fare to Budapest next week. However, it cannot be used with an on-line booking, but only through Ryanair Direct, the UK number being 0871 246 0000, which charges ten pence a minute. I have been trying to ring this number most of today, as they were closed over the bank holiday weekend, with no luck. For much of the time there is no reply. When there is a reply it is an automated message which takes you through one menu into another. On the second menu, there is just a ringing tone with no answer - I have left this ringing for over five minutes at a time - at 10p a minute - with no success. At this rate, I will have spent more than the voucher is worth!

In frustration, I searched the web for any other way of contacting Ryanair and came across a story in the Irish Post describing a similar experience. I want to know if there is any way of obtaining a refund for the voucher and for the wasted telephone calls, or even a way to use the voucher without going through this convoluted system which seems to have the sole purpose of allowing Ryanair to fund its cheap flights through expensive phone calls! Why isn't there a slot on the on-line booking form to allow the voucher number to be entered? Surely this would be much simpler and more efficient?

I have tried emailing Ryanair through the email addresses you provided, but have had no response as yet.

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Charged with being French ...?
Submitted 24 March 2008

I have just booked a flight with ryanair using my Nationwide Building Society debit card and was surprised to find that I had been charged one pound twice for a French Debit Card fee. I think it is unlikely that my building society has been taken over by a french bank.

As it is practically impossible to contact ryanair without incurring more costs than the original 2 pounds, I will have to accept this typical ryanair extra.

Has anyone else experienced similar strange extras?

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Wasted Time and Phone Bill
Submitted 11 March 2008

Tried 4 times today to make booking. Eventually got as far as credit card number and purchase now. Screen went blank after I had entered c/c details, then pop up to either resubmit or cancel as resubmit could enter duplicate.

Tried for 30mins to find e mail address or phone number. Got phone number, cut off immediately few times then got it ringing. After listeneing to pre recorded message phone cut off again. Eventually got through to someone in Italy who wanted me to book again so I deceide to cancel whole thing and to get on to my c/c company to ensure no funds leave.

WORST WEB PAGE AND SERVICE I EVER ENCOUNTERED!!!!

Wasted time, money and phone calls!!!

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Cost of Refused Boarding
Submitted 15 March 2008

I bought a ticket from London to La Rochelle for about 40 £ last summer. I did on-line check-in, but I have entered the number of my previous passport (I have just got the new one about a month before travelling). I arrived at the airport well in advance to avoid problems... that didn't help.

While at the boarding gate, there was no separate queue for Priority (given with on-line check-in), but there were just a couple of families as I was in advance. When my turn came, the person checking tickets and IDs said the number was wrong, I said I had both my new French passport and my French ID card, so perhaps the manager would let me in. I thought, if I was refused to get in the plane, I still had time for a check-in in the airport. But I only was refused to board 1 minute before the plane's door closed!!!

I was advised to buy a new ticket for the next day instead! The manager did not accept to receive any claim. So I lost: the money for the flight to La Rochelle, 1 day of a short vacance on the beach in the sun, I had to pay about 200 £ for a new one-way ticket and also 14 £ for the bus to Stansted and 2 £ for the underground.

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Unable to Get Through
Submitted 13 March 2008

In my job I book a lot of flights online and have never experienced this problem before - I tried to make a booking online and got no confirmation and no message came up either.

Tried various numbers - managed to speak to a person on 0035312497791. All other numbers including 08712460000 and 0818303030 do NOT work - they hang-up or go dead.

When I spoke to a person they did not care. When I explained how long I had been on hold they said it was "to be expected." Outrageous.

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Disconnected Support Line
Submitted 14 March 2008

On March 13th, I inadvertently booked a flight for March 14th, instead of June 14th, on the Ryanair website.

Ouch. But, my mistake, and I understood that I would still be stuck paying the next-day fare (£200+) rather than the June fare (under £90). Of course, that would involve being able to change my flight.

First, I tried to change my flight online. The June 14th flight not allowed as an option for a date change. Nor June 13th. Nor June 15th. Then, to my horror, as I clicked through every single day - there wasn't a single permitted flight that I saw between March and June.

I then tried the UK reservations number (0871 246 0000), and navigating through menu (change a flight [7]; change a date or route [1]), I was disconnected. I tried again, with the same effect.

I tried a third time, only to discovered that it was now past 5.45, so I could not longer use their reservations line.

I then called the internet support line (090 566 0000), but, of course, being an 090 number, it was barred from my mobile and work landlines. By the time I got to a phone that could call the £1/minute line, it was past 19.00).

Waking up promptly the next day (the morning of the 14th), I tried the internet support line again at 8.00 and was rewarded with a message that they have 'hung up'. Repeatedly. It would ring once, and then click, then the operator's message.

At 9.00, the reservations line opened, and I was disconnected when I went through the menu again (as before). Eventually (by going to 'change a flight [7]', change a name [2]', I got an operator). At this point, I was relieved to only pay an additional £72 to move my flight to June.

ANYWAY, worth noting that the internet support line doesn't seem to work any more. And anyone trying to 'change a route' through the menu will just get automatically disconnected. I suggest the 'name change' path instead.

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Denied Boarding Due to Ryanair Delay (letter to Ryanair)
Submitted 28 February 2008

Within the last month, I booked three round-trip flights with your company, Ryanair. You claim that you care about the reputation of your company and it is #1 in customer service in punctuality as well as having the fewest complaints. Unfortunately, my experience with your company does not support this.

Two out of the three round-trip flights I booked with Ryanair were to Riga, Latvia and Oslo, Norway. I flew from Frankfurt to Riga (Flight FR4372 departing HHN at 8:55 and arriving to RIX at 12:15 on Saturday, 16 February 2008) without any hassle.

Ryanair scheduled the return flight (FR4373) to arrive at HHN at 13:55 on Thursday, 21 February 2008.

This scheduling gave me more than enough time to get to my next flight (FR9828), scheduled with your company, to depart from HHN at 15:25 and arrive at TRF at 17:20 on Thursday, 21 February 2008.

Instead, your company punished me three times for YOUR OWN PROBLEM:

  1. RYANAIR was LATE coming from Riga.
  2. Although I immediately went to check-in to my next flight, and arrived there only 5 minutes later than the required 40 minutes before flight boarding (35 minutes before the plane took off), you DENIED me of my next flight instead of apologizing to me for coming late and creating a problem because of that.
  3. I was deprived of my Norway visit and all my reservations and preparation was wasted.
According to Ryanair's website (http://www.ryanair.com/site/EN/faqs.php?sect=cnt&quest=whatishappening), you clearly state the following: "We will do everything possible to get passengers to their destination as quickly as possible". Since this was completely a Ryanair problem, I expect a FULL AND FAST return of the fair I paid for the ticket to Norway in the amount of 45.99 Euros and compensation for ruining my Norway vacation.

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Expensive Web Failure
Submitted 7 March 2008

I am posting a copy of an email I have just sent to Ryanair.

I assume that others have had similar infuriating, and costly, experiences.

Any further advice or suggestions as to what to do?

Dear Sir/Madam

I wish to complain about your website which has cost me over £100, delayed a planned flight by two days and caused the cancellation of an important rendezvous with an engineer.

On 27th February I booked a return flight online and received an email confirmation for booking, number YCF8JK, which cost me £104.25.

I then attempted to do an online check-in in order to save time but despite managing to get to your Check'nGo page was unable to activate the blue check-in button. I even tried the reprint button several times but was unable to get any further. I assumed that as I was unable to access any further page that a print-out of that specific page was all that was necessary. I was unable to find any information on your website which would answer my query or to find a telephone number which was answering other than a premium rate one at an exorbitant £1 per minute.

When we actually got to John Lennon airport the staff refused Mr. McMillan access to his flight despite his explaining that the fault was with your website.

We then had to return home and, as we could not telephone anyone or make any online enquiry which evinced a prompt response, I had to book yet another return flight, P8PYYG.

I feel very strongly that we should not be penalised for the failure of your website to activate correctly or your company's failure to allow reasonable access to its customers' queries. I would therefore like to receive either my £104.25 or two more free flights in recompense.

I am posting a copy of this letter on the Ryanair Campaign Org website as it seems I am not the only one who finds it almost impossible to contact an actual person when help and/or advice is needed.

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Cheapest Flight May Have Most Expensive Extras
Submitted 6 March 2008

Having looked at the new website and supposedly up front pricing, it appears if you plan to fly on their reduced flight days (Wednesday, Thursday & Saturday) that it may not be best to pick the lowest flight price.

Ryan Air obviously think customers will always opt for the lowest price, but having done this on various flights they actually change the fees and charges per flight as well, therefore what looked a good 99p flight totalling £26 one way having clicked on the £9.99 flight the fees and charges were only £9.99 totalling £20 rather than previously set at £25, just one more con that the airline is pulling that customers ought to be aware of.

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11-Hour Delay (letter to Ryanair)
Submitted 25 February 2008

I am writing to express my extreme dissatisfaction and dismay deriving from our experience yesterday when intending to fly from Gerona back to London Stansted. We have two small children of 2 and 4 years old and our journey back can only be described as atrocious.

Flight FR9805 was scheduled to depart at 6.30 AM on Sunday 17/02. We reported at the check-in desk at around 5.15 AM, to be told there and then that the flight had been delayed and an 11-hour wait had been indicated. The exact reason was not disclosed, but it appears that the problem was known to staff the night before, as the aircraft had not flown back to the UK.

First of all I am disappointed that we as passengers had not been notified straight away of this delay, when it was clear that the decision to delay the flight had been made well beforehand. You do have our mobile numbers and e-mail addresses. Instead, we got up at 3.30 in the morning, dropped the hire-car off, queued up for check-in, to then be told we would not depart until the evening. By then it was too late to seek alternative arrangements, as for starters we did not have a car, and our luggage had been checked in.

When we requested seats in earlier flights (you had another flight to London Stansted at 14:00 h) we were told that there was no space available on this flight, but we could go to Blackpool or East Midlands instead, and then make our own way to our destination, which as you will understand, it is not a viable option when you are travelling with two small children. But we later found out that other passengers had been transferred to that flight, probably because of their greater insistence or simply because they happened to be at the Customer Service desk at the right time.

Lastly, the lack of information during the waiting period was appalling. We had to queue up at the Customer Service desk every time we wanted to know what was happening. We were not offered any type of support to even cover the cost of food and drink. At one point we were told to be available no later than 1 PM "in case Ryanair decided to divert an aircraft from Dublin", but in the end the long wait was inevitable and we boarded at 5 PM, arriving to London Stansted not much before 7 PM. Never did any member of staff apologise or acknowledge how extremely hard we were finding it, and all that was offered was priority boarding passes. However the cost to us cannot be expressed, as it is not a matter of the material cost in terms of meals, extra parking costs, etc. We purposely chose this flight to allow us to spend the last day of our holiday at home relaxing and preparing things for the next day at work and at school.

We would like to understand - what exactly caused the problem (I think we have a right to know), why was nobody advised beforehand to allow us to chose alternatives, or just plan accordingly? and why was the problem not rectified until 11 hours later? How did you know it was going to take 11 hours? Our view is that not enough was done to avoid disruption to the passengers, and instead the easiest/ cheapest solution was implemented.

We would like to know what you can do to restore our confidence in Ryanair. We would like to keep using your service, but at this stage we can feel only disappointment and anger at the way things have been handled, and we very much feel that some sort of compensation would be fair given the way that we have been treated, not mentioning the extra expense incurred in spending an extra day away from home.

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Refund at Last
Submitted 21 February 2008

Today Thurs 21 Feb 2008 I have just received notification from Ryanair that my recent?! claim for a refund following cancelled flight from EMA to Derry following the closure of Derry Airport in May 2007 will now be paid in 5-7 days. I claimed a refund in May 2007 as soon as I realised we were not going to be able to fly into Derry.

This was for return flights for a family of 4 costing over £240, which they have been sitting on now for nearly 10 months.

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No Alternatives for Cancelled Flights
Submitted 15 February 2008

I have been one of many complaining users of this crooky airline :

I have booked a flight Brussels-Charleroi to Carcassonne with departure 14 feb 2008 at 15.20 and return on 18 feb 2008 at 17.20

I went to Brussels-Charleroi airport 2 hours before flight check-in and where to my astonishment hundreds of travellers were stranded, due to cancellation of their flights because of bad weather and fog.

All flights were cancelled the day before as well, according to airport officials, however Ryanair check-in personnel gave no detail of the situation, and no Ryanair flight was due to take-off .

I went to check how to get my ticket refunded or modified for another date, and no one could help, otherwise I would have waited and queuing for hours until late.

I am sure that I am not the only one in this situation, which means that although no flight had left from that airport, but the money received for that flight is kept by Ryanair. This is unjust and fraudulous according to the basic European common law, and therefore not acceptable.

I have tried to call to Ireland customer office but unfortunately with no answer.

I have tried also for 20 minutes to call the belgian number for customer service 090288007, which costs me 6.50 €uros, and to find out that no one could answer.

I believe that this unscrupulous company cannot deserve the right to transport people while ripping them off.

An action should be brought to the European Courts in Strasbourg against Ryanair vilain behavior.

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Buy One Get One Free
Submitted 13 February 2008

I recently (January 2008) wanted to buy 2 tickets from Luton to Reus (travel dates Feb 2008). I noticed Ryan Air was offering buy one and get one absolutely free. I could not find out how to do this. When I tried to do this, it was through trial and error that I discovered I had to buy one ticket FIRST in order to get the booking ref number which I was obliged to enter into the application for the Free ticket - only to find - surprise surprise - there was no free ticket available on the dates I sought.

I thought: What a scam!

None of this was stated up front.

Now I was obliged to buy two tickets at the original price or cancel the first one with the accompanying cancellation charges. This has cost me more money than I would have spent had I been informed of the facts right up front.

Customer focus? I don't think so.

I know Ryan Air is cheap but guys, you are taking the p--s and the time is fast approaching when people will say let's deal with a real airline and pay the price rather than be left with the feeling that we are being ripped off.

For too long Ryan Air has maintained the position that because they are cheap - and usually cheapER than other airlines - passengers have no right to complain. Almost a take it or leave it attitude. I run a business. I understand margins. When someone tells me pay for check in because of extra costs - ok. When someone tells me pay for luggage checked in because of extra costs - ok. When someone CONS me into buying a ticket to get a second ticket free - NOT ok.

I'm switching to flying to Barcelona - a slight price hike in flight cost - Easyjet, British Air whatever, same price in car hire and 27 extra minutes in drive time to my destination. Small price to pay for being treated like a customer.

Ryan Air - pride comes before a fall - short term greed will be the downfall of this company. Shareholders take stock - no pun intended - but some of you may be younger than management and while management bails out with their loot you'll be left holding an empty purse. Or else you have the same attitude - take the money and run - let's forget about building a trustworthy, sustainable brand. How will the history books record the rise and fall of Ryan Air and your legacy. Yeah - - read your business history books. If you are a part of this you are accountable. Some legacy.

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Marrakech to Luton 1 February 2008
Submitted 12 February 2008

Is there anyone else out there who was supposed to fly on the Ryanair flight from Marrakech to Luton on 1 February, 2008?

I am considering taking legal action against Ryanair because of their failure to offer compensation for this flight, which failed to land at Marrakech, allegedly due to 'extraordinary circumstances', even though seemingly all the other airlines operating at Marrakech that day managed to land and take off.

Any success stories or stories in process? (Contact info@ryanaircampaign.org for a message to be passed on.)

Update 13 February 2008

There's been a strange twist in my story. I received an email from Ryanair on around the 9th February, informing me that they weren't willing to offer me any compensation, and giving the usual excuse of 'extraordinary circumstances'.

I was just about to send another fax, even heavier than my first (venomous) one when, while checking my credit card statement, I noticed that I had actually been refunded a quarter of the total cost of my flights.

I'm not sure how they arrived at this figure (maybe it was the price of the Marrakech-Luton leg (1 pence) plus taxes and charges, but it's at least something. Another example of Ryanair's bizarre practices. Maybe it could inspire others to go ahead with complaints (but check their bank accounts at the same time!)

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Diversion to Murcia (letters to Ryanair and AUC)
Submitted 12 February 2008

(Letter to Ryanair)

My wife and daughter were due to fly on Wednesday 29th March to Gerona. At the very last minute having already gone through security, the flight was cancelled due to technical difficulties.

I enclose a copy of your web site information.

Following the cancellation the level of service from your company can only be described as diabolical.

My wife and daughter then queued for some four hours having to recollect their luggage and then go to the help desk to find out what was happening. They were told of a flight to Reus at 0655 am the next morning or an alternative of Murcia at 1520 pm. Murcia was described as some two hours from Gerona airport.

As they had travelled by rail they stayed at the airport. No attempt was made to offer accommodation, or blankets, food or vouchers of any kind.

At 0430 am they arrived to book on but the flight to Reus was fully subscribed and so they were flown to Murcia on the FR9812. This was an hour late departing.

I had contacted the booking agent and they had no information from Ryan Air of the cancellation.

No transport was available or offered from Murcia to the hotel but an additional days stay at the hotel was booked and a shuttle from the hotel to Gerona for the Sunday.

In total it took my wife and daughter from 20.05 pm on Thursday 30th April until 09.30 am on Friday 31st April (13 1/2 hours journey by buses and taxis). The risk to their person and the problems of not speaking Spanish are unforgivable on the part of both Ryan Air and Media Travel Services not forgetting the mental stress and the financial cost involved.

I am informed that the hotel food and drinks and accommodation were adequate but there was no entertainment the phones did not work and that the lifts did not work (based on the 6th floor).

I will await your replies in regard to what action I will take next.

(Letter to Air Users Council)

I enclose replies from Media Travel and turn to you for help with Ryan air from whom I have still had no reply.

Due to the effects of the holiday (?), my wife and daughter both missed work on the Monday. My phone bills for the month include several £5 calls trying to contact Ryan air via their numbers.

The affects on my own company was immense. In terms of lost hours it was almost three days worth of phone calls, e. mails and faxes. Due to the broken phones in Spain I did not hear from them until at the airport after the return flight.

I enclose the reason for cancellation from the website and have got most of the bus tickets in Spain but will keep them here.

It is still the fact that they were told it was two hours by Ryan air from Girona to Murcia and the total risk to their safety that most upsets me, along with the total silence from the company.

No paper work or offer of help was made at Liverpool and we were not aware of the law until we read your website.

A holiday purchased for mothers day turned into a disaster that may have been even worse. Anything could have happened in the journey.

The distance travelled is equal to the length of England.

Thank you for your help in this matter.

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Vouchers Had to be Used in One Transaction
Submitted 4 February 2008

I was given £60 of Ryanair vouchers as a gift at Christmas.

I needed to go to Belfast, so decided to use them. I went on to their web website and found that I had to call a number to book (10p per minute).

Anyway, Despite the fact I was online at the time and looking at the return flight I wanted and it being available for £10 return I was told it was not available. When I told the person I was online and it was available they suddenly discovered it was available at £10.

Then the best came. I was told that if I did not use the full value of the voucher in one transaction, I would lose the remaining value. I was stunned and cancelled the transaction.

I have written 6 letters to Ryanair with no reply. I have reported it to my local trading standards office and they have been unable to contact Ryanair. I have now raised the mater with my MP. I intend to fight Ryanair all the way on this.

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Ryanair Clairvoyants?
Submitted 3 February 2008

I wrote to Ryanair in January 2008 to complain about a cancelled flight which I had booked 6 months prior to the flight. I gave them all the information in my very detailed letter and sent them receipts for the replacement flight and car hire cost necessitated by the missed connection.

In reply to my complaint, Ryanair explained that "there are situations which are outside of the control of Ryanair (extraordinary circumstances) such as adverse weather conditions, unexpected flight safety problems, strikes and security risks that affect our flight operation."

According to a business associate of mine who was booked on the very same flight as me, Ryanair had cancelled the flight 5 weeks after I made the booking, but I never received any notification from Ryanair that this had been done.

How Ryanair could know almost 4 months before the flight was due to take place that there would be adverse weather conditions which would force them to cancel the flight well in advance is beyond me, but when I find out from their reply to my second complaint letter I shall let you know.

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Cost of Inputting Error
Submitted 31 January 2008

I inadvertently inputted my wife's first name incorrectly when completing an online Ryanair booking form (through sloppy use of the Google 'autofill' facility, and insufficient care). My wife's first name has come out on the form as my own.

I noticed my error too late and now Ryanair want £70 to alter the name. Is this legal? I set out my case in a fax but needless to say it has not been acknowledged, nor less replied to.

Are there any precedents for how to proceed? Should I write? To whom? Can I 'tough it out' and go to pick up the flight anyway? Can I complain? Any advice would be gratefully received.

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Beat them over Split Baggage Allowance
Submitted 30 January 2008

Your site saved my wife a lot of hassle and charges. She recently travelled to Sweden with our 4 year old son. Given that our son is not yet able to drag a 15 kg suitcase himself, my wife decided to pack one suitcase, tentatively assuming 30 kg for two people wouldn't attract an excess baggage charge. The uncertainty was stressing her out before leaving for the airport so I did an internet search and arrived at your site and read a story about not being able to split baggage allowances.

To get around this she packed one suitcase but with half the contents within a strong canvas hold-all. Sure enough, when she got to the check-in the woman informed her that she would have to pay an excess. To the surprise of the attendant, my wife, quick as a flash, removed the second bag from her suitcase and checked-in with no problem.

In the case of one parent travelling with a small child, by disallowing the splitting of baggage weight allowances, Ryanair is effectively subsidising the "streamlined business traveller" at the expense of young families.

Does anyone know whether the staff are on "incentives" with regards to any excess fees?

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Was Anyone on Flight FR3013 from Ciampino, Sunday 20 January 2008?
Submitted 28 January 2008

Was anyone else on this flight? It was the disastrous flight from Ciampino (because they were closing) where we were sent to Fiumacino airport (where we had a crew and no plane - as it had landed at Ciampino!!) and then back to Ciampino airport (where we had a plane and no crew and no one seemed to no where we were meant to be!).

When we got on the plane we had too many passengers which added to our delay by one and a half hours. And then when we got to Stansted the pilot went to the wrong parking bay and delayed us by a further 40 minutes. In all this time (12 hours - overnight) we were given one bottle of water, a sandwich and a cup of tea/coffee). I would like to hear from anyone else on this flight to find out whether they have heard from Ryanair or not (probably the latter!!). Please leave a message via this site. info@ryanaircampaign.org

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Getting Answer from Helpline
Submitted 25 January 2008

I recently booked (on the 21/012008) two return tickets for travel on 21st May.

Unfortunately, this being France, my computer crashed just as I completed the transaction, so I don't have my ref number, now my bank says the deal has gone through, so far I have received no e-mail confirmation and as you know it is impossible to find any body at Ryanair to help.

I phoned the Help line at Limoges, to be told unless I could explain myself in better French there was nothing they could do. I phoned the UK helpline for 20 minutes ,no answer, what the h---l do we do to get an answer? The only reason we, here in France, use them is because there are currently no alternatives and they know it

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Breach of Duty of Care
Submitted 23 January 2008

Email correspondence that the author had difficulty sending to Ryanair due to the mailbox being full.

Dear Sirs

Thank you for this email. see bottom of this story

I think you misunderstand the nature of my claim.

I am aware that "compensation" under Article 7 of EU Regulation 261/2004 is probably not available to me for the reasons set out in your letter.

You will see, however, from my letter that I was not seeking compensation under Article 7, but to enforce my right to "care" under Article 9.

Just to make the position absolutely clear, the "Article 14.2 notice" you refer to was not handed out to every passenger. My daughter was given a copy quite late in the evening at the information desk, but that was long after I had been given (and given only) a list of local hotels. At the time I was handed this list, I asked if Ryanair would pay and was told that its policy was not to do so (a statement which appears to be inconsistent with your Article 14(2) notice).

After visiting the information desk, I queued for some hours at the ticket issuing desk. When at last I got to the front, I was not offered any care at all, though I was, of course, grateful for the re-routing which was effected.

Apart from what is said in your notice, nothing was said by or on behalf of Ryanair in the way of complying with your duty to provide care under Article 9. Nor was any effort made to provide such care. Your notice did not suggest that it was up to me to ask for it, and in any event when I had asked whether you would pay for it at the information desk, I was told that it was your policy not to pay. In any event, as I said in my previous letter, it was obviously impracticable for you to arrange the necessary care for me and the two girls travelling with me, because the staff were already grossly over-worked arranging re-routing, and there were many passengers behind me still waiting.

There has in my view been a clear breach by Ryanair of its duty to offer or provide care under Article 9. As a direct consequence of that breach, I was compelled to make my own provision and I look forward to the immediate re-imbursement of the very moderate claim I have made.

Failing that, it is my intention to take the matter further. It occurs to me that there were many passengers on the same flight who were in the same position as I was. If my claim is not settled immediately I will in due course be seeking a list of such passengers, so that I can start proceedings as a representative of them all. I mention this to ensure that you retain a record on your computer system of their names and addresses.

Email from Ryanair

Following your recent correspondence to us regarding booking confirmation number PNCBCT.

On behalf of Ryanair, we sincerely apologise for the disruption to your recent flight, which led to a delay in your departure.

Ryanair is committed to providing on time services for all passengers and continues to be the No. 1 on-time airline in Europe, as detailed in audited statistics issued by the UK Civil Aviation Authority.

However, notwithstanding the above, there are situations which are outside of the control of Ryanair such as adverse weather conditions, unexpected flight safety problems, strikes and security risks that affect our flight operation.

Our handling Agents at the Airport have confirmed that assistance was provided on the day and that the EU261/2004 Article 14.2 notice was displayed and distributed.

Ryanair took all reasonable measures to avoid the delay of your flight and as EU Reg 261 does not apply monetary compensation for delayed flights, we are unable to offer any further reimbursement.

With renewed apologies for any inconvenience caused.

Yours sincerely,

Ryanair Customer Services.

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Poor Reputation Effect on Share Price
Submitted 17 January 2008

I fly between 100-150 times per year all around the world. This is on a mixture of many traditional and low cost carriers. Without doubt Ryanair is the worst by a long way. Surly rude staff and dirty planes etc. etc.

The Ryanair shareprice has nearly halved in the last year..market analysts and brokers are smart and they know that in the service sector a reputation for poor customer service will negatively affect the long term performance of a company.

It is in Ryanair's own interest to change their approach and operating practices.

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Stranded in Venice
Submitted 9 January 2008

Ryanair -You disgraceful company - leaving hundreds stranded at Treviso Airport, Venice, after cancelling our 21.55pm flight to Stansted on Saturday (5th Jan. FR 799) (not for the first time I not now realise)

No thanks to Ryanair we got home some 16 hours later than expected and must still be amongst some of the lucky ones. I was in a group of six friends and had someone not had a credit card (accepted) to buy alternative flights home we would still be there now and I guess some still are.

We assumed the cancellation may have been down to fog but were never told - but the lack of information/announcements was abysmal. Our only information after a long delay was to collect our bags and go to the ryanair kiosk.

There was no ryanair kiosk of course - just a couple of unfortunate Venecian airport staff dealing similtanously with the cancellation of two other flights to Munich,& Antwerp - with a mass of people, hundreds, each taking a good quarter of an hour to be dealt with, a mumbled announcement at one time gave out only a service telephone number, if you was lucky enough to have a pen and paper handy you may well have been able to be charged at probably £1 a minute to be told you were going nowhere.

Trouble breaking out in the queue after pushing in was inevitable and after two hours & nowhere near being seen to, the people at the front were already being told of only a few seats available for flight on Monday and later, so what hope for the rest of us - it was very late Saturday night with all food facilities closed - taxis were un-indated, overwhelmed, overcharging, as some 300 people tried to look for alternative accommodation and ways home.

Our group of six were advised by the airports info. desk (not by Ryanair) to try and go to Marco Polo airport where we may have a better chance of another route home. The taxi we finally hailed cost 80 euros, and at Marco Polo airport after trying to sleep on the metal chairs , found the quickest available option was with AirItalia 6.55 on Sunday morning to Rome and then to Heathrow at the cost of over 1,800 euros between us.

We took this alternative as most had to work on monday. Unable to cancel our Stansted taxi home it had still gone there. The taxi company told us the Ryanair web site had not shown the cancelled flight but as arriving in Stansted a bit later than scheduled, be it empty, having actually landed somewhere in Italy about 2 and a half hours from us.

After 2 previous costly run-ins with Ryanair I had sworn not to use them myself again - but this was a surprise long weekend xmas present to Venice from three wives to their other halves & now Ryanair have lost another 5 customers, let alone those still at the airport.

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System Adds Taxes
Submitted 4 January 2008

I've copied below an email I sent to Ryanair with the help of your website (thank you!).

As I explain, I noticed that they're advertising fares from £10 including all taxes,etc. However, each time I've tried to book (first where I actually wanted to go, then any of the advertised destinations in a desperate bid to see if it was just a big con), taxes and charges were then added.

Is it me or is this false advertising?

Dear Ms. Penston,

I noticed that your website is offering a 'sale' of flights starting from £10 which includes all taxes, fees and charges. However, each time I've tried to book anything within the sale period (London to Carcassonne, return), it adds the taxes and charges to the advertised fare. I've tried 3 other destination just to check, and they all add the taxes and other charges.

Could you please let me know how I can reserve flights at the advertised sale price which includes all otherwise hidden charges?

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First Experience of Ryanair Service
Submitted 2 January 2008

Today I realised that in 2008 the world of cheap flights is crazy.

Today on jan 2 2008 me and my partner travelled from bremen germany to stanstead london we had no hand luggage and one suit case. We approached the woman at the ryan air check in desk gave our passports and check in details,i placed the suit case on weighing belt asspecting her to say thats fine but to my amazement she said the case was 5kg to heavy , me and my partner looked at each other puzzelled. We asked how heavy it was and she replied 20.1kg ,i said to the lady but I thought we had combined allowerence of 30kg ,15kg per person and we were 10kg below that weight,she replied 15kg per bag per person and would not let the bag on without removing the extra weight .

I tried to argue the fact that there was 2 of us and we had no hand luggage just this 1 case but got no where fast eventually she suggested that we take some items out and put them in a carrier bag , me and my partner then had to run round the airport looking for a bag we found two and removed dirty clothes from our case ,which at the time we felt very embarresed about,passing through customs waiting to board and on the plane with our dirty smelly clothes in carrier bags .

When we boarded the plane we didnt even get a hello just asked for boarding cards in an abrupt manner ,we found a seat and sat down we then noticed that lots of passengers had large hand luggage some as big as our case ,now what we cant understand is we payed to have the 15kg per person we still took the same weight on board the plane but had to go through the embarresment of getting our dirty clothes out in public ,surely it would have been better to have our weight allowerence in one bag in the belly of the plane then in bags between my legs smelling the plane out.

the staff on board seemed very rude one guy was even chewing gum while he served me a drink ,me and my partner feel disgusted by what has happened and will never fly with ryan air again in our minds a bit of common sense should have been applied.

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Currency Conversion
Submitted 29 December 2007

I'm in the U.S. and last month made an on-line booking on Ryan Air for a flight from Stansted to Marseilles. As my receipt\confirmation confirms, the total price for the two tickets was 90.36 British Pounds. A credit card from a U.S. bank was used to pay for this transaction. Because this was a purchase made in a foreign currency (foreign at least to me and my credit card), the normal process is that my credit card converts the 90.36 GBP into U.S. dollars using the market rate for that day and then tacks on a 3 percent foreign currency exchange fee. As most travelers realize these days, using a credit card with a low exchange fee provides the best deal possible for the purchaser. The mid-market rate for the 7th of November 2007 as shown by XE.com ($2.104519 per British Pound) yields $190.16 in equivalent U.S. currency and with a 3% fee added on top, the result should have been total debit of $195.87.

When I received my credit card statement, I was surprised to see that Ryan Air had performed its own currency conversion prior to submitting the charge to the bank. Instead of GBP 90.36, Ryan Air requested $199.04. How they determined this amount is unclear (it works out to an exchange rate of $2.2027 per Pound) but the end result is that they wound up receiving nearly nine dollars more from the transaction ($199.04 - $190.16) than they would have had they submitted the charge in GBP.

While it is true that the net loss to me was only about three bucks ($199.04 - $195.87), the bottom line is that I wound up paying more than the agreed-to price for the tickets. Three dollars doesn't sound like much but if my experience is not unique (and I suspect that it isn't), then Ryan Air has figured out an income stream that over a year's time might result in thousands or even millions of dollars in wrongfully collected profits. Few people are going to check their statements with enough care to see whether the company has done this little trick and if they do, they probably won't bother to complain. The ironic thing is that if someone does try to contact Ryan Air to protest the overcharge, the phone call to their customer "service" line will cost 10 pence per minute (about 21 cents), including the time spent on hold. Brilliant.

If there are any class action attorneys out there who would like to chat more about this, feel free to contact me; leave a message via info@ryanaircampaign.org.

Happy Traveling!

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Budget Airline Comparisons
Submitted 24 December 2007

A very interesting web site and it should be encouraged - such class action may have some affect upon RyanAir policies and practices. I flew RyanAir from Stansted a few times - very old & dirty planes (I travel over 100 days a year world wide) and in several instances old Boeing 737's that had all passenger cabin signs in Spanish only (I spent 1 flight trying to uncover and guess which airline(s) had previously flown the plane - with no luck).

All budget airlines seem to have the baggage weight limit policy restriction - you do really have to know and read the small print.

However, there are budget airlines that I would actually recommend.

EasyJet is one - OK, not all flights take off on time, and clearly they don't actually fly to city airports that they imply on their web site, but the planes are clean, even new Airbus 320's, friendly and smiling staff. I took my bicycle from Gatwick to Geneva with them - no problem at all. (Note that baggage damage really is often not the airline's direct fault, it could be the baggage handlers employed by the airport or a service company).

As a family with young adults (not children now) we have flown to/from Canada with Zoom Airlines - they fly older 767's but again, young & friendly flight staff; as well as Thomas Cook (booked through Canadian Affair web site) - older 757's but with leather seats, loads of legroom, had a blast. (We checked in excess baggage knowingly and negotiated a discount as the young adults weight was so low - so if you try to be friendly, you can get some flexibility, I found).

I don't often write to such web sites, but guys, you have a choice sometimes, try the other airlines if you get such bad service. It would be a shame if 1 rotten apple damaged the reputation of all low cost airlines - in my experience, there are good flights. (I don't have shares in any of them, and I have never had a bad flight with Air Canada, that's our national airline).

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Refund of Taxes
Submitted 19 December 2007

I found your website after a search on google and have found it an interesting read to say the least. Recently I booked a flight with Ryanair, but was unable to fly. As I didn't know when I would need to travel again I didn't want to change its dates. As the flight was for a few cents I wasn't interested in a refund or even my card transaction fee. I just wanted the tax I had paid for travelling. As You will be aware this was made public on a recent watch dog program and it said that if you don't fly you are entitled to a refund of the government taxes.

I faxed them a letter and received the reply saying their costs of administration we're more than I paid in taxes. The watch dog program expressed a concern that only a £2 charge should be levied for such a simple operation, yet they are charging around £15. They are in-fact holding our money to ransom and making millions out of this scam.

I would be grateful if you have any further information about this scam and where I can take my complaint to. After all if we all complain, things may change and if we vote with our wallet, it will make a difference.

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Debit Charge
Submitted 19 December 2007

Please see my email to Caroline Greene Ryanair.

For all of my flights this year I have paid a nominal charge of £1.40 or so for a direct debit through visa.

For my flights that I have just booked this fee has gone up to a staggering £8.

Can you tell me please if this is correct and if so, why it is such a massive price increase?

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Contacting Ryanair about Double Bookings
Submitted 13 December 2007

I've been charged 2 times for the one and same thing as if i was 2 people with the same name and same credit card, going on the same plane, same day, same time. And not only this once it happened some 4 years ago also that I was equally charged 2 times 600 euro for the same ticket, same day, same time, same name and credit card. And yes they're very difficult to reach and much of staff are not very service minded but rather rude instead.

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Refund of Taxes for Non-Flight
Submitted 28 November 2007

I booked a flight with ryanair for a group of 8 Persons. The flight was Ok.

One member of the group could not take part in the flight, because he became ill. We told this to ryanair 14 days before the flight was going. Just one day after we came back we asked Rynair to refund the taxes which were paid for the flight, which could not be used. ( The assurance will only refund the flight costs, because the aircraft companies don´t pay taxes for flights, which the customers don´t use.)

With several letters and e-mails Ryanair and especially Mr. Phelan from Ryanair refused to fulfil that legal due to refund the taxes, the ill passenger had paid for his flight, in which he could not take part in.

Mr. Phelan from Ryanair argued, that there is a administration charge in case of refunding. One time, this admission charge is € 15, another time it is € 23 and in the summit, he declared the administration charge as 7 X € 15 = € 105, because there were 7 members in the group. (But only the taxes of one member was asked to refund because only one member didn´t take part in the flight. Then Mr. Phelan told us one month later, that the time for asking refund was over. Although we had asked just the day after the return-flight. That was within the week of the beginning of the journey.

It´s not because of the money. The refund, we ask for, is only about € 30. But I don´t want to accept, that this company can refuse to fulfil a legal due. And, beside, we know, that the employees of Ryanair and the employees, who are working in the Ryanair aircrafts have very bad working conditions and are refused to have their legal right to be members of the trade unions and so on.

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Phone Cost and Free Flight Vouchers
Submitted 26 November 2007

I have just been reading your interesting site, necessitated by a requirement to contact RyanAir. Jus to let you know that the customer services no. 353 1249 7700 is just a recorded message and after giving a load of useless information informs you to contact them on the listed (ie premium) no - calls cost £1.00 a minute; looks like this route has also been closed.

Thank you for making me aware of the costs involved - I had no idea.

In their favour. I booked flights from Poitiers to Stansted (we live in France) for mid December. Several weeks ago I received an email advising that the route/date had been changed to Tours to Stansted and giving me the option of cancelling and receiving a refund. I selected this option, and within a week the money had been transferred back into my account.

My reason for trying to contact Ryanair is in connection with their Gift Voucher Scheme. I am trying to buy vouchers for the family so that they can come and visit. I booked one voucher online and requested that the voucher be sent to my email address, as I wish to personally hand out the vouchers at Christmas. I notice that the confirmation states 'the voucher will only be redeemable for Ryanair flights where Liz Moodie the lead passenger' i.e me. This is no use to me, as I will never be flying with the family. I now have to try and contact Ryanair to sort this out, or just accept that I'll lose £20 (it may just cost me that in calls). Ryanair does not mention this in the 'Terms and Conditions' related to purchasing the vouchers.

Maybe you'd like to pass on the above info to your readers.

Actually, in view of the prohibitive cost of telephone calls, I think I'll forget it - my family can't afford to pay these ridiculous amounts to redeem the vouchers. Thank you on a very interesting and informative site.

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No Phone Support After Web Error
Submitted 14 November 2007

I just spent the last 5 days trying to book with Ryanair but at the last hurdle (after giving my credit card details) I received an error report and was advised to contact customer support quoting a case number.

My first problem was that on ringing the number I was eventually given a second number to ring which cost about 10 euro just to obtain.

Then the first person I spoke to hung up on me, possibly by mistake (very professional) but what really bugs me was the second person.

I had not even finished my first sentence when she cut me off and told me to "Try the website again". when I pushed on and asked about the 'case number' I was told "I already told you what to do".

I then went on to explain that I had been trying to book for 5 days at various hours but again, no further help. Finally I demanded a supervisor and was asked why. I told this woman that I was not happy with her attitude, assistance or knowledge of the subject. She told me that I could not speak with her supervisor! I then had to ring back to get the supervisor (by lying I might add or I would not have gotten him). He told me to try the UK site not the Irish one as that was the main, primary site. What? Its an Irish company for gods sake.

When that didn't work I rang back and finally someone actually made a few simple gestures to look into it but again no joy.

Now at this stage I'm about 50 euro down with no flight but the really strange thing is that they can go online and do a fake booking (or so I'm told) to verify the site's working and also look at the bookings for a flight but they cannot actually make the booking for you.

Now what the hell is going on with these guys? Had to pay 200 for an Aerlingus flight that was 76 all in with Ryanair but on principle alone I was glad to pay it.

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Letter to Ryanair From Travel Agent
Submitted 13 November 2007

Dear Sirs,

I am writing to protest the recent attack on travel agents when Ryanair head of communications Peter Sherrard referred to travel agents as "the costliest parasites in the travel industry." As an agent who has placed clients in the best travel solutions customized for their needs, I take particular offence. I have found that the discount airlines are at times, a viable solution for clients.

Perhaps I should thank Mr. Sherrard for bringing the reckless attitude of Ryanair to light. The attack against travel agents caused me to do some online research on the reputation of Ryanair. I see in a number of online posting that the disregard for travel agents seems to extend to customers as well. Of course, it is difficult to determine whether the online posting are a fair sampling of the public's discontent.

I don't expect that, as your company views my profession as a parasite, you will take the time to respond. That would indicate some regard for the profession, and as tempted as you may be to respond to my letter, I would suggest that RyanAir consider directing Mr. Sherrard to issue a public apology.

Travel agents continue to have influence in the passengers' choices for travel. I have been happy to advise friends, clients and the general public, often, despite the slur made by Mr. Sherrard, without any compensation. Unfortunately it is difficult to recommend a company that has such a blatant disregard for a large segment of the travel industry.

Though you consider me a parasite, and though my postage and time will never be compensated, please consider this letter as an attempt demonstrate enough of a regard for Ryanair to say you are in error. I believe that your offensive statements will do more damage to your reputation than that of travel agents, which you so overtly despise.

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Stranded When Things Go Wrong
Submitted 11 November 2007

Let me start by emphasising I am not morbidly anti-Ryanair. Up until last week I had made probably over 20 return flights with them. The worst that had happened to me was that I had maybe been half an hour late once or my baggage had taken that long to come through. But the thing people say about Rynair is that when they're bad, they're atrocious.

And so it was last week. I was due to fly from East Midlands to Berlin Schoenefeld on Tuesday evening and return on Wednesday evening. We took off fine and it looked like we would land on time, just like the 10 or so other flights I've made with them to Schoenefeld. But then it started to go wrong.

We seemed to have been in the air a bit longer than the journey normally takes when the pilot reported that we wouldn't be landing at Berlin but at Lubeck. The reason given was that one of the runways at Schoenefeld was out of action due to a lights failure and we couldn't land on the other. Why Lubeck instead of other, nearer airports wasn't explained. Strangely the pilot said we were just north of Berlin at the time but there was no banking to turn the plane round 180 degrees, which makes me wonder whether we had been heading for Lubeck from take-off. I suspect he just flew a lot more slowly than usual and went straight there.

Never mind though because on landing at Lubeck the pilot told us coaches were 2 minutes away to take us to Berlin. This seemed strange as it was after 10.00pm and where do you get coaches and wide awake coach drivers at that time of night for a long drive to Berlin? Predictably the coaches took 90 minutes to turn up as they had to come from Hamburg and another six hours to get to Schoenefeld where we finally arrived after 6.00am, over 8 sleepless hours late.

Of course the failure of the outgoing flight from East Midlands to get to Schoenefeld that day meant that there was no return flight back home on Tuesday, and also of course the same happened the following night so that I had no chance of getting home on Wednesday. And as there's only one flight a day to East Midlands and most Ryanair flights didn't seem to landing at Schoenefeld whereas other airlines were managing to come down to Earth there, it would have been a long and probably fruitless wait for the next Ryanair flight back to East Midlands on Thursday evening.

The rumours going round (all Ryanair staff had disappeared when it was finally announced we wouldn't be going anywhere on Wednesday) was that Ryanair pilots don't have licences for the shorter runway, the only one still in use. Someone else said that Ryanair never use reverse thrust on landing, thus making the shorter runway a bit dangerous. Someone else Ryanair hadn't paid for its landing slots. I was passed caring but whatever the reason it seemed only to affect Ryanair's flights. East Midlands wasn't the only Ryanair flight cancelled. Every other airline got in and out though.

This made hanging around to try to get back to East Midlands, Stansted or wherever a bit of a lottery. In any case all Ryanair flights on Thursday were soon booked up despite the risk of going nowhere even then, but I was lucky to meet someone who was in touch with her boss who had booked her onto a Easyjet flight to Luton. She had already been stranded on Tuesday and was now stranded on Wednesday too. So on Thursday afternoon I too went to Luton (£80 plus), then took a train to Loughborugh (£40 plus), then a taxi to East Midlands (another £10) before I was given a lift up the M1. I got home at about 9.30pm on Thursday, not far short of 24 hours late. I'd had about 5 hours sleep in two and a half days, hadn't changed clothes, hadn't showered or shaved and had spent more time hanging round airports than the average plane-spotter. I brought home cold too.

As I said I'm not anti-Ryanair per se and I'll no doubt use them again next year but they really are cheap wankers, that's for sure. I'd like to find out their real reason for taking off to Berlin when they knew they had no chance of landing there. I may try and get compensation, being over £100 out of pocket (the original flight cost £40 but I got about £12 refunded), but part of me thinks I've had enough of them for the time being. There must be loads like me though if they kept transporting hundreds of people a day to the wrong airport and leaving hundreds of others stranded at the right one.

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Taxes and Charges
Submitted 30 October 2007

I have just found your web site and although a regular Ryanair customer (through necessity) would like them to be more transparent about their pricing policy.

When I went to book a specific flight that had been advertised at 1p the previous week and had netted out to something like £35, the same flight, still advertised at 1p, had suddenly jumped to nearly £50!

I regret that I cannot give the specific details as it was some months ago, but I was so annoyed that I phoned them and was told that "the taxes and charges can fluctuate".

I queried the fact that taxes must be fixed and it is therefore Ryanair's underhand way of putting the price up, I got no further comment other than a "take it or leave it" attitude.

Won't some other airline please start a regular Stansted to Pau flight??!!

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Getting What you Pay For?
Submitted 8 November 2007

"Ryanair - A small price to pay for getting screwed over"

I feel physically, and mentally violated.

I was meant to fly on a Ryanair flight last night from Berlin Schonefeld to London Stansted at 21:55, which was cancelled 10 minutes before departure after checking in - along with another Ryanair flight to East Midlands at the same time. There was no plane at the departure gate, yet there seemed to be no problem with us checking in and proceeding to the gate to board. After being told it was cancelled with no explanation, we were herded back and forward between the departure lounge and gate by the Schonefeld staff who didn't seem that bothered about explaining what was going on. A good 15 minutes later, a guy from the airport spoke up about the situation. Apparently, our plane had gone missing and was unable to land due to "weather conditions" and that we were welcome to go to a desk in the main part of the airport where we could apparently swap our boarding pass for a seat on one of their planes the following day.

"This time, the flight will be free!" he said!

Now wait a minute, but how does the fact that this flight is "free" make any sense whatsoever? The flight I actually paid for has now "disappeared" and the validity of its existence in the first place is dubious to say the least. My money has still gone to Ryanair regardless of the time and day in which I travel, not to mention the 15 euro I paid to "check in" a bag which was never actually checked in. As we made it up past the check in points to book our flights for the next day, we are told that there has been a mistake. There is actually no member of Ryanair staff at the airport, and they don't even have a booking office there! They seem to have no physical presence in the airport whatsoever - 2 flights worth of around 300 people are left stranded, confused, seriously pissed off, and the cold reality of the situation is starting to strike home. Frustration soon builds to confrontation, and it is left to the airport's LUGGAGE ATTENDANT(!!!) to talk to us and answer our questions. Dressed in an over-sized fluorescent yellow waist jacket, her manner is cold and inhuman much like the rest of her colleagues who can't seem to help anyone beyond repeating generic and meaningless information about "weather conditions" and "airport policies". Finally, after a little more digging it is revealed that "fog" was the reason for our flight's mysterious no show.

Fog?

Seems a little odd, because my friend and his girlfriend who actually made it onto their cancelled plane (the Ryanair 21:55 to East Midlands) before being informed that they had to get off it, later told me that "wind" was the reason given for the cancellation of their flight. Now I'm not sure who is to blame for this, Ryanair or Schonefeld, but whoever it is should really get their stories straight with each other before flinging around generic weather terms as excuses. To make matters even more suspect, the Easyjet flight to Luton which left at the SAME TIME seemed to depart on time with no problems. Not to mention the Brussels Airlines flight to Brussels which left ten minutes earlier, the Easyjet flight to bristol 25 minutes earlier, all the flights that arrived at Schonefeld during that time, including the Condor plane which arrived at our departure gate a few moments after we had been taken upstairs for the first time.

One person then manages to get a phone number to call Ryanair on and the Luggage Attendant makes a hasty exit. People's questions about compensation, where they are going to stay that evening and if they will be able to get home fall on deaf ears. Then it turns out that the phone number is actually for a generic call centre, which costs 1 euro per minute to call from a German phone. From an English phone? I don't even want to think about it! The only way to sort it is by going on Ryanair's website and changing your flight that way, which in total will cost around 65 euros...not only this, but there is one computer at the airport which crashed as soon as someone got on it and as we find out later, the Ryanair site doesn't even have any information about the cancelled flight or a way of exchanging tickets. An airport that couldn't seem to give a fuck, and an airline that is non-contactable - hard to tell how this could get any worse really! In the end we decided to further our losses and catch the last S-Bhan back into town and managed to check into a hostel and book a flight with Easyjet to leave the next day at 16:20, adding a further unnecessary cost of 100 euros to our trip. Two of my friends lost a day's work the following day, which leaves them even more out of pocket. And I still don't know what really happened.

Some people may say that "you get what you pay for". This is true, in the sense that you pay for a flight in a small, cramped plane which gets you from A to B cheaply with minimum hassle. I do not expect to pay ANY amount of money to be lied to, herded around aimlessly in a group like cattle, and most importantly, a plane which doesn't even exist and the experience of being treated like a tenth rate human being."

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Bags and "Time Saving"
Submitted 5 November 2007

Myself and my family went to Tenerife with Ryanair on the 31st of October 2007 to the 3rd of November 2007. Baggage was 15kg, one of our bags was only 11kg and the other one was 18kg but we still had to pay the penalty fee of 3kg, why could the underweight bag not have compensated for the overweight bag. Another way of making money on cheap flights. Our flight was for 10.45 a.m. as we were told but when we arrived it had been changed to 11.45 a.m. We were not sent an email confirming this change in time, therefore we arrived at the airport extremely early for our 10.45 a.m flight which did not fly out until 11.45 a.m. The seating anywhere arrangement is supposed to save time. We did not lift off until 12.10 p.m. No time saving in this arrangement.

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To the Back of the Queue
Submitted 5 November 2007

My family and I returned from a short trip to Costa Brava flying Ryanair to Girona from Liverpool. (31.10.07 - 4.11.07)

Prior to departure date, the return flight times changed 4 times.

Then there was the usual "problem" of overweight luggage. We were told to buy a "Ryanair" bag for £4.50 and paid another £10 to check it in.

Upon return luggage "problem" again at check-in so I quickly took out a jacket and the luggage was then within the 15 kilo limit. But the Check-in assistant refused to let the luggage go, saying we had to go to the back of the queue again. She had a face "like a bag of spanners" as Les Dawson used to say; obviously getting her job satisfaction out of fining people for being a few kilos over the limit. Why are Ryanair's scales different from everyone else's?

What was so awful was the reaction of the rest of the British in the queue. They turned on us like a pack of wolves. Everyone is "brain-washed" into thinking Ryanair is cheap. I don't know anyone who has got a ticket for 1p. Our tickets started off at £6.49 outbound and £14.99 inbound and yet the total bill for 3 of us was over £210 (and that was without their insurance). With the extra paid at Liverpool for our luggage the total bill came to £224.50 for 3. Over £70 per head. Average price I would say for a flight under 2 hours duration.

Despite being accused by the brain-washed British of holding the queue up, it transpired that the plane taking us back to the UK had not even landed when we were in the departure lounge. It seemed it had not even left the UK when all of this was going on. We were, therefore, about 2 and a half hours late with a worrying lack of security once we boarded because the pilot was trying to take off again quickly.

Once on board you are given nothing - apart from a dog-eared Ryanair brochure - which is collected back at the end of the flight. It's a wonder they don't make you pay for the toilet paper you use. The cabin staffs' announcements were impossible to hear/understand.

I'm so grateful we got back in one piece. Conclusion NEVER AGAIN!

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Two Flights Out and No Return
Submitted 16 October 2007

I recently booked a return flight Dublin - Bologna with Ryanair (against my better judgement). Some weeks later, whilst I was away on holiday, I got an e-mail from them "1st notification of Schedule Change" informing me that the outbound flight, instead of leaving at 1.30 pm as planned, had now been rescheduled for a 6.40 am departure. As legally obliged to do, they offered me the option of cancelling with a full refund. As this time change was totally unacceptable to me I booked an Aerlingus flight to Venice instead with the intention of returning on the Ryanair flight originally booked. I, therefore, clicked on the provided link and completed and submitted the form requesting a refund for the rescheduled flight. A bit of an inconvenience but now sorted, or so I thought.

Two days later I received their "2nd notification of schedule change" e-mail. Same information, same link clicked on, same form completed and returned. A few days later "3rd notification of schedule change" and, at the risk of sounding repetitive, I once again followed the same procedure.

Back at work the following Monday morning there still had been no change made to my confirmed booking for the two flights so I again clicked on the appropriate link and completed their form, this time witnessed by a colleague. I took a copy of this form and faxed it to the Ryanair head office with specific instructions that it was only the outbound flight I wished to cancel and that at this stage I expected them to give the matter their immediate attention.

Days passed, no change. I emailed all the customer service e-mail addresses on your website and again stated quite clearly that I only wanted to cancel the booking for the outbound flight and wanted to retain my booking for the return journey. On Friday 12/10/07, I once again received three emails from them "notification of schedule change" which, interestingly, only had one link provided and that was to say you accepted the schedule change. I emailed the same information as before and request for action to itinerary@ryanair. Finally, on Friday afternoon I received the long awaited confirmation from them that they had refunded half the fare (i.e. for the cancelled flight) in full. Just to be cautious I thought I'd better check my booking again to make sure everything was in order only to find, yes you've guessed it, that they cancelled the return flight which I had repeatedly told them I wished to retain whilst the rescheduled flight remained as a confirmed booking. This means that I now have two flights booked to Italy on 14/11/07 and none back.

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Checking Back Details
Submitted 3 November 2007

This company has a reputation of being worse than Shylock in holding on to your money when they have got it, never admitting that they are wrong, always quoting their "non-refundable" policy and also heading any letters with, "Without Prejudice". Mine now always carry the heading, "Equally without prejudice".

One day their web-site was playing up - I know because it told me! Later that day I booked a flight for a different lead passenger but when the ticket printed up it had used my name instead. Trying to change it, despite the fact that it was their fault, is like getting blood from a stone. They wanted 100€ for a name change.

The site has a common failing - it does NOT allow you to check back that all information is correct. Once you progress to payment these details, other than flight times, disappear. It is only after all of this has gone through and the booking confirmed that one can discover any faults.

This same passenger on a different flight, having arrived at check-in well before time waited in a long queue only to be told, when it was her turn, that she had to go to another desk as that one was closing - despite the fact that therewas still some time to go. The other desk was also busy with the result that it closed before she could get there and she had to miss the flight.

If you take on this Company be prepared for a very long struggle. Sometimes, when it all works properly then it cannot be beaten but woe betide any-one if it doesn't!

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"Free" Flight Voucher
Submitted 2 November 2007

I recently travelled on Ryanair with my wife from Italy. On the journey it was announced that a draw would be held from tickets given out when in flight sales were purchased for a free Ryanair flight on any of its routes.

We turned out to be the not so lucky winners. We were presented with a voucher which was to be faxed in to Customer services on 353-1-6335709 giving details of the free flight requested and a debit card number to pay for the tax which was not included. This was done and an email was received back the same day stating that the voucher was invalid without giving any reason. I sent a further fax asking why, two days later I received the same email again stating that the voucher was invalid but still without any reason. I then gave up realising that this free flight was not going to happen and booked a flight for the same dates elsewhere.

Then two days later I receive an email from Ryanair with flight details that have been booked for me and a debit to my card for £61.26 for the free flight, apparently justified by additional services I had not requested and additional charges for OFF LINE booking. The inclusive cost of the flight on their website for a fare paying passenger on the day they processed the free booking was £35.40, some £25 less than they charged for my free flight voucher.

Further faxes requesting they refund this unauthorised debit have been ignored and I have taken the matter up with trading standards. The numbers I have phoned on your website have only redirected me to the premium rate booking lines. The email addresses seem to be current although non have raised a response.

If anyone out there gets a free Ryanair flight voucher I think the best thing to do is Bin it!

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No Priority Boarding
Submitted 2 November 2007

Until such time as Ryanair change their policy of not allocating seating, our friends and us will not be flying with them again. This policy, together with the useless "priority boarding" scheme causes chaos at the departure gate due to people starting to queue well before the appointed boarding time in an attempt to ensure they get the seats they want.

At Valencia airport last Wednesday, the 13:25 flight to East Midlands was scheduled to board at 12:45. By 12:15, a long queue had already started to form at the departure gate. This caused problems for the flight departing from the adjacent gate, as passengers for that flight mistakenly joined the queue for the Ryanair flight.

At 13:30, without any warning, the screen above the gate changed to a completely different flight. It was only when some passengers checked a nearby departures screen that it became clear that the flight had been delayed to 14:55, and would be boarding at a completely different gate.

By 14:30, another queue had formed at the new departure gate. There was no sign showing where priority boarders should wait, and no staff to ask, so people with priority boarding were asking at passport control where they should stand. Boarding time came and went - twice - until finally we were summoned to go through passport control. This became like a crush at a football ground as people pushed and shoved to try and get through first.

The delay to the flight (by now 2 1/2 hours) was down to "problems that morning in Belfast", but if this was the case why were we told that boarding would be at 12:45 when in fact it was 2 1/2 after that? The plane we were due to board was nowhere near any of the normal stands, so passengers had to be escorted around the perimeter of the apron to where the plane was waiting. This was a walk of about 400 yards, during which many passengers with priority boarding cards were simply overtaken by others walking quicker who were then able to board first.

Talking to other passengers, including those who had paid for priority boarding, it was clear that there was complete opposition to this method. In future, I will only travel with airlines that can offer a pre-bookable seat. Having queued at check-in, queued at security, the last thing I want to do is spend ages queuing again just to try and get 4 seats together on a Ryanair flight.

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Denied Boarding at Closed Checkin
Submitted 2 November 2007

Thank you for your website, I was at a total loss on how to complain, I expected I could have just emailed or called to get this resolved quickly, man was I wrong.

Draft of complaint letter:

This morning I was denied boarding the 07:50 FR173 from Newcastle to Dublin.

I arrived at the Airport with an hour to the flight, I the check in desk was not open. I visited the airport information desk who looked confused & after calling referred my to the RyanAir information desk (it was 07:00 at this point), where I was told I (along with another family) was told I had missed the checking, he final count had been made and it was not possible for me to get onboard.

I was told I could be another ticket for the flight tonight or try another airport (Middlesbrough specifically).

No further help, advice, details of where to complain or refund was offered.

According to my booking confirmation I had till 40 minutes till the flight to check in (45 in EU regulations also) which I was above.

Now I have had my weekend ruined and would like to log this as a formal complaint and request a full refund of £76.73 GBP for my return ticket.

I have searched the internet, my email confirmation and RyanAir's website to find complain contact information which is practically impossible however one site pointed me to this head office address.

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Letter to Ryanair About Luggage
Submitted 28 October 2007

Dear Sirs/Madame

I am sorry to be writing to you reference our last flight with you to Majorca, we have travelled with Ryan Air before and never had an issue but this time was different. We were travelling as a family of four including our five and three year old children.

We arrived at stansted Airport with two hours to spare and arrived at our check in desk with two suitcases and one small piece of hand luggage. As we checked in the girl at the desk told us or baggage was overweight and we were to pay £85 each way therefore £170 roundtrip we said we paid for four full paying seats and had a total allowance of 60kg one of our bags was 25kg and the other was 21kg therefore we were 14kg under weight and also about 30kg under our hand luggage allowance.

We were then explained about not pooling luggage and also a max of 15kg per person, I said I understood this if you were an able bodied group travelling together but there needs to be exceptions, how can a three and five year old be expected to carry their own bags of 15kg.

The girl then told us there are luggage trolleys at which time I said we came on the train and hiring a car the other end there are not trolleys for all of this journey thanks. We were then advised to buy a bag from a shop around the corner so we had no choice. We paid £20 for a samsonite roll bag and then a further £40 for an additional two bags .

At this stage my wife was in tears and the children going mad she thought the holiday was ruined at this stage. As a company you should be realistic about what you can expect of your customers and have exceptions to the rule. Our plastic carlton suitcase weighs 8kg on its own and by the time I had swopped wash bags and clothes over to this soft roll bag to get the weight down there was basically nothing left in our carlton case so needless to say when we got to the apartment my philshave razor was broken in the soft roll bag also a bottle of my wifes perfume. My first purchase upon arrival at the resort was a new 99euro philshave razor.

While we were in the queue to board the plane I had time to take a few photos of some of your passengers boarding the plane with massive roll bags which according to your rules are acceptable to take on board and I also if I did not have two children to carry around and also feel it was dangerous I could have taken my new roll bag on as hand luggage and not paid the extra £20 for this bag.

I was talking to one of your understanding crew members about our plight he was amazed that we were charged extra and asked to buy another bag, I also asked him whether he felt it more dangerous in case of an emergency to have overhead stowage compartments filled with large cases and bags or to have them in the hold he said he could not pass comment on this but I felt this was enough said to make agreement with me.

He also gave me the address to you head office for complaints because he felt they should know about it. Finally to finish this off on our return journey half an hour before landing your staff came along with a second sweep of drinks being offered, my wife and I were sitting at the back of the plane and had a coffee each my wife had the last of the hot water in the flask on the trolley mine was made with new boiling water. 5-10 minutes later the next trolley came past to collect waste my wifes cooler coffee was finished mine was still too hot to sip and the lady flight attendant said she had to take the coffee as I am not allowed to land with it. I should never have been offered a hot drink if I could not land with it another £2 wasted. My feeling are you maybe a low fare airline and advertise this but you don't mention your high costs.

I have copies of my receipts for the extra bag, extra baggage fee also for the razor i purchased in Majorca also copies of the photos I took of the size of bags being carried on board but feel at this stage I do not need to send these on to you but are available on request.

I am wanting a refund for my expenses for the bag and the extra bag fee and as a good will gesture feel you should reimburse me for the razor as it has travelled with me in my suitcase at least six times without problem but this time due to the soft bag it smashed.

If this letter is replied to with my satisfaction it will not go any further but should it not be taken seriously it will be forwarded to your industry's watchdog.

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Buy as You Fly
Submitted 25 October 2007

In the in-flight Ryanair magazine, there is a 'Buy as you Fly' section, where you can purchase a number of things. (air-freshners, watches, cupboards, lamps. . . .and more.

I was travelling with my 83 year old aunt, who has started to lose her hearing a little. We decided she should try a hearing aid as advertised in the 'Buy as you Fly' section of the Ryaniar in-flight magazine. You order the goods via the flight attendants, and can pay by Credit Card or cash. I chose to pay by cash.

As they didn't keep these items in stock, I was told by the flight attendants that it would be sent to the address I provided, in 10-14 days. I paid €26.63 in cash and was given a receipt.

The item never arrived. . . .she left to go back to Palermo, without the hearing aid. I have been trying to contact someone at Ryanair to either get the item, or get a refund for the money paid, all to no avail. I've emailed a number of addresses that I thought might perhaps get through, but no replies. I phoned the 'buyasyoufly' telephone number, which is in all the Ryanair mags, firstly I was told that they had no record of the purchase, however, a manager would contact me within 72 hours, to discuss how the matter.

Having received no call after 2 weeks, I phoned the number again, only to be told that purchases were nothing to do with them, and as I'd paid the flight attendant in cash, I would have to bring it up with Ryanair!! Once the steam stopped coming out of my ears, I managed to get a fax number (0035318121213) and was advised to send a fax addressed to the 'In flight Department'.

I prepared and faxed the letter, along with a copy of my receipt, and have I had a reply? No, not yet. Do you think I ever will? How can I get through to someone who might take my (what was a query) complaint seriously? Any ideas??

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Unable to Cancel Flight
Submitted 22 October 2007

On the 13th September we booked 40 seats on flight FR856 from Dublin to Torp Oslo (nearly get you there) on the 4th November. at 16:50 and arrive at Tope at 20:00.we received confirmation on the said the same day via email.

On the 17th October while we were in the process of printing out the tickets we noticed that the flight time had changed to 08:15 from Dublin. We made many attempts to contact Ryanair in order to get some clarification but to no avail.

We are located in Norway. The following day someone answered the number listed as their office in Norway and I spoken with a representative who struggled with English and whom had no Norwegian. She was located in Milan, Italy. The call cost Knr45 per minute. She told me that in order to cancel my flights I had to ring another Norwegian number. When I called it I was advised that calls cost over Knr50 per minute.

After numerous attempts to ring whereby nobody answered I called back the original number as listed on their website as their Norwegian office. When eventually someone answered I demanded from them to speak to an advisor, after a substantial wait, I asked the Lady who came on if she could confirm if the flight had been cancelled, in which she did and she stated that it changes on October 7th and that we were on an E-mail cue list to be contacted of the change.

We had or have not to this date received any such e-mail. She said that they were in their right to change the flight and that we could either take the flight or take a different one, I advised her that I needed to seek further input on the matter.

I began the process of trying to contact the same office again this morning armed with the knowledge from your web page, After many attempts the phone was answered and after I stated my business was to cancel flights the representative told me that she could not do that and that I had to ring another number, I told her I would not and stated that I wanted to talk to a supervisor she then asked me the nature of my enquiry and went about cancelling the flights. It took 16 minutes at the high rate of Knr45 per minute, Eventually she began to read back the flights she cancelled whereby she quoted a flight for 8 people to somewhere in Spain.

I asked to speak to her supervisor. Whom I asked for a confirmation the flights had been cancelled and that we would be reimbursed within 14 days from today. She told that the system would not allow her to send a confirmation. After another 10 minute discussion on the matter I conceded that my request for confirmation was futile.

I faxed a letter of cancellation to the numbers listed on your page and requested a confirmation, I also emailed to the numbers listed. We began the process of rebooking 40 people on different airlines too late to avail of better prices. Also the flights we were able to get Sunday evening involve stopovers.

I am still none the wiser if Ryanair have cancelled our seats and if they will refund us the amount paid as the time change exceeded the 5 hour period as stated which is required on their web page for monetary refund. I was unable to cancel the flights on line the only option their site gave me was to change flight for a fee.

The total cost of the flights we are trying to cancel is 7,559.20 Euros.

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Warnings About Lost Luggage
Submitted 15 October 2007

We flew from Stansted to Murcia in Spain 31st July, 2007 in party of six (four adults and two children). My complaint is based on the fact that they lost our luggage, it was a royal pain to locate it and when we did they had battered my golf travel bag to death!

Everyone makes mistakes that's what makes you human, just don't do it again- that's what makes you stupid! I flew with Ryanair when I did not have to. I will not do so again and I will share my experience in the hope that you can avoid some of my 'mistakes' or better still just fly with someone else!

Mistake 1: Read the luggage small print. Avoid any attempt to be logical or sane or reasonable when planning what you will take and how. The fact is you are heavily restricted and you will pay a huge cost if you transgress their policy. It cost me £110 before I even set foot on the plane! Low cost airline my proverbial but I guess it's more catchy than sneaky, disingenuous, indifferent, profiteering, incompetent airline..

You should remember they have sat in meeting rooms discussing the most cunning ways to get more money out of you. We had 2 adults and 2 kids. That is 4 pieces of luggage on the plane and 4 in the hold. You need to spend some serious time with luggage and weighing scales. You should forget that your child is 6..they need as much stuff as you..how you carry it all is simply another problem you will have to overcome. Two week holiday, 6 and 9 year old girls, small wife and 8 pieces of luggage...how do you carry that lot? Your problem..Ryanair has killed the invention of large luggage! Strangely you can take almost as much on the plane as in the hold?? Weird but true...

Finally, if you don't weigh everything in advance when it comes to spreading the weight at the airport you get to parade the entire contents of your bags to staff and fellow travellers alike. How embarrassing? Only a lot!

Mistake 2: Don't assume your luggage is going where you're going! Pack the most essential items on the plane with you! Only put into the hold items which you can do without! If they lose your luggage, it becomes real fun.

Mistake 3: Don't assume anyone cares about finding your luggage! Ryanair seems to barely care that you get there so you think they'll stir from under the duvet to retrieve your baggage? No chance. We reported my golf bag missing and here's what happens:

  1. You report it missing at the airport. You can't miss where...there will be a long queue of people just like you doing the same thing! They will take your details and fill in a Property Irregularity Report (ironic as given the queue I saw it looks a pretty regular occurrence to me!)
  2. Do not think this is the first step to getting your luggage back! It is the first step to finding out how lost it really is!! They gave me a tracking number for a site online. Just head to the nearest internet café and type away. Keep visiting every now and again to see if there is any trace. Ignore the inconvenience and expense. You're on holiday so you've got loads of spare time to waste. If it's any consolation my golf clubs never appeared as found on this site...but it keeps us dumb ones believing that someone is looking!
  3. Do not think you can mail or speak to Ryanair. I tried ringing someone in Spain or Ireland...no chance....You cannot find an email address for love or money. It's like air travel hide and seek. They take your money, you count to 100 and then try and find them! They are world champion hide and seekers so be patient there is a way they want to talk to you...by fax!! How 80's is that?? You get a form and a reference number and then to add insult to injury YOU have to find a fax in the country you are in and make a claim by fax for god's sake. If you don't they threaten that your claim may become ineligible. It's like Challenge bloody Anieka!
  4. You have to chase them to get your luggage and if you ever want to see it again when they do find it I suggest you go back in person to get it
  5. Don't expect it to be in the same state as when you left it. My bag was battered and ripped and ruined. When you claim, even if your bag is less than a year old expect to lose 50% of the value of what you paid because of the well known calculations based on the Montreal Convention (have you ever heard of it? If yes, can I be in your pub quiz team) and Ryanair's Conditions of Carriage (yep they exist and a fine set of conditions for avoiding responsibility they are too! Well done legal johnies that will keep the unclean and unhappy masses away for a while)
  6. If you accept their offer don't expect any money for a while. Debacle started 13 August, it's now September 15th and I have not seen a penny, a euro or a punt!
So, lessons have been completed. What have we learned?

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No Solution Offered to Get to Funeral
Submitted 9 October 2007

I am writing to complain about the appalling customer services and company policy we experienced whilst trying to board the 19:25 flight from London Stansted to Brussels Charleroi on the 9th October 2007. Having registered using internet check-in we went to the departure gate 45 minutes before the scheduled departure. We were then informed the flight would be delayed. We approached the check-in 30 minutes later than the scheduled time of departure. We presented our internet boarding cards and passports. My wife had inadvertently swapped the passport numbers round on the boarding cards whilst completing the online form. So that my passport number was listed against her name, and her passport number was listed against my name. The female member of staff informed us that she would have to speak to a supervisor.

After a wait of approximately 10 minutes I spoke with the passenger services manager for SwissPort an agent for Ryanair. He was without doubt the most unhelpful company representative I have ever dealt with. He informed me that we would not be able to fly that evening as the details on the boarding cards were incorrect. I explained that both numbers were correct and that we had the corresponding passports, but a simple mistake had been made when completing the online check-in form. I asked him what the reason for refusing travel was. He could not offer any explanation whatsoever, other than Ryanair requires the correct details on the boarding card because of the IT system. I explained that we were traveling to a family funeral the next morning and that if he refused travel in this instance there was no way we could get there in time. I asked if it was possible to change the details on the IT system before boarding, which he refused. He also informed me there was no way we would be offered a refund for the cost of the flight. He offered no apology or solution at any stage.

I cannot understand how a company can fail to offer any solution to the problem when an honest mistake was made in such difficult circumstances. It is even more distressing that no apology was offered by any member of Ryanair or its agents for the distress they caused. I hope Ryanair recognise the long term damage to customer relations and negative publicity this incident could generate.

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Travelling With Small Children and Bags
Submitted 7 October 2007

I recently flew with ryanair to Tenerife on the 27th August 2007 from Dublin Airport. When booking to go it was clearly stated that I was a single parent flying with my 3yr old daughter, as was my friend with her 4yr old son.

On arrival @ the airport we went to check in, along with bag, pram and a 3yr old. It clearly states that each bag has an allowance off 15kg, surely when travelling with a young child and a pram that I should have been allowed an extra weight allowance for my daughters clothes being in my bag? I was charged 50euro for being overweight, which I was not at all happy about, I would be impossible for me travelling as a single parent to haul 2 suitcases, a pram and a 3yr old around the airport. After reluctantly paying the bill I asked the man at check in would I have to pay for being overweight coming home again, he told me no, I wouldn't be charged coming home.

However this was not the case as I was charged a further 60euro coming home again! To top it all off I couldn't get a seat beside my 3yr old daughter on the plane, going or coming home because seat numbers do not be allocated when checking in. My friend had the same problem with her 4yr old son as did other families! Going and coming home my friend and I shared 3 seats with our 2 children, 4 people to 3 seats! it was due to the manners of a gentleman to give us his seat in order for us to be seated with our children!

I am totally disgusted that a single mother travelling with a young child is expected to haul 2 suitcases & a pram around an airport instead of travelling with 1 bag and been allowed an extra weight allowance, its a disgrace. Two separate bags would give a weight allowance of 30 kg, My bag weighed 20kg! Including my daughters belongings and my own!

To other people 110euros might not be a lot of money, but to me it is, and I am totally disgusted at the service provided! It was by pure chance that between my friend and I that we had a further 60euro to pay the charges coming home, which I then had to pay her back when we got home!

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Letter to European Parliament about Electronic Commerce
Submitted 25 September 2007

I would like to inform and hopefully take rightful action against Ryanair Dublin.

First of all I would like to inform you that Ryanair does not provide its Customers with an Email address for Customer relations Refunds etc instead they have to use very high telephone rates to get in contact with.

They obviously take this into consideration to frighten off People and to make more Profit which I`m sure is illegal!

Just take into account that all complaints and Refund applications have to be done in writing and in English in order to have anything done which is very unlikely as myself have made several application which no action has taken place, and I`m almost positive that me not being the only one concerned in Europe and does not abide to Electronic Commerce regulations.

Just consider the amount they make for Customer from different Countries who are not able to apply in English Language! Is there a Regulation if a Company with European income have to give Customers the opportunity to converse in the Language of residence?

Hope other People have the courage too complain and maybe stop this in near future?

Hoping to hear from you on this matter and with some sort of success against this Practice of cheap Airlines! ps whem making Refund application they also will take administration fee again although they already had a booking fee in the first place which simply is out of order

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Costly Non-Flight
Submitted 21 September 2007

A friend and myself had been invited to a wedding in Pitlochry on September 21, 2007. As we had never visited Scotland we decided to spend a week travelling around the country and accordingly booked a flight with Ryanair to Prestwick on Sept 18 - we also booked a hire car and accommodation in various top hotels where we had paid a 10% deposit for five nights plus the full amount for our first night's stay in Portsonachan.

We checked in our baggage 1 hour 5 minutes before departure (stated minimum is 40 mins) and were issued with a Boarding Pass telling us to clear security and go to Gate 86. We duly arrived at Gate 86 to find a flight to Newcastle boarding. Despite the fact that our Boarding Pass issued one hour earlier stated that our departure Gate was 86 we were told that the Prestwick flight was at Gate 81. We hurried to Gate 81, 15 minutes prior to the scheduled departure time, only to find that the flight had closed. We were told to go to the Ryanair desk in the main concourse of the airport.

I explained what had happened and produced our Boarding Passes to "Customer Relations" - their first action was to tear off and retain the section with the erroneous Gate Number before telling me that it was my fault for not checking the flight on the tv monitor. He told me with a smile that they could put us on a later flight at 4p.m. but that we would have to pay £182 each for two one-way tickets. I told him in no uncertain terms that I would not be paying for any more Ryanair tickets for the rest of my life. He then directed us to the baggage section to "collect our bags". We were told that the baggage would be delivered to Carousel 4 in 20 minutes. We waited. No baggage. After 30 mins I went back to the lost luggage desk and was told "It will be here in 10 mins". After a further 60 mins wait I concluded that the luggage was by now in Scotland.

Ryanair still insisted that the luggage had been offloaded and was in Stansted. Eventually after 90 mins they asked me to complete a "Property Irregularity Report" and issued me with a Lost luggage Reference No. and a telephone number for me to call if I had not received any notification from them in 24 hours. I was told I should receive the luggage within 2 or 3 days. And I was told that they would telephone me later that day with any news (we had given them both our mobile and landline numbers)

At this point we decided to abort the entire trip to Scotland as it was questionable when the luggage containing our suits etc for the wedding would materialise plus unless cancelled within 48 hours we would also be liable for full payment at the various hotels.

In any event the non-trip had now cost £550 in fares and hotels plus another £500 if I include the suit I had bought specifically for the wedding.

We returned home and waited. 24 hours passed and no phone call was received. When I telephoned the number given by Ryanair - the message said "Your call is held in a queue, your call is important to us and please continue to hold" -then, after 10 minutes the call was disconnected. This happened six times - the call being cut off after 10 mins with military precision.

At 12 noon I received a text message asking me to call a number to confirm my address and details. I called and it was an automated service.

When asked to confirm my address I discovered it was incorrect - Kingston instead of Kensington. I followed the instructions to e-mail and text any corrections to the address but no acknowledgment of receipt was forthcoming. At 4.45 p.m. a new text message appeared to say the luggage would be delivered within the hour. And fortunately it was.

However, the paperwork attached to the bags made it clear that the luggage had been returned from Prestwick Airport - it had never been off-loaded as Ryanair had told us many times and to add insult to injury a note on the baggage stated that the passengers had been offloaded from the flight and that the bags had travelled.

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Response to Costly non-Flight Story
Submitted 6 January 2008

I have read with interest your letter from the Ryanair passenger who wrote of his experience under the above heading.

If I may, I would suggest that either yourself or the passenger make a formal complaint to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and the Irish regulatory authority regarding the carriage of un-accompanied baggage.

It has long been, and still remains, one of the basic tenets of airline security that no baggage travels on a flight if its owning passenger does not board that flight. There are of course exceptions (lost baggage etc.), but it is obvious that this was not the case in this instance.

It seems to me that the passengers baggage was not offloaded because no one could be bothered, or didn't even know it was on -board.

This is not only sloppy customer relations BUT against CAA regulations and in direct contravention of Ryanair's operating licence.

I would therefore suggest that this matter is so serious that a formal complaint must be made against the company, purely on security and safety grounds.

I hope that this information is useful.

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Advice About Cancellations
Submitted 20 September 2007

Travelled many, many times with Ryanair over last 5 years. Always supplied what they said they would. SEAT, FLIGHT ON TIME.

However in May 2007 got dumped in Spain, saw plane land and empty, queued as you do with 90+ others, young, old, infirm etc.

After 50 mins told flight cancelled due to technical issue, mmmmmmmmmmmm

My tips now are "Get to the front of the rebooking queue soonest and get rebooked". There were only a few seats available on the next flight and we got them early.

Do not panic collect luggage and make your own arrangements, a pain I know and VERY inconvenient but "What can you do?" No point in arguing RYANAIR will not and do not have to help.

We arrived early next day collecting all our receipts for, hotel, taxis, food, internet, phone calls, visit to supermarket for toothpaste, razors etc and priority boarding.

Came back next day what a relief, boss very forgiving and no wages lost partner self employed.

Report event to Ryanair as an official complaint at point of cancellation, report event to airport authorities and on return home make the official complaint to Ryanair in exactly the manner they state. e.g. one fax to Dublin with copies of receipts.

You will get a negative response to your claim for "Out of Pocket" and compensation. Do not worry make the 2nd request giving a time limit say one month or you WILL take legal action. You will still get the big NO on the last day, they are very good at making you wait.

Then as reported before complete the on-line small claim with Swords Court in Dublin it costs 9 Euro and takes about 5 minutes.

Within 2 weeks you will get a response stating they will pay out of pocket. Submit your receipts again via the Court officer and my cheque arrived within 4 weeks.

Many thanks to this site and the Small Claims staff in Dublin.

Regards the EU Compensation Scheme ask yourself is it worth your time etc. I know everyone is different but!!!!!!!!!!

They paid every single penny of my receipted claims. Certainly restored my faith.

Biggest problem "If you do not have access to a computer" Perhaps an opening for someone to assist others.

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Letter to Ryanair About Scales
Submitted 19 September 2007

I am writing regard the above flight. Firstly I would like to compliment 'Ryanair', on the standard of service provided by the staff at the Airport and on the flights. Also there appeared to be more 'leg' room then we have experience with other Airlines. It was great to travel with a 'Budget' Airline and for the flight to arrive on time ensuring a stress free trip.

When my partner and I checked in unfortunately we had excess baggage which was five kilograms which we were charged for. On the returning I was unable to weigh the case, I thought the case would be lighter as items we had taken with us we were not retuning with, i.e. food that had taken as we were self catering.

Therefore I was shocked when I checked our luggage in and was informed that we had twelve kilograms of excess baggage. I thought that there was a mistake and that the scales were incorrect but as I don't speak Spanish it I had difficultly explaining this to the member of check in staff especially with other queuing passengers behind.

Whilst queuing for boarding another passenger stated she also was charged for excess luggage and like me believed he the scales were incorrect as she was also returning with less luggage. She stated she would also be writing a letter.

Another passenger who was travelling with three other persons in her group also had the same problem some of them had excess luggage, so they moved the items around and like us believed the scales were incorrect. She stated she would also be writing a letter. I did quickly try to speak to other passengers and some did say that they also believed there was a problem with the scales as they were surprised they had also been charged for excess luggage.

I know sometimes equipment does fail and believe that the scales were incorrect especially as other passengers also had the same experience. Therefore I request that I am refunded or compensated for the additional excess baggage charge. I have enclosed copies of both Receipts.

I look forward to hearing from you.

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Another Letter to Ryanair
Submitted 17 September 2007

Dear Sir/Madam,

I would like to complain about your airline, its insulting service, and its disgraceful ethics.

My reasons are:

  1. You are not a low-cost airline, and your advertisements falsely give that impression. Also, you do not give child discounts, meaning that my family's return flight to Gerona (NOT Barcelona - another lie) cost £230 per head. How is that a bargain?
  2. You do not give any contact details on your website. Presumably because most of your customers want to complain.
  3. Your baggage policy is unfair, illogical and penal. Why not allow weight sharing within a family? This has nothing to do with turnaround - it is another way of swindling more surcharges out of your passengers. Why should I drag my family's three suitcases into the aircraft cabin to suit your perverted corporate strategy?
  4. Your planes are uncomfortable, smelly and filthy.
  5. Your ticketing procedure is an insult. Now it's £2 to have a proper boarding procedure, even with children.
  6. Your check-in staff are rude and unhelpful.
  7. You are prepared to stoop to any deceit or subterfuge to squeeze more profit from your long-suffering customers.
  8. Your CEO is a foul-mouthed cretin.
  9. You make me ashamed to have an Irish name.

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Simple and easy way to get your refund
Submitted 13 September 2007

I flew from Germany back to the UK earlier this year with Ryanair. Just after everyone had finished boarding we were informed the flight was cancelled due to "a technical fault". As a result we all had to stay overnight awaiting a morning flight.

I won't dwell on the details, suffice to say I incurred hotel costs overnight and taxis to and from the airport. I was told by the Ryanair staff to keep my receipts and then contact the customer services department by post upon arrival home and they would send me a cheque. I did exactly this and received an email in reply refusing to pay stating the cancellation was for reasons outside of their control.

I was annoyed so went online and found this site. After looking at the links page I found the link to the Irish courts system. It is easy to log a claim online at a cost of around £5 I think. This took me around 1 hour. Within a week I received a letter from Ryanair offering to pay up. I billed them the £5 for logging my claim and they paid that too. Problem solved. Ryanair obviously don't want to go to court and rightly so as it costs them loads of money in legal fees. Most of the people here seem to have valid claims for compensation, but are frustrated by inability to contact Ryanair and their stubbornness to pay out, hence my tips to get your problem sorted quickly.

  1. Don't do it on the phone - it'll cost you loads of money in 0870 numbers, besides, none of the numbers seem to work anyway.
  2. Do do it via a letter - they always seem to get the job done.
  3. Keep records of your correspondence - the Irish small claims court system demands resolutions are sought prior to invoking legal intervention
  4. Do be tempted to use the Irish online claims system - you don't need to be a resident of Ireland to be eligible; particularly useful for all those from around the world done over.
  5. Post your experiences on this site so that others can reap the benefit of them.

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Excess Baggage
Submitted 12 September 2007

My wife and I along with our two small children recently flew to Girona on a package holiday. The holiday rep told us that we had to pay for our suitcases and that we could have 20kg per person. We paid for two cases between the four of us as we felt that would be sufficient. On checking in the cases at Stansted the girl informed us that the allowance was being cut and that next time we flew we could only have 15kg per case, we said fine. On our return journey from Girona we were charged 80 euros for the 10kg extra baggage ! I think this is well over the top considering we had paid for four full fares and two suitcases both ways and the two children are only 10 st between them !

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Double Charging
Submitted 11 September 2007

In June of this year I booked a flight from my wife and myself to Salzburg, paying by Visa direct, on my bank account it is apparent that they have debited my account twice for the same flight.

On two occasions I have written to Ryanair with photocopies of my bank statement, however they have totally ignored this matter in their usual arrogance. I will if necessary take them to the County Court to resolve this issue.

I also have observed when they have a "special offer" often payment is declined, because they state the card is not in order. I know this is not correct and unsurprisingly the following day the prices have increased substantially. Yet another Ryanair ploy.

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Ryanair Refund Policy
Submitted 10 September 2007

We had a similar experience to that described in the 17th April 2007 message. Cancelled flight requiring overnight accommodation in Beauvais prior to getting the next flight, as stand by passengers. Applied for refund of accommodation and costs plus compensation as per EU regulations, including photocopies of our receipts. Received a dismissive email 3 weeks later, stating that we were entitled to no money. Followed up with 3 letters each stating the facts, clearly repeating the EU regulation as it applied to us and indicating we would be seeking legal redress. Next email claimed to have 'lost' our receipts so we sent more photocopies - be warned. Received a cheque today for accommodation and costs but no compensation which we will pursue.

The lesson is, do not be deflected by mass email saying 'no refund' - this is a disgraceful piece of bullying. Ensure you send photocopies of all receipts and keep nagging away using the text of EU regulation 261/2004 which can be found online. Stay polite and to the point if you can - I know it is hard! The Air Transport Users Council were helpful up to a point - they reassured me that our claim was fully valid and suggested what to quote in correspondence.

The most recent email was signed by Dario Coelho and we directed our subsequent letters to him in Customer Services.

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Comment on Previous Complaints
Submitted 9 September 2007

i really must write regarding some of the complaint letters

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Change of Schedule
Submitted 8 September 2007

We have just received an email from Ryanair saying they have changed our schedule. We booked dates to travel to Fez in Morocco some weeks ago and, on the basis of confirmation of flights, booked accommodation in Fez.

Ryanair have done two things which will be both costly and badly effect our holiday. They have changed the return flight to the day before and changed the departure airport to Marrakesh - an 8 hour journey from Fez!! This means a loss of two days on our holiday plus cancellation of accommodation for two nights in Fez and the need to find accommodation in Marrakesh - a place we had no intention of visiting!

OK, so we can claim a refund on the flight - that is of little help since the rest of the holiday plans would also have to be cancelled. Can they do this and is there anything we can do? We have tried phoning but no response (as reported by many of your readers). This leaves us feeling very angry but also helpless and frustrated.

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Another Letter of Complaint Addressed to Ryanair
Submitted 7 September 2007

I am writing as per the instructions recieved from the groud staff at Stansted Airport to request a full refund of the cost of a flight booked with your airline which was subsequently cancelled.

Flight Details - From London Stansted to Carcassonne, Thursday 6th Sept 07 Flight 72 departing Stansted at 9.50am arriving at Carcassonne at 12.45pm Return Flight Tuesday 11th Sept 07 Flight 73

As a result of the cancellation of the flight I also require your company to refund the other costs incurred. These are costs have been charged as it was too late to cancel given the circumstances and have been incurred as a direct result of your company's failure to provide the flight or indeed an alternative. These costs are as follows.

Finally, I would make the following observations in respect of the way this situation was handled on the day.

We were informed by the flight crew once we were on the aircraft that there would be a delay in take off due to a technical problem. We sat there for an hour awaiting an update at which time we were taken off the aircraft and told there would be an update at 1.30pm. At 1.30pm we were then told that the flight would be delayed until 9.40pm but then within half an hour of that announcement the flight was cancelled. Your ground crew staff were totally unsupported by any management, totally under resourced for the situation that then arose in respect of trying to re-schedule flights and quite frankly it was clear that they are not of a suitable calibre to be dealing with the type of customer service that is required within the Aviation business. What is also clear is that your company have no proper contingency for customers to make representation in relation to complaints. We were passed a photocopied scrap of paper detailing a Fax number that does not exist and the above address. Whilst I appreciate you are running a 'no frills' airline, surely you do still need to put resources into the standard of training for your staff, meeting flight timetables and providing customer with proper lines of communication!

In conclusion the failures of your airline yesterday have resulted in my wife and I having to cancel our wedding anniversary trip and in fact the only opportunity we have had to take time out of our gruelling work schedules. On reflection we would rather have booked with another airline, paid more in fares and been guaranteed a flight! We have had a similar experiences in the past with Easyjet where a flight was delayed due to technical problems but they handled the situation quickly and efficiently, sourcing another aircraft, resulting in our journey only being delayed for 2 hours. Passengers were kept fully informed by ground crew and once the flight was in the air passengers were then offered complimentary drinks. The incident yesterday has seriously tarnished our view of your company and furthermore if we do not receive a full refund as detailed above we will not be using your airline in future and indeed will be recommending that our respective companies, who regularly require air travel for business trips, do not use your services either. I look forward to receiving a full refund,

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Letter of Complaint Addressed to Ryanair
Submitted 7 September 2007

I write with reference to the flight which left from Dublin Airport on Sunday 8th July 2007 and on the whole a hugely disappointing experience traveling with Ryanair.

We left for Dublin from Gatwick Airport on Friday 6th July for a short weekend break with two friends. On checking in at Gatwick my partner was told that his baggage allowance for our bag was too much. On being told this he said to the person on check in that this bag was in fact for both him and myself to which the gentleman on check in replied 'oh yes that's fine then' at no point did he say to us that this was not allowed.

We spent a lovely weekend in Dublin and arrived back at Dublin airport around 13.45 on Sunday the 8th July, leaving us plenty of time to catch our flight home. When we found the check in desk for Ryanair it was in chaos, flights for many different destinations lining up together and a massively long queue. Luckily for us a couple in front of us got fed up of waiting and went and found there was another queue for check in for our flight on the opposite desk which was half empty. It is just a thought but would it not be a good idea for you as a company to perhaps inform your customers of other check in desks open when we are faced with such long queues???!!!

On moving to the alternative check in my partner once again went to check in the same bag we checked in on the way out to Dublin. Once again the check in agent told him the bag was over the limit, to which my partner informed him that we had been allowed this on the way out. The check in agent said to my partner that this was in no way possible and could not have happened!! We were then informed that we would have to pay over 100 euros to check in the bag (Nothing budget about the journey so far!)

We were then told to queue at the Ryanair Customer Service desk to pay the 100 euros and the check in agent kept our boarding cards. At this point we started to become incredibly concerned that we would not make our flight, the queue for Customer Service was massive and incredibly chaotic. We were so concerned about this my friend went to the front and asked one of your advisors if we needed to jump ahead as we had a flight to catch within the next 45 mins. She was told that this would not be a problem and that they were aware that we were queuing. On getting to the front of the queue we paid our 100 euros, although we made it clear we were not happy about this and went back to the check in desk. At this point the lady who had our boarding cards had walked off and we waited 5 mins for her to come back!!

Having gone though all of the ridiculous rigmarole above we rushed though to departures, only to find another massive queue for security, we tried to get though this as quickly as possibly, even asking to cut in front, but to no avail.

At all times when we doing this our flight said "boarding" and although we rushed, because it said this we still believed we would make the flight. All the way through the airport it said boarding however we arrived at the gate to find it closed!!! We quickly went to find someone to help and found an information desk. We told them that the gate was closed but the flight still said boarding, to which the lady behind the desk said it could not possibly still say that!!! On seeing that it in fact did she said 'on well that's down to the airport, nothing we can do about that'.

We were then told that we had missed our flight, we would not be allowed on and that our bags had been taken off (not sure how they had time to do this!??) and to go back to the Ryanair desk we had been at earlier.

Once arriving back at the desk, obviously very upset, we were treated to what I can only describe as well below average customer service. We were made to feel at all times we were to blame for missing our flight and your Customer Service Manager even said 'well how come others who checked in after you made it on there'. My partner who was speaking on our behalf, stayed calm and polite at all times. We explained that our friends we were with had a baby to get back to, this was met with no interest whatsoever. We were then told we would have to book onto another flight on stand by and there was no guarantee we would get on this flight, but it would cost us 210 euros!! We really did try to implore regarding the fact we had children but this did not seem to bother any of your staff. My partner then said we would have to try and get a flight with another airline and because of this could he please have his 100 euros back, to this he was told he could not as there would be a security issues with this (I wonder how many of your customers then forget to claim back the money at a later stage)!!! Your service manager then said there was no point in talking to us anymore and we should write to customer services when we got home. That was it - that was the level your customer service went up to!!

Because of the fact that my friends had a child to get back to and the fact we all had to get back for work the following day we made the decision to fly with another airline and flew home with BMI who were fantastic.

I cannot tell you how disgusted I am with your processes, your bureaucracy, your disorganization and the overall level of customer service we received from you. At all times we were treated with disinterested and as if the whole thing was out fault.

My partner and I both work in the customer service industry and would not dream for one second of treating any customers in such a way. I can assure you that we would not fly with your airline ever again and would advise others against doing so to.

We do not intend to let this matter rest and I would like to know how you plan to compensate us for the above incidents. I also need to know how my partner goes about claiming back his 100 euros.

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Queuing
Submitted 4 September 2007

Why don't Ryanair use a simple booking system that allocates seats when a booking is taken.

Yet again we were subjected to total chaos due in the main to uncertainty over whether or not they would get on in time to sit with their families. People were queuing up 4 hours before their flight at the check in desk and behaving like animals. Each time a change was made by the airport official or on the airport monitor everyone reacted in panic. All these problems would be overcome if people knew where they would be sitting in advance. The airport chaos ruined our holiday. We also find that in general the airport staff are unsympathetic, unfriendly and uninformative. Holidays in the UK aren't so bad after all!!

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Dumped in Lille
Submitted 3 September 2007

I travelled with Ryanair to Beauvais with my grand-daughter on Sunday 26th August. Our plane could not land because of weather conditions. After three attempts to land we were told that we would be landing in Lille.

When we landed we were told we could not disembark for 45 mins. This was actually more like an hour. I asked one of the cabin staff for a drink of water and was told they were not giving out water. I then stated that I had a medical condition and had to take tablets and the guy phoned to ask if he could give me a drink. I was given a drink but everyone on that plane should have been offered a drink - water is a basic requirement when sitting on a crowded stifling hot plane through no fault of your own.

An announcement was made on a couple of occasions that Ryanair was trying to provide us with coaches to take us to Beauvais However just before we left the plane we were informed that one coach would be available and if we did not get on this coach we had to find our own way. One coach for approx 100 weary travellers!

There were no Ryanair personnel on the ground to give us any more information about this 'mythical' coach. My grand-daughter and I organised our own way into Paris at the cost of 200 euro for taxis and train. I have checked Ryanair's conditions of carriage and 9.3 Diversions states that alternative transportation will be organised at no additional cost.

There is no such thing as customer service. There is no such thing as cheap flights. Our flights cost 227 euros plus 200 extra euro to get to where Ryanair contracted to get us to and didn't. Ryanair had posted a message on the internet to say that our flight had been diverted to Lille and that passengers had been coached to Beauvais. They omitted to state that only SOME passengers would be coached. Incidentally I recorded the message about the coach on my mobile phone. Why do we continue to use this cheap, in every way, airline? It should be boycotted until such times as they learn to treat paying customers with respect.

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Damaged Suitcase and Insurance Claim
Submitted 3 September 2007

I took out an insurance policy with Ryanair when I bought flights from the RyanAir website. I was flying from Cork-Stansted and Stansted - Zadar on August 22nd and then Zadar-Stansted etc on 29th & 30th of August. On my flight back from Zadar-Stansted on Wednesday 29th, I received my suitcase in the baggage claim area in London Stansted and noticed that the combination lock I had put on my suitcase was gone, it had been broken off completely, the zips were pulled apart on the suitcase and everything had been rummaged through, all of my stuff had been neatly folded originally and when I got my suitcase back , my stuff was all over the place. Also, my suitcase was actually broken, the bars going through it had been bent and damaged and the suitcase cannot stand on its own anymore, it's actually in bits after the flight. This was a new suitcase that I had recently bought for my trip. The employees obviously think that they can go through people's luggage whenever it suits them and also chuck them around the place.

I wanted to notify someone in Stansted about my luggage but it was midnight and there was no staff around. I decided to use the internet there and log onto the RyanAir website to see how I can claim and I noticed that they actually ask people to write to an address and have them then post out claim forms, this is obviously their way to put people off of claiming, in this day and age there should be a form you can fill out on the web and email back. This is only being awkward. I went to the bother of taking out the insurance and paying for it so I intend on using it now as my luggage was completely destroyed, I'm not going to be put off as I know they obviously hope all of their customers are.

I want an apology for having someone root through my luggage and also I want to be reimbursed for the suitcase and the lock that have been destroyed on me. Out of the 4 flights I'd taken with RyanAir over the 8 days , 3 of them were delayed, the staff were extremely rude and I will never be flying with such a shambles of an airline again.

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Refused Permission to Board
Submitted 3 September 2007

Travelling back from Seville, Spain on 29th August 2007 with my family of wife, two teenage boys and a 11 week old baby, with one suit case for checking in. When we left Stansted the suitcase weighed 15kg. When weighed at Ryanair Check-in desk in Seville, it weighed 19kg. The contents were exactly the same as when we departed. Who checks the calibration of these scales?

The Ryanair staff said either we pay the excess charge of 80 Euro or leave the queue and redistribute the weight over our hand luggage.

On the opposite desk, also for the same flight, the Ryanair staff were letting passengers go through with up to 23kg without charge.

Once we'd finished moving bits of clothing around in front of dozens of other passengers, the kind people next in the queue permitted us to rejoin in front of them. The Ryanair staff insisted we go to the back of the queue again, even though the next three families in the line all gave their permission for us to go in front. We asked if he could reconsider as we had an 11 week old baby who by this time was very hungry and distressed. (We already had our boarding passes) But he insisted, and told the other families, that if they didn't comply with his wishes, they too would be sent to the back of the queue!

I went to the back of the queue, whilst my wife went to the Ryanair office to complain. By this time there were at least 4 other families lining up to complain about this one particular member of staff, only to find out he was the Manager and most senior member of Ryanair staff at the airport. His manor was disgraceful, he was rude and only about 23. There were two ladies in tears at the way in which they were spoken to by this man.

An important factor to this incident is that he's Spanish and so is my wife. It gets much worse:

When we finally arrived at the front again, he asked my wife, in Spanish if she was happy now that she'd complained or would she prefer to go to the back of the queue again! This "goading" upset us very much and he refused to speak in English from this point, presumably so there were no witnesses except his staff, and continued abusing my wife with insults about her accent and derogatory references to people from Huelva, a city on the south coast.

We complained to him about his manor and insults, and his response was to ban us from the flight, adding that when we heard the last call for the flight to "remember him, 'cause we won't be on it". Bearing in mind we'd already been issued boarding passes and our luggage was on the plane.

So, a family of 5, including a 11 week old baby stranded in Seville, no flights left that day, no flights at all until 4th September, from Ryanair or Iberia, the only operators to fly into the UK from Seville, no hotel space in Seville at short notice. The airport police were horrified that this man had left a young family stranded with-out remorse, with no way of getting home, but had no power to change this man's mind.

I pointed out again to him that we had a very distressed 11 week old baby, and he responded "it's not important to me, I don't care".

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Connection not Covered by Insurance
Submitted 15 August 2007

A friend and I had booked a Ryanair flight from Seville to London and a connecting flight from London to Guernsey with another airline. We had left 6 hours between these flights and bought travel insurance with Ryanair in case we missed our connection.

A "technical difficulty" with the Ryanair plane meant we were delayed by 5 hours, missed our connection in Guernsey, and had to stay in London to get a plane to Guernsey the following day. While waiting at the airport my Spanish friend helped us to ensure that we had the appropriate forms completed and stamped by Seville airport staff in order to claim expenses caused by our missed connection and resultant hotel costs.

When we asked for advice on what action to take on arriving in London the Ryanair flight attendant was actually rude to us. Although friendly, the handling agents in London also couldn't help us. As instructed on our insurance documentation we booked the cheapest London hotel possible and kept our receipts. When we tried to claim back these expenses Ryanair and their insurance company refused to refund us.

I will try to avoid flying with Ryanair in future and will definitely not purchase their travel insurance.

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Ryanair Criticises BAA, but Makes Money from Stranded Passengers
Submitted 13 August 2007

I arrived at Stansted Airport for a flight to Almeria, Spain three hours ahead of departure. The check-in desk opened after one hour and I joined the queue. I waited 45 minutes at check-in and then moved immediately to another queue for security. As time moved on I asked to be moved up the queue or I risked losing the flight - my pleas were ignored. When I finally got to the gate I was told my luggage was off-loaded and that was it - I was going nowhere.

After collecting my luggage and returning to the Ryanair desk I was informed I would have to pay for another flight (at full whack!) and that this would have to be to another destination as no flights were going to Almeria. 'It was not their problem' said their representative - see BAA. Moreover, they couldn't book it for me and I would have to pay to use the internet at the airport and re-book online. This was a total lack of customer care particularly as I was not alone - many of their customers were in the same situation.

Anyone with any intelligence could see that the security queue was so lengthy that two hours was insufficient to process a plane-load of passengers and ensure they reached the gate in less than two hours. Why was the check-in desk not opened sooner? My costs for this fiasco were higher than I could afford and months on I am still paying for it as no compensation has been forthcoming from any channel. In the space of 2-hours I had to book a new flight for the next morning, re-arrange a car rental from Seville instead of Almeria, cancel a hotel booking in Almeria and find somewhere on the airport concourse to sleep with my belongings (as I couldn't afford a hotel and needed to be sure the situation was not repeated the following day.

The only beneficiaries are Ryanair who make more money out of stranded passengers. It is an appalling state of affairs. It is an appalling state of affairs. My attempts at getting anywhere with BAA was for them to blame the government for imposing the extra checks. It seems that nobody in this country considers or cares about the impact of their decisions or wants to own up when they have got it wrong - perhaps it is time they did!

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Girona Again
Submitted 12 August 2007

I had exactly the same experience at Girona two weeks ago. I was asked in a bored voice 'did I understand Ryanair's baggage allowance' to which I said 'yes' . Mistake! I had not read the small print! I could not aggregate an under weight bag with one that was 6kg over. Zap! On went an 'heavy' sticker and the check-in woman said 'that will be 48 euros excess baggage'. I complained to which I was told, 'if you do not pay you do not get on the aircraft' Never in all my days have I been treated with such distain. I was not the only one. All around Ryanair were extracting extra cash. In fact there was a significant queue at their ticket office with people not buying tickets but paying excess baggage fees.

I wrote to Ryanair complaining about what appeared to be a sharp practise, pointing out the bad customer relations that this was generating. I eventually received the expected brush off e mail, which when I tried to reply to it was returned undeliverable.

I will never, ever fly with Ryanair again. If this posting results in just one person flying with a competitor, then it has been a success.

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Missed Flight Due to Queue (letter to Ryanair)
Submitted 3 August 2007

I am writing to express my disappointment following a recent missed flight with your airline. My family and I were booked onto flight 304, leaving London Stansted at 6.30am on 30th June 2007. As all Ryanair itinerary recommends that check in closes 40 minutes before departure, we checked in at 5am leaving, as we thought, plenty time to board our aircraft. Upon check-in we were advised that our luggage was overweight and had to join a queue at the Ryanair desk. As we soon discovered, this queue was very lengthy as it dealt with all Ryanair enquiries (tickets, complaints, excess luggage . . .) and only three people were answering queries. As a result we had to queue for around an hour as we could not pass through security and board the flight without paying excess luggage. As time passed we became more concerned about time and the possibility of missing our flight. When we were nearing the front of the queue a supervisor (Kevin) called out to see if anybody was due on flight 304 to Salzburg. I replied yes and was promptly told that I would be alright as I was nearly at the desk. At this point I feel we should have been rushed through as it was clear we had been waiting for a considerable time. At the desk the employee was well aware of my flight times and even sold me priority boarding passes knowing that my flight was due to leave very soon (less than 40 mins as advertised on your website). After returning to the check in desk we were given our boarding passes and our details went through the system. At this point the lady at the check-in desk must have been well aware that we would not make our flight on time. We have never used Stansted airport before and had no idea that the boarding gates were so far away. There is no way we could ever have made it to the gate in time. Still, our details went through the system therefore meaning we had no come back with our insurance company. Had we been told at this time that we would not make it to the boarding gate on time, we could have cancelled our flight and booked another.

We then went straight to security where queues were very long. We had to persuade people in front to let us through and made a run for our boarding gate. We finally arrived 5 minutes after departure and were told we had missed our flight. No announcements were made for us, we had checked in so our names were on your system and we had priority boarding passes so the system knew we were on our way.

As we had missed our flight due to Ryanair delaying us at check-in I assumed we would receive an apology and would be flown out as soon as other seats became available. I was very wrong! The staff were very rude and abrupt towards my family and I. Again, we had to stand in the same long queue until we were able to talk to somebody. We were told in no uncertain terms that we would never get our money refunded as the company had checked us in and 'done their bit'. Ryanair tried to blame BAA for not having enough security on, although in my mind Ryanair are at fault as we checked in on time and were made to queue for a ridiculous time to pay for excess baggage. After getting nowhere with talking to Ryanair staff I went over to BAA security and asked why the once lengthy queues were now non-existent. I was given a polite and informative reply from a member of BAA who took time to explain the procedure with me. Apparently Stansted airport has problems like these every day. This member of staff wrote down four main time slots in the day that we should avoid as there is no way we would ever clear security on time unless we checked in immediately upon check-in opening. I was informed that both Ryanair and Easyjet pile their passengers in at the same time, making these time slots unrealistic and impossible to manage. As a result, Ryanair passengers miss their flights regularly at Stansted airport. I have these times written down and will not hesitate to show these when my case is processed further. Ryanair are aware of the surge of passengers at these times and still check passengers in up to 40mins before departure! I believe that people travelling with Ryanair from Stansted deserve to be told about these lengthy delays so that we can check in as soon as possible and at least stand a small chance of making our flight. This information should be on display on your website or e-mailed when flights are booked. I am aware that security issued are out with your control but Ryanair check-in times are unrealistic as queues for excess baggage are too long. We checked in well within the Ryanair recommended time and were delayed by your system.

When I returned to the Ryanair desk, and queued once more with my two young children, I demanded to talk to a supervisor about the procedure. After waiting for some time I showed Kevin the information given to me from BAA and was not given a satisfactory explanation. He seemed more interested in finding out who had given me the written 'times to avoid' and even approached me in the terminal some time later to ask for a photocopy! I refused as I do not want the employee to have any repercussions for his honesty and feel I am more than able to deal with this issue on my own.

As a result, our only answer was to lose our fare and pay Ryanair once more to fly on the evening flight to Salzburg. We were trapped in the airport a long way from home (we had flown from Edinburgh with Easyjet the day before- with no problems) and had to attend our friends wedding in Austria. We had to pay £700.76 for a one way flight and spent fourteen hours in the airport with our young children while waiting for flight 306 to board.

I am now writing, not only to voice my disapproval, but to ask for a full refund of £700.26 for our flights. I am hoping you will understand my frustration and do this honourable gesture. Failing this, this letter will be a mere starting point for me and I will have no qualms with taking my complaint through other channels such as the media. I know I am not alone with this complaint as the majority of people queuing at the Ryanair desk had missed flights also. Furthermore, my letter from BAA is proof of this. I feel I have no alternative but to write this letter as I tried talking to Ryanair staff at the time and was met with rude and unhelpful feedback. I would like a written reply as soon as possible and trust that my comments will be taken into consideration and a satisfactory conclusion met for both parties.

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Successful Refund
Submitted 25 July 2007

A second thank you to the person who listed the Irish small claims court link - within 48 hours Ryanair mysteriously cough up the refund they have held onto for so long.

Also, don't bother ringing them or emailing them or faxing them; it's all totally pointless. Fax machine doesn't pick up, the phone lines are premium rates (and automated) and nobody answers any emails. Suing them seems to be the only way forward.

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Telephone Number for Ryanair
Submitted 24 July 2007

I used the number [+353 18121228 Customer services] and got directly through (within two seconds) to a guy not in customer services but in the sales centre, but who was able to clearly and quickly respond to my query about the administration charge when claiming back taxes.

BTW - my query was what IS the administration charge. I was told it is £15, but that it rarely makes sense to make a claim as you can only claim back government taxes and these will be less than £15 unless you booked a return domestic flight or a return flight to France or Malta.

THANK YOU for providing these numbers!

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Baggage Problems (addressed to Ryanair)
Submitted 15 July 2007

On behalf of my party of six adults who flew from Prestwick to Reus Spain on Sat.02/02/07 on flight FR7816 returning Sat 09/06/07on flight FR7817. I wish to make a formal complaint about the additional cost to our holiday of being charged £10 per case of luggage at the airport. At the time of booking we were not informed that we could pay for our luggage and this would have cost each of us £5 per case we later found out you could pay for your luggage Online which we tried to do on several occasions but we were unable to get access, we tried to explain this to your staff at the airport who seemed disinterested and unhelpful.

I would now like to move on the topic of baggage allowance which we accept is 15 Kilograms per case of luggage but what I find archaic is that my wife and I were travelling as a couple therefore we assumed (Wrongly I admit) that as long as both cases were within 30 kilograms we would be alright. One case weighted 17.2 kilos the other case was 12 Kilos after being informed this would cost an additional £27.50 which I was unwilling to pay. We had to remove our bags and suffer the embarrassment of having open our cases and repack them in the middle of an airport I will say the staff at the check in were sympathetic and helpful in Prestwick in Reus it was a different story my son who was travelling with his wife and 5 year old daughter and was informed that one of his bags was overweight and would have to repack them and go to the back of the queue this I find disgraceful and is a means of making people pay for being overweight.

You will find enclosed some photos of one of our bags which was damaged on our arrival in reus so we had to purchase a bag to travel home I believe the damage was caused due to the fact we had to remove luggage from the case at Prestwick.

I regret to have to inform you that I will no longer be using your airline in the future and after speaking to a number of people in the departure lounges at both airports I won't be the only one.

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Family Checkin Problems
Submitted 11 July 2007

I found your website and would like to add my families story to the list of things this company has done.

Myself and my whole family including my arthritic mother, two sisters, two brother in Laws and 7 children flew with Ryanair last week from East Midlands to Gerona.

With us having such a big party we arrived an extra 2 hours early to try and ensure our check in would be as smooth as possible. We had called Ryanair two days prior to check that our 15 Kilo weight allowance could be shared between bags as I as a single parent with three young children couldn't possibly carry four separate suitcases, so wanted to have two bags which were both way under the 60 Kilos that we were allowed between the four of us, we were told that was no problem.

When we arrived at check in we were met by a sour faced madam who rudely told me my bags were over weight and I would have to pay £65!!!!

We were told that our party would have to have 12 bags, even though 6 of the children are under 6 and could not carry their own bags.

We were treated with disdain and disrespect. We asked to see a manager and were presented with another woman who tutted, turned her back on us n several occasions and shouted causing 5 of our 7 children to cry. It wasnt "her problem" apparently and we were told we would have to buy extra bags and split our luggage.

When asked if she was the manager, she replied "Not of the whole airport, no!" She had such a disgusting attitude to us.

When I asked how as a single parent I was supposed to carry 4 suitcases, 3 children and a pram I was told with a sneer and a smirk to her colleague to "get a trolley". I pointed out that they were excluding single parents with more than one child from flying with them as there is no way one person can carry all the suitcases for a family as well as care for children. This was met with a gesture we soon grew accustomed to...a shrug.

I have never in my life met such rude, inconsiderate, untrained, vile specimens of staff in my whole life.

We were told to "move out of the way", to "stop causing such a fuss" time and time again, which we refused to do as they weren't helping us at all, they just wanted us not to cause them more work.

I asked whether they had this particular problem often as I couldn't believe it was just us who this would cause difficulties and was told "Oh all the time" I asked whether this would show to them that their policies are flawed and whether they think they should change them. Again a shrug.

When I asked this lady, and I use the term "lady" in the loosest possible way for her name, she asked why I needed it, I told her I was going to complain about her and she refused to give me her name citing "data protection" When we asked to see the name card that was hanging around her neck she covered it with her hand so we couldn't see.

When we realised that this was the type of uneducated imbecile we were dealing with we asked to see the person above her as she was no use to us whatsoever.

We eventually had to go and buy extra bags at a cost of £10 for each bag adding an extra £50 to our holiday before we even set off.

So with 7 tired crying children, 1 arthritic emotional mother and 5 other adults we eventually managed to check in after 1 hour and 50 minutes.

We were told on more than one occasion that they were a "cheap airline" as if that made it acceptable for them to treat me and my family with complete disregard for our feelings, time or stress levels.

I will never ever fly with Ryanair again and I will tell as many people as I possibly can what sort of company they are.

I urge any single parents flying with children not to fly with Ryanair as they will not make any attempt to ease your journey and make it near on impossible to travel with their airline.

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"Barcelona" Airport
Submitted 9 July 2007

I booked a flight for myself and boyfriend to Barcelona airport yesterday for £248. When I looked closer I saw that the airport was Barcelone Girona but gave no further information, I googled this airport only to discover that it is 50 miles outside of Barcelona itself. I rang up to request a change at a cost of a pound a minute on the phone. I was told that I was entitled to no refund and that Ryanair does not even fly to the Barcelona airport. This I believe is misrepresentation and I wondered if anyone else had experienced the same problem. the company is a disgrace. I wished to make a complaint and was informed that they could give me an address but don't accept complaints over the phone.

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Luggage Trouble
Submitted 7 July 2007

In July 2007 me my wife booked a holidays in Majorca. The holiday itself was ok, but unfortunately we bought a flight tickets from Ryanair from London Stansted to Palma airport. That caused us a lot of inconveniences.

The first of all check in with Ryanair took us in both airports more then 20 min add to it time you have to spend on a custom and literally after you stand in these queues you have to run all over the airport to find your gate just because it's only 5 minutes left to departure.

During the flight from the cabin crew you cannot see even a single smile, they are so sad and serious like it's their last flight and nobody expecting a happy landing.

Finally after all they lost our baggage. Wee received it only after 4 days with some items missing and without any call to arrange the delivery time. When making lost baggage enquiry there was 2 customer assistants both of them with no emotions and no any willingness to find to find our baggage even I explained them that one of the items inside my bag were house keys. By the way, it was only in Ryanair baggage area where I have seen about 40 unattended bags and nobody was rushing to deliver them another good dozen spinning on the elevators.

Well it's a long story to describe all what we experienced, including phone conversations with Ryanair staff what was just outrageous. Shortly it was my worse flight experience at all and all good memories from holidays are for now just spoiled. We never ever gonna use Ryanair services again.

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Successful Refund Claim
Submitted 28 June 2007

Thank you for your very useful website. With reference to the link on the 'contact Ryanair site', Small Claims Submission

This enables a small claims court submission in Ireland, from anywhere. (I wonder if the Irish government set this up specifically with Ryanair in mind ;)

I have just used this system and I would recommend other disgruntled customers. It is very straightforward, much better than telephones that are unanswered or faxes that are ignored. It is really only a few boxes that need to be completed.

I should say that I think my claim is straightforward (the airport was closed down by the Aviation authority). To their credit Ryanair did contact me in advance of the flight and I used the online facility to deal with the refund (so they cannot say they did not receive the relevant paperwork). Sadly that was some two months ago and my fax messages have been ignored.

Update 30 June 2007

I just wanted to let you know that within 48 hours of my lodging my request with the small claims court in Ireland, Ryanair processed my refund!

A result!

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Successful Contact
Submitted 27 June 2007

I have just successfully received compensation from ryanair, the email addresses I used are for a supervisor in customer services called Aileen Healy, healya@ryanair.com and Maria Browne, brownem@ryanair.com.

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No Compensation for Nightmare
Submitted 25 June 2007

Just thought I would contact you about my own nightmare with Ryanair. I have received a refund, but will be seeking compensation.

I was booked to fly from Stansted to Newquay with Ryan Air on Tuesday 19 June 2007. Because Ryan Air sold me this flight I flew in from Limoges, with Ryan Air, to get that particular flight.

Since then I have contacted BBC Radio Cornwall who are helping with my claim for compensation. 6 of us banded together and paid £600 for a minibus, we drove through the night to get to Cornwall.

I phoned Ryan Air to say that I wouldn't be on my 'return' flight as I had to take the minibus back. Their response "we have refunded the full cost of your ticket". I can only think this virtually unprecedented rush to be helpful was due to the BBC telephoning Ryan Air on my behalf. I will be writing for compensation though, along with the other passengers in the minibus.

To whom should I complain about Ryan Air? CAA, Trading Standards, DTI? Aren't they are legally obliged to pay compensation? Surely they do have a duty of care towards passengers? As should BAA and Newquay airport. Also I want all 180 of my fellow passengers to know that they are legally entitled to compensation.

Should I get anywhere with my claim for compensation, I will let you know. However I am seriously concerned about the way we were treated, and think steps should be taken.

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Letter to Ryanair About Refusal of ID
Submitted 19 June 2007

I am writing to say how absolutely disgusted I am at your treatment of myself and my husband with regards to the above booking.

On Sunday 20th May I was informed of the death of my brother in law at home in Ireland and subsequently that his body was to be taken to the church in Kildare on the Tuesday evening (of the 22nd) and that his funeral was to take place the following day on the Wednesday. Naturally, myself and my husband made immediate arrangements to fly to Ireland and booked the above return flights with Ryanair on Monday 21st May at a total cost of £368.22.

When we arrived at check in on 22nd May it was pointed out that our passports had gone out of date (my husband's had expired in Feb 07 and mine in March 07). Under the circumstances and extreme rush to get over to Ireland we had not thought to check the dates. We explained our circumstances with regards to the funeral to the check in assistant and I showed her my disabled parking badge which has current photo ID and various other forms of ID but it was all literally flung back at me, along with our passports, with the comment "That's no good". We were then told in no uncertain terms that no one at Ryanair could help us and were shoved aside to fend for ourselves. No attempt was made to use common sense and we were not even offered any sort of apology or advice despite the fact that we had paid quite a lot of money for our flights.

This was a very sad and difficult journey for us to make and was made none the better by Ryanair's attitude. We are both elderly and I am extremely disabled with rheumatoid arthritis and this, coupled with the upset over the death of my brother in law, was very distressing.

As it happens we did manage to get to Ireland eventually (but not, sadly, in time for the Tuesday evening service) with the help of BA who had absolutely no problem with accepting our (just) expired passports and who made the comment that "we can't believe Ryanair wouldn't accept you on board". The BA staff couldn't have been more helpful or sympathetic to our situation which was in direct contrast with your rude and unhelpful check in staff.

I cannot see any justification for our treatment by your company, we are two old age pensioners, not a security threat, (in fact my husband spent 30 years as a serving Metropolitan Police Officer) and our treatment by you is beyond despicable.

I would ask the question from you "Why were our passports good enough for the British National Carrier (and myself an Irish National with an Irish Passport) but not good enough for Ryanair?" Perhaps because you knew you would be able to re-sell our seats to fund your budget fares and never mind good customer relations or goodwill.

In light of the above I am requesting a full refund of the £269.96 fare plus £83.06 Airport Taxes plus £15.20 Aviation/WCHR (the latter two which should have been offered as a refund immediately) and a letter of apology for the extremely unpleasant way in which this whole affair has been handled.

If I do not receive a favourable response from you within 14 days I will be writing to The Mail, The Mail on Sunday, The Guardian and The Irish Independent asking them to publish our story in the hope that no other person has to suffer the indignity and appalling "service" that we suffered at the hands of Ryanair.

I look forward to hearing from you.

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Sharp Practices
Submitted 15 June 2007

I have tried to decline insurance and found it difficult to find the drop down menu. Plus, they carefully conceal their fax and telephone numbers, other than money-making ones. This organization is too sharp for its own good! We plan to use other airlines in future.

I'm warning my students against Ryanair's booking practices.

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Customer Care
Submitted 4 June 2007

I will admit that they are cheap. I can't get a train to London for the price of a flight to Italy and if all goes well then that's good. But, if there is a problem they couldn't care less about you.

My wife and I took a flight to Brindisi, the 21:40 flight was held up because of fog (fair enough it wasn't their fault) but at 3 am the next morning they told us that the flight was not going. We were not offered a drink or food. I asked if my wife could have a drink to take her medication and was brusquely told that there was a machine in the corner. I informed the woman that I had used all my Euros and she just walked away from me without a word.

It gets worse; we were then informed that the flight would be at 17:00 the following day (or rather that day). Lots of people were asking about hotel and were promptly told that Ryanair do not have to provide accommodation. They said that we could find our own hotel. They were asked if they could phone for taxis and they said they would order (but not pay for) 20 taxis, 3 arrived (and by this time the Ryanair staff had gone) and the remainder of us were going to be stranded at the airport until 17:00.

By 6 am my wife was almost fainting and very nauseous due to having to take her medication on an empty stomach (her medication is horrendously powerful). Fortunately some kind gent who lived locally took us to his house and fed and watered us, otherwise I dread to think what condition my wife would have been in by the time we were due to fly.

I wrote numerous letters of complaint and received a couple of "its not our responsibility" answers (what about customer care?), eventually they refunded the cost of the flight, just because they were getting sick of my constant letters. My advice is just keep sending the letters of complaint again and again, you may not receive compensation but maybe eventually they will listen.

I still use Ryanair but now have had another shock. I had 2 flights booked and could not get time off work. Never mind I thought, they allow you to change the flights, I know there is a charge and you have to make up any price difference. What!!!! The new outward flight was £5 dearer; the new inward was £5 cheaper, SO just the transfer fee to pay then? Original flight £148.32 new cost £278.32, EH??????? So I would rather lose the flight.

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Pay Again or Leave Your Bag
Submitted 1 June 2007

My wife and I flew with Ryanair recently, Liverpool to Santander. I had booked one piece of hold luggage on the internet at the time of booking and paid for it in my fare. However, upon arrival at the airport I was told it had not been booked / paid for and I would now have to pay an additional £10 each way. I think I paid £6 in the first place.

I said that it was booked and paid for but they argued and said, "don't pay, the bag doesn't go or you don't fly." I was basically forced to hand over another £10 without a choice. I feel this is extortion. The same thing happened my brother on the very same flight.

Furthermore they said I had booked priority boarding both ways for myself and my wife. I had not. I booked it for myself as I had no choice on their website. But on our return from Santander they said the bag was booked and paid for but no priority boarding!!! How ridiculous is this? I will be complaining to Ryanair but doubt I will gain anything. Never, ever again.

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Contacting Ryanair
Submitted 1 June 2007

I found your website very useful, as I actually managed to get through on a Dublin number, having failed all day yesterday on 0871 2460000. I tried e-mailing Ms C Green, no response, but found a really helpful guy on +353 18121228 Customer services-which is actually their press office but he didn't mind and did what he could to help.

Thanks a lot

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Sympathy But no Refund
Submitted 31 May 2007

It's so far in the past, but in 2001 my brother was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour.He was 56. Needing a break my wife and myself travelled to Lake Garda for a five day break and after one day, phoned home to find my brother was near to death. We went back to the airport with our 'return' tickets with Ryanair, to be told that, although there were spare seats on the flight we needed to take, our return tickets were 'non -negotiable' and we had to purchase new tickets. (I think about £130 each but cannot be sure) We of course had no choice than to pay up and shut up. On return and after 4 days my brother died.

I tried to phone and ask for a refund but of course non negotiable means can only be used for the flight printed on the ticket, despite there being free seats on the plane.

Then, by coincidence, reading a Sunday paper magazine, lo and behold a full article on Michael O'Leary, boss of the Airline and showing his lovely house in Ireland, and giving its location and the name of the village.

Off went my letter to Mr O'Leary at home, stating my plight and asking why the staff were so cold and unsympathetic to my situation.

Back came a reply from Mr O'Leary himself, stating that 'tickets were non-negotiable and that his staff were not unsympathetic to my plight, and oh, by the way, he was very sorry my brother had died !!! Great.

I have never, never, never in all my life come across such cold, calculating, heartless people.

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Malfunctioning Web Site
Submitted 17 May 2007

I am so glad I found your site. What a disgrace Ryanair is, and I don't understand why what they do is not illegal.

Their website malfunctioned, refusing to take bookings through to completion, and I tried five times on 2 different credit cards. Then I got confirmation that I had bought 5 identical tickets. Then my credit card statements started to come through and all 5 were being charged.

I had to use the £1/min premium line to get through to anyone. It took 15 minutes to go through all the duplicated bookings and arrange the refunds. The operators on that line:

  1. give no reference numbers for the calls
  2. do not log the calls
  3. do not record the calls
  4. do not take complaints
  5. cannot arrange a refund of the premium phone charges
They do, however, give their names.

I rang the HO in Dublin, and was answered by reception after 5 minutes. Since I am a journalist, and want to write an article about this situation, I asked for the Press and PR Department. Held on a long time, then the switchboard operator came back and said: 'No one in the Press and PR Departmernt is picking up the phone. Can you try later?' It beggars belief.

I then asked for Customer Services but of course they will not take calls.

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Route Axed After Flight Confirmation
Submitted 10 May 2007

I can only imagine that the person who wrote the letter entitled 'Disgusted by this Site ' is Mr Ryanair himself.

I have (had) 2 sets of flights booked. Blackpool to London, London to Pula, and back again.

I would fly to London at 9ish stay in a hotel which I used the prepay rate to save money and take the flight to Pula in at 9.30am the following day.

Firstly they changed my fight time. I now would fly later to London but earlier to Pula, so it was quite annoying to think I have paid £130 for a hotel for 6 hours now.

I then phoned up to check that nothing else would change. They confirmed to me - your flights will not change again, your Blackpool flights will not change.

Today I got an email saying that they have made an operational decision and my flight route has been axed.

I phoned them, I got through to someone, or something, that could only be compared to a robot.

Strange, I asked them to stop repeating the same lines, "I'm sorry if you're not happy with your cancellation but there is nothing that we can do."

They started asking me not to talk to them in this manner and continued to repeat the same sentence.

Can they just do this? I booked my flight in advance to save money and now I had to book a flight which cost 5 times as much. They said they are refunding me for this flight. But how does that help me! They wont refund my Pula flights so I have to get to Stansted, as I have paid for my hotel and I have to get to Pula as I paid for the accommodation!

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Being Forced to Check in Separate Bags "Reduces Delay"?
Submitted 2 May 2007

I am under no illusions about the attitude of Ryanair staff to customers but was a little surprised by some rude and incomprehensible treatment on a recent flight from seville to stansted.

We checked in 1 bag for 2 people (having flown there with another airline therefore not considering the additional cost of excess baggage!) to be informed that we owed 80 euros for the privilege of having provided one bag weighing 25kgs instead of 2 weighing less than 15kgs each. We discovered this at check in after having waited for 40 mins in the queue.

We asked to transfer some of the contents of our case to a carry on bag which was almost empty. The staff informed us that we would have to go to the back of the queue as allowing us to move some items would delay the check in process (the explanation/discussion lasted longer than it took to check in 4 sets of passengers on the desk next to us).

When we asked why we were not able to move to the side and exchange some of our own things we were told that we could not be checked in until the duty was paid and were rudely pushed from the check in desk without any effort to provide an explanation or help with our situation. The claims that this process reduces check in time and improves the efficiency of the process don't stand up when we witnessed several other passengers spend a significant amount of time going through the same process as we did.

I appreciate that ryanair have little concern for customer service but a delay to the process should surely strike the company as worth investigating but then I guess the 80 euros more than makes up for any difficulty encountered by staff or customers.

I've used the airline 4 or 5 times a year for the past 6 years. The seville trip will be my last. The hidden costs and poor service outweigh any benefit in the supposedly low fares.

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Attitude to Mother with 18 Month Old Child
Submitted 30 April 2007

Argh - it was a nightmare journey!!!!!

I did leave roughly when I wanted to and should have been fine. Went wrong when like a bimbo, I got to a part where I should have followed signs to M56 and stupidly followed the one to Liverpool - biiiiig mistake!

So, up I went, through the tunnel (finally!), wrong way at the 'impossible to see signs' as you come out of tunnel, U-turn and back along the right road, idiotically call in for petrol so as not to incur the high cost of petrol charged by hire company, realise just how far it is to plough round a town-edge road with lots of traffic lights, getting ever more stressed and anxious, get to airport, leap out of car grabbing car seat and luggage (no trolleys around) and into terminal - flight info still up on board so charge to check-in desk (flight destination still on screen and two ladies present at desk) to be told (over my huffing puffing panic) that I'm too late, they've closed check in, go to the Ryan Air desk.

Burst into tears (stress just too much) and NO sympathy or even a flicker of reaction - I will be writing to complain to Ryan about their staff) and get equally cold fish lady says I can go 6.30am Tuesday or 1pm today to Limoges - hardly down the road.

Take myself off to car hire desk to hand in keys and finally meet someone nice as lovely chap promptly offered me tea and telephone - husband said he'd pick me up from Limoges, so sorted car (no charge for being a bit late, nice man!) and back to Ryan, who charged me £50 to change to the Limoges flight, but at least had the grace not to charge me for the car seat, which their website does say they do charge for, though I'd have contested it as I didn't have a pushchair, which I could have taken for free.

Got myself calmed down and had a gentle and easy trip through the airport to the plane, and a calm flight back with my child asleep most of the way. Had to wait a little for husband to arrive (looooong drive) and then we had a break and drink before coming back.

Husband did 575 miles today thanks to me - worst of it is that if I hadn't stopped for petrol, it'd have cost me about £9 extra for petrol, but I'd have made the check in and saved £50 and all that mileage for husband - stupidly expensive mistake and probably even more frustrating than taking the wrong route, though nothing beats the actual feeling for arriving in a state, with a small child, and being coldly refused just ONE MINUTE after they closed!!!

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Different ID Rules for Online Checkin
Submitted 30 April 2007

I am writing as a regular user of RyanAir (almost monthly) to say how disgusted at how I was treated once checked in on the flight from Stansted to Dublin on 28 April 2007.

Usually I check in with a child and therefore go through the usual queue up at the check in desks, as I was traveling alone I thought I would try out your online check in facility at a cost to myself, even though it must be cheaper for you than to check me in face to face!!

My husband had traveled in similar circumstances on the Stansted to Dublin route on 3 March 2007 and returned from Dublin on 5 March 2007. He had used his UK photo ID driving Licence to check in on both these dates and was waived through with no incident. Therefore I decided to do the same as your check-in procedures clearly state. And I Quote

For British and Irish citizens only, who are travelling on flights to/from the United Kingdom to/from the Republic of Ireland, a valid driving licence with photo is acceptable photo ID

So I checked on online on this premise and proceeded to the airport on the Saturday morning.

I passed passport control with no problems and was waiting to board the flight. Once the flight was called a very rude attendant said this was incorrect and we should have read the terms and conditions and I was not to board. Well please can you tell me the difference between checking in online and checking in face-to-face and why the terms and conditions should differ (if indeed they do).

I am aware of the morally incorrect things that RyanAir have incorporated into terms and conditions but surely this is the last straw. There is nothing to state the conditions for online check-in are different to the normal conditions of travel and certainly nothing that states ONLY passports are allowed to be used for online check-in.

There seems to be no rational explanation except to catch some people out as other airlines clearly state that you can online check-in with Driving Licences with no problem. Therefore this is a Ryan Air Ruling and not a security ruling because when my husband traveled with his license he was waived through at Customs in Ireland, So no problem there.

I was told to return to the ticket desk, but with no other assistance, what with being in shock, pregnant and having back problems had to cope alone. I did finally manage to find a customs officer to help and he was equally dismayed at the way Ryan Air had refused me boarding.

I then returned to the ticket desk and was promptly told "those are the rules", no explanation and nobody took the courtesy to explain the reason behind being able to check in with License at the desk and not online. They then tried to sell me another ticket at £168 basic for a flight in two hours time. If this is a policy of RyanAir to just offload one or two people a flight for any minor problem and then resell them a higher price ticket this seems like a great way of subsidizing the cheap airfares.

Luckily for myself my husband lives only 45 minutes away so he collected me and the flight was for a wedding, which wasn't a major holiday. So I could just leave the airport without purchasing a ticket for £168 to fill Michael O'Leary's Money pot.

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How Can My Mother Travel by Ryanair if She Can't Drive?
Submitted 27 April 2007

My 77 year old mother is excluded from flying from Stansted to Blackpool because she has no passport or driving license.

The background is that my mother is going to Blackpool from her home near Braintree in Essex (30 mins from Stansted) for a knitting week.

The cheapest and quickest option would be to go to Stansted and fly using the only carrier to Blackpool - Ryan Air. I would like to arrange this for her.

Unfortunately, having no intention to travel abroad, she has allowed her passport to expire. She has never learned to drive and therefore has no (picture) driving license. She does have a bus pass with a photograph on it - but that is not a valid means of identity according to Ryan Air's rules.

Consequently, my mother will travel to Blackpool by rail. A journey that will take her over 7 hours each way if there are no delays. The flight time from Stansted is around an hour. There will be an additional cost of around £40 too.

I think it wrong that my mother, a pensioner, should be excluded from the benefit of low fares which are available to so many other people.

There also appears to be no way of discussing this with Ryan Air without paying for the privilege - my understanding is that they are unlikely to compromise and frankly even if the service desk operator agreed that it would be allowable for my mother to travel using her bus pass as a form of identity I am reluctant to take the risk that the ground staff at Stansted would allow that.

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Compensation for Broken Bag
Submitted 19 April 2007

I had a dispute with Ryanair about broken bag which they did not want to repay. I followed exactly the procedure, and bought an identical bag, sent them the receipt with declaration of the seller that the bag was identical to the broken one, and Ryanair only repaid half of the cost. The bag had not even one year.

Ryanair point was I did not have a receipt of purchase of the broken old bag. Before paying half of the cost they tried to mislead me by mentioning an International Air Transport Agreement which did not supported their point. At the end they said: this is what we pay, for the difference go to your insurers!!!.

I even wrote to the Italian Air Control Company but they never replied.

I would like very much my story published in your web site because it shows the arrogance of Ryanair and of their Inhouse Legal Office.

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Nightmare for Visitor from USA (copy of letter)
Submitted 18 April 2007

On November 28, 2006 I booked a flight via Priceline.uk: four seats on Ryan Air #0225 from London Stansted to Dublin for April 7, 2007 leaving at 16:55 and landing in Dublin at 18:10.

Our flight was confirmed, and from that point forward we received no further communication regarding it. When we arrived at Stansted two hours prior to departure per airline regulations, there was no flight #0225 listed for the 16:55 departure. A Ryan Air flight #0295 was listed for a 17:10 departure. While my wife and children stood in line for that flight, I went to investigate what happened to our flight. I had to queue up at a ticket sales line, and when I got to the agent I was told that Ryan Air had contacted someone (it certainly was not us) on March 28, 2007 at 12:00 pm London time, 7:00 am US time) to let us know of the change. We received no such call. If a call was made to Priceline, then Priceline failed to call us or email us.

Ryan Air refused to honour the tickets, and by the time we had gone through the queue, the flight #0225 that we were originally scheduled on had already departed at 15:00 because it was moved up two hours. Ryan Air charged us £200 (£50 per passenger). I objected that since they changed my flight time I should not have to pay, but they were not interested in recognizing that fact. Under duress, I was forced to either pay the charge or get stuck in London and be billed for my hotel accommodations in Dublin. (The hotel in Dublin would have cost 370 euros and I have no idea how much a London hotel would have been for an unannounced stay.)

I then queued up for the 17:10 flight, only to be told that I had to pay another £L83 for excessive heavy bags. The limit on my United flights was two 50lb bags per passenger, but Ryan Air, undisclosed to me at the time of booking, has a 15 Kilogram limit and charged about £5 per extra kilo. We only had 4 bags (none of which exceeded the 50lb limit), but we were still charged for being 17 kilos over. Again, under duress and now under extreme time pressure, I returned to queue for ticket sales, waited another 20 minutes to get to the front and pay the second undisclosed and inappropriate charge.

In both cases I told the agent that I would dispute the charge on my credit card. They acknowledged that I was unhappy but said that was between me and my travel agent (Priceline).

I am writing to inform all parties that by copy of this letter we have directed Visa not to pay the charges, as they were not agreed to by us at the time of booking. I leave it between Priceline and Ryan Air to resolve how you will split these costs. We will not be paying any of these excessive charges.

In addition to the atrocious customer service in dealing with problems created by Ryan Air, I also think that the Ryan Air customer service people should be aware that the desk agent told us that our flight was leaving out of Gate #49. Only eight minutes before the scheduled departure of that flight was an announcement made that they had decided to change the gate to Gate #43. At that time there were a lot of passengers who had somehow been given the correct information who were awaiting the flight at Gate #43. But those passengers who were not so lucky were waiting for their flight at Gate #49 as instructed by the desk agent. They were forced to sit at the back of the plane in middle seats. This is hardly the appropriate way to treat a family of four.

I understand that Ryan Air is a lower-cost airline and I expected a service somewhat similar to JetBlue or Southwest in the United States. Those "no frills" airlines still serve passengers peanuts, and soft drinks, and do so with a smile. They charge extra for full meals or larger snacks which is fine. They do not try to gouge customers with baggage charges, switching flight times by two hours without informing passengers, and having only one area where customers from all of the over forty flights can pay these outrageous charges. I expected "no frills," but I found a disorganized, poorly run airline that could care less about its passengers and who chooses to skimp on costs by eliminating the pockets behind the passenger seats, saving on the cost of upholstered seat backs and replacing them with molded plastic. They even eliminate the printed emergency cards and replaced them with stickers stuck to the molded plastic seat back in front of you. Customers are mistreated and forced to queue up and pay for everything from soft drinks on the plane, to just getting on the plane. Given the recent attempts by the Irish Tourism Bureau to promote tourism from the United States into Ireland, I am sure that they will not be happy to have us return to the United States and send in this report to the Washington Post travel section.

In conclusion, I expect Visa to refuse payment to Ryan Air for all charges incurred on April 7, 2007. I expect Ryan Air and Priceline.uk to work out an arrangement between themselves for these charges. If we have not received written confirmation by no later than April 30, 2007 that no attempt to collect these irrational and unauthorized charges from us will be made by Ryan Air or Priceline.uk, I will then forward a copy of this letter to the Washington Post. I expect the Washington Post to publish this letter as a warning to all future passengers who intend to fly from London to Dublin or anywhere else in Europe on Ryan Air. I expect that those passengers will cancel all their tickets on Ryan Air or will at least know that Ryan Air will try to swindle them in some way and be prepared to void their Visa charges as well.

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Baggage Charge
Submitted 18 April 2007

Ryan Air spoilt my weekend in Dublin. Promised if I paid for two sets of baggage at booking time it was only £7 each. OK fine, did that but oh no, that didn't work. Had to pay again only this time it had gone up to £10. Sir like to bring his bag back from Dublin? That would be nice. Another £10!! Was going to complain but can't be asked. Aircraft tannoy too loud both ways (painful)

Cheap company who couldn't care less. Unfortunately still in business because of volume of people who want cheap flights. Going by boat next time for relaxing journey.

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Refusal to Pay Compensation
Submitted 17 April 2007

Our flight from Dublin to London was cancelled in July and we were put on another flight the following day. Despite EU reg stating that the airline should pay for accommodation and refreshments we were told by Ryanair that we had to pay ourselves and they would reimburse us later. We were given no assistance at all.

However, when we applied for reimbursement they told us to get lost. They also refused to pay compensation by saying a last minute technical difficulty occurred. The people I have had to deal with at Ryanair were complete idiots they got my name wrong and make a number of errors in the e-mails they sent out. It seems that they do are not interested in customers once they have their money.

I contacted my MP John Austin to help and the AUC. The airlines are doing this to hundreds of people and getting away with it, alot of people probably give up and Ryanair don't have to pay up.

I just want everyone to know that the flights may be cheap, but if something goes wrong then the passenger foots the bill - so pay the extra and fly with a decent airline.

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Can't Get Letter for Insurance
Submitted 14 April 2007

I have a specific complaint that cost me £200. In summary I booked a day trip to Gothenburg for myself and my 8-year-old daughter plus booked the Ryanair travel insurance. That evening our flight home to Stansted was eventually (after 4 hours waiting at airport with no info) cancelled due to snow - complete lack of communication and, when we were told our plane home wasn't turning up, an ensuing mass bundle to try to book seats home the following day. The pair of us had no option but to find our way back into the city close to midnight, in the snow, and find a hotel where we could stay (airport was closing for the night so we were kicked out).

Fortunately it was a nice safe town and we found a place and we were among the lucky ones to have managed to get an early flight out the next morning which was fine. When, back at home, I got round to trying to claim the approx extra £200 cost of hotel for two, plus transport to/from airport, etc against Ryanair's own insurance policy, the insurance company said it would certainly be a valid claim but to process it they'd need me to get a letter from Ryanair explaining why flight home was cancelled. And, of course, with Ryanair's useless customer interface I was never able to get any telephone answer from them to even request the said letter. Being a busy working mum of four, never found time to go through the hoops to chase in the money - as I'm sure is case for many people, they simply don't have time which Ryanair must know and profit from. All very irritating - also, my mobile ran out of battery that day and my husband didn't know what situation was while we were stuck at the airport and couldn't get any info out of Ryanair but fortunately managed to contact the Gothenburg airport direct.

I know this is one of trillions of such complaints but thought I'd add it to the pile; their lack of investment in customer communications is pathetic and short-sighted from business point of view; I think Ryanair have done a decent job of opening up European travel and all good things that entails but after this experience I am not keen to travel with them again - Russian Roulette is a very apt term - and am hearing more of my friends say the same, which ultimately is not good for British business, etc.

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Good Service
Submitted 12 April 2007

How about a nice service story.

My wife's aunt injured her leg at Gothenburg Säve. The Ryanair handling agents could not have been more helpful, and arranged a flight next day after hospital treatment at no extra cost. Of course they do not work for Ryanair, but their attitude was the one that we should all expect. The problem seems that the management attitude works out to the handling agents, who are in turn pressed to provide a cheap service by employing cheap labour. If you pay peanuts you get monkeys, but who are we to complain when we are only there because we want a cut price fare, Ryanairs attitude, we are carrying monkeys for peanuts so give them a monkey service.

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Missing Phone and Illogical Confirmation
Submitted 11 April 2007

My first experience with the fine airline involved flying from Dublin to Prestwick. Check-in at Dublin was behind schedule and rushed. Not too strange, I thought, after having been an American in fly European budget airlines for some months. Anyhow we take off and land in the Scottish countryside. All is well right? Yes, then the baggage did come. All of it. Except not quite when I opened my pack that had been in the hold I found everything in order. Only my cell phone was absent from the pocket it had occupied. I reported it to the baggage handler. He informed me that it was not due to security if my bag had been searched because Dublin would have left a slip informing me of the search. He suggested it may have fallen out of the bag. I thought, buddy, I'd like you to show me how it would fall out through two closed zippers and a Velcro flap. He insisted that I fill out a coffee stained complaint form; I'm sure that got back to Ryanair and they investigated thoroughly. Right. I heard nothing from the airport right aways and was travelling onward so I decided to fallow-up through e-mail. Prestwick Airport responded within seconds (literally I don't know how they read and responded that quickly) to inform me that they had not found any mobile phones whatsoever. They gave me Ryanair's e-mail. They company responded weeks later blaming the airports. So I e-mailed Ryanair's Dublin handling baggage loss agent. He told me that they would investigate. By that time I had replaced the 30 Euro phone and its 15 Euro pre-paid SIM-card from ALDI in Germany. Ironically the SIM card didn't work in either Ireland or the UK. Technically it was my fault: Ryanair passengers are not supposed to ever leave valuables in the check luggage. It says it in on of those things I clicked "I agree" to.

I already had purchased tickets to fly Ryanair again. I didn't get to, though. It was my fault then too, I guess. I got to Bratislava and was expecting a swift check-in as the crew was moving efficiently until I got up to the counter. "No, you must be on our list." I wasn't. Supposedly I booked for Jun 29 and showed up at the airport on Jul 29. Peculiarly I had logged in to reconfirm my flight the night before (July 28th). It came up and looked fine. I guess I didn't look that closely at the screen and it may have said Jun not Jul. Why on earth would you be able to reconfirm a flight that left a month ago? Ryanair did try to sell me 200 Euro ticket on the plane though, they were a bit nasty about it. SkyEurope offered me a ticket for 200 Euro as well. I didn't have the money to take either. Bratislava was a nice place to kill time anyhow.

Ryanair blames me. I don't care all too much because I figure it is a captialist world out there after all. I would like to think they would do better if they were able to convince Europe that they were cheap somehow other than being mean, trashy and unprofessional. So far it seems to be working for them. Ryanair's passengers are asking for the service they are receiving.

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Reselling Newspapers
Submitted 10 April 2007

We recently flew with Ryanair from Dublin to their new destination Pula in Croatia. On the way over passengers who wished to read a newspaper were charged 2 euro for the "Irish Independent". This newspapers publisher sells their paper at 1.60 euro. However, as a marketing/advertising stunt the newspaper is given to airlines for free, or a much reduced rate. For example, when you travel on a domestic flight within Ireland on Aer Arann you are given the same newspaper to read for free.

But worst of all, on the return flight from Pula to Dublin, Ryanair staff were reselling the same newspapers that they had sold to someone else on the outbound flight. The copy of the "Irish Independent" that I was charged 2 euro for had already the crossword completed, and the supplement section was missing. The Ryanair staff on-board refused refund my 2 euro.

Does this happen on all their flights?

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Security Checks and Missed Flight
Submitted 9 April 2007

On Sun. Sep. 3/06 we left London (Hampstead) took a cab at 3:00am. to get the first train out at 4:00 or 4:30 (I forget) to Stansted. Arrive at Stansted at 5:00a.m. check our bags for our 6:30 A.M. flight at the counter right away, grab a drink and then head to the security. Ryanair, apparently, had their own security check - determining size of bags, meaning NO handbag and carryon, just one thing in your hand. This is when the problem started. Three of us left this security line to check, shuffle our belonging into one bag for me ( I had the problem -small pouch for a wallet and glasses had to be stuffed into someone's carryon. Otherwise all three of us had small carry ons that fit Ryanairs small slot you had to pass before you "passed the test" of space. We thought to check on of the carryons to save aggravation before we ran the gauntlet again, but Ryanairs baggage check for that flight was already closed - and this was more than One hour before the flight. No one at the Ryanair counter tried to help. In fact I have never experienced a more indifferent staff in all my life.

Ok we return to line up to get through Ryanair's "security, bag size check", but this time the line is enormous - later in the morning and lots more people ready to leave. By the time we get through this line, we line up for the Airport security check, which is a queue snaking around 12 rows it seems. This is moving very slowly; they are checking bags very thoroughly, full body checks of men and women. Passengers are all in foul moods; Many like us, started fearing that they would lose their flight at this rate of checking. Our daughter (24) got through before us and ran to the gate (the farthest from the security, with our luck) Ryanair is announcing our name, according to her, warning that if we cannot get there when they close the plane that our bags with be off-loaded. she is telling them that we are moments from getting through security. The plane is not yet late for leaving. But Ryanair already warned her that they DO NOT LEAVE LATE. This is their policy. We get through security, run to the gate ( we are 57 and 65 years old) only to be told by our daughter that Ryanair off-loading our bags already. It was about 15 min. before departure time, as I remember. They were told that we were coming. But they have rules about closing up by a certain time. I can't picture a Canadian or American small airline doing the same; in fact I have witnessed planes being held for people. This flight would NOT have been delayed by us anyway, given the time we actually arrived at the gate. ..................So back out through security, being told we would have to purchase another three tickets at full fair. We, and 50 other people in the same predicament, complained at the Ryanair ticket desk that the two sets of security checks, Ryanair's and airport security, caused them to miss the flight, but NO MERCY was shown by the manager on duty or the ticket agents. There were poor, anguished students waiting to repurchase tickets with us. NO MERCY shown to anyone. Our original tickets cost us 131.GBP (pounds) for 3 and our new tickets cost us 661.31GBP.

WHAT A CASH GRAB THIS IS. My complain to the ticket agent and manager was that IF THE ORIGINAL AGENT WHO CHECKED OUR BAGS IN HAD TOLD US ONE HAND BAG PER PERSON, WE WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN HELD UP IN THE FIRST PLACE. He told us there were signs all around the airport. I said, we always read one carryon; people have to reinterpret a new meaning now - one means only one and not a carryon and small purse. The check clerk was indifferent, half asleep and careless and we, and the line up f people with us, had to pay for it.

We had to go ourselves to get our off-loaded bags (we only had two for three people) and start the security line up ALL OVER AGAIN. THE WHOLE THING. "FULL TERROR ALERT' AS SECURITY PEOPLE TOLD US TWICE. We got the 11:30 am. flight this time and IRONICALLY, this flight left more than 40 minutes late. SO IT IS NOT TRUE THAT RYANAIR NEVER LEAVES LATE. THEY LEFT LATE AND GAVE US NO REASON WHY, NO APOLOGY. I ALSO FOUND THE FLIGHT ATTENDANTS RUDE AND UNPROFESSIONAL.

Then when we left Italy to fly back to London on our return flight, we left Pisa in the dark of morning to get a 6:55a.m. Ryanair flight, which was delayed 30 minutes already (flights board) and THEN we were made to stand in line to wait to board for a full hour (NO EXAGGERATION) with no explanation as to why, only to hear rumblings from the cabin crew that the pilot was late, had misread his schedule. SO IT IS NOT TRUE, RYAN AIR DOES FLY LATE - WHEN THEY WANT TO.

SO WE MISSED A FIRST FLIGHT BECAUSE THE CO. CLAIMS THEY DO NOT FLY LATE, ONLY TO GO ON TWO SUBSEQUENT FLIGHTS, BOTH RUNNING CONSIDERABLY LATE. I WILL BE WRITING TO COM. TO TELL THEM THAT THEY WILL NEVER GET MY BUSINESS AGAIN. I WILL TELL AND HAVE ALREADY TOLD MY TRAVELLING FRIENDS NOT TO FLY RYANAIR. NO ONE NEEDS THEIR SO-CALLED BARGAINS AND VERY BAD SERVICE.

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Online Checkin Printout
Submitted 6 April 2007

About a week ago I booked a flight for Saturday 7 April and chose the online checkin option.

Today (Good Friday 6 April) I receive an email reminding me that I have to check in online, only to realise it's a holiday and I am nowhere near a printer.

I therefore read the online checkin conditions and find the following: "Any passenger failing to present their printed Check N'Go boarding pass at airport security and the departure gate will be charged a boarding card reissue fee currently at the rate of £2/€3 per person (or local currency equivalent). This is only available if airport check-in is still open."

This is taken from the webpage that I received in the email as the starting point for my online checkin procedure so I assume it's a valid contract term.

Unfortunately it is not. When I reach the end of my online checkin procedure and get to the boarding pass it says:

"If you fail to present this boarding pass at airport security and the departure gate you will be charged a boarding card re-issue fee of €20/£13.50. Check in desks close 40 minutes prior to scheduled flight departure time."

I tried to get any decent answer from the call-centre only to be told that I was being ridiculous to spend £1 a minute over the phone for a £10 difference.

So much for fair trading.

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Apology over Baggage Allowance
Submitted 3 April 2007

I booked a flight on 04.05.06. and the conditions included a checked in allowance of 20 kg. However despite weighing our suitcases at home we arrived at Liverpool airport to be told the allowance had been changed to 15kg. When I asked when I was told "today the 1st of November you should have checked". After I and the people behind me had stopped laughing we realised that the check-in person was serious and I was "relieved" of £44.00.

When I got back home I went onto a website (name escapes me) where you can e-mail your local MP I did so and received a reply saying my letter had been passed to my local Trading Standards office. The end I thought.! But no; to cut the story short I got my money back with an UNQUALIFIED APOLOGY from Ryanair.

Note: the site referred to is probably www.writetothem.com.

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Refusal to Courier Luggage Lost by Ryanair
Submitted 2 April 2007

I have just been on a ski trip to Austria and flew to Germany with Ryan Air. On the outbound flight they lost my ski bag, which contained mine and my friends skis along with other personal items (we thought it was a way to get around the low luggage weight restriction!).

We were told at the airport that as soon as our luggage was found it would be couriered to the resort we were staying in. We had a phone call approximately 33 hours later advising us that our luggage had been found (it can only have arrived on the flight from the previous evening or the flight that morning, so it had already taken them a long time to inform us). During this phone message they advised us that they were waiting for Ryanair's permission to deliverer the luggage to us. In the meantime my friend and I had to hire ski equipment in the resort. A further 20 hours (approx) later we were phoned again by the airport who advised us that Ryanair were refusing to courier our bag to us as it cost 150 euros. There was nothing we could do so we continued to hire ski equipment. By the end of our holiday between us it had cost around £250 for ski hire and to buy other essential items not to mention the mobile phone calls we had made and received to and from the airport!

We have been appalled by the general service Ryanair provided not only in relation to the lost luggage but also numerous other issues including the excessive baggage charge, charging people for taking wheelchairs on board, not to mention the state of the plane when we boarded.

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"Late" Check-in
Submitted 2 April 2007

I come from Serbia. I am a 22-year old student in Germany, I am a nature lover and I always had a dream to go to Norway.

Today I was refused a supposedly late check-in for a Ryanair flight, although is was the matter of seconds. It is still very unclear to me whether I was actually late or not. My flight was from Bremen to Oslo, scheduled at 3.40 pm on April, 1st. The tram from the downtown was supposed to arrive to the airport at 2.50 pm, but it was a few minutes late (less then 10 minutes). I believe I was at the check-in counter at least a minute before 3 pm (which was the last check-in time), unfortunately I have no proof for this. The staff at the counter immediately refused to give me a boarding pass, was extremely unfriendly and talked to me in an inhuman way. They only kept offering a ridiculous 80 euro flight at the same time tomorrow. I had only little on-board luggage and everything I needed was a boarding pass.

I was still trying to realize what was happening, browsing the printed e-ticket to see whether there is "the last check-in time" noted (there was NOT any, and I was not aware of any), and recalling that I had successfully checked-in for an intercontinental flight around 40 minutes before the flight time a few months ago so there should be no problem for this small EU flight, but I was already being nothing but a little grain of dust inside the huge grounding machinery of the Ryanair airline.

I had another connecting flight from Oslo to Bergen operated by Norwegian Airlines, as well as my train back from Bergen to Oslo and another flight back from Oslo to Bremen. Any change to this itinerary would incur a cost of another 150 euros. In the end, I had to cancel the whole trip which led to a 157 euro waste of money.

This is my first experience with Ryanair and the first missed flight in my life (I am a frequent flier).

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No Refund for Cancellation
Submitted 30 March 2007

Following the death of my Father 07 November 2006, it was decided that our planned family reunion in Malta from 15 December 2006 was inappropriate. Having already booked with Ryanair we duly trawled through both their website and the terms and conditions attached to our email confirmation regarding cancelling our flight. The website indicated that given our circumstances, we would be able to obtain a refund on our tickets via Customer Services.

I duly telephoned Customer Services on 27 November, providing our booking reference and confirming my details with them. They requested the date of my father's death and advised that in order to process the refund, I would need to contact them in writing providing a copy of the Death Certificate. This was done on the same day.

On 08 December 2006 I received a short email from Ryanair advising that as our date of travel was more than 14 days from the date of death, we were not able to receive a refund in accordance with Article 10.3 of their Conditions of Carriage. The 14 day rule was never disclosed by their Customer Services staff when I spoke with them despite the fact that they were fully aware of the relevant dates. Furthermore, this rule is not evident from the information contained in the "Terms and Conditions of Travel" and "Changes and Cancellations" sections of the Ryanair website.

On 08 December 2006 I wrote to their Customer Services Dept in response to the above email, challenging their decision and providing them with copies of their website information in support.

Having received no response to the above letter, I wrote to Caroline Green on 11 January 2007 and provided her with copies of the above.

Having receive no response to the above letter, I emailed same to Caroline Green on 31 January.

Having received no response to the above email, I resent the above information to Caroline Green via email on 06 March 2007.

As of today, I have never received any correspondence to my letter dated 08 December or any of my subsequent communications.

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Ryanair Granada to Liverpool cancellation
Submitted 27 March 2007

On Wednesday 7th March, our Ryanair flight from Grananda to Liverpool - flight 9604 - was cancelled.

My wife and I had to wait for just over two hours while Ryanair staff provided customers with options to return to Liverpool. The option that we selected - which was the earliest offered to get us back to Liverpool - was to fly from Seville at 9.00pm on Friday 9th March. This obviously necessitated two nights' additional accommodation and travel from Granada to Seville. We were assured by Ryan Air staff at Granada Airport when selecting this option that Ryanair would refund all reasonable expenses that we incurred as a consequence of the cancellation.

I sent a letter by registered post to Ryanair head office, which contained receipts etc along with a covering letter. I have had a reply which states "there are rare occasions such as adverse weather conditions, unexpected flight safety problems, strikes security risks that affect our flight operation. We sincerely apologise that your flight was one of those occasional flights disrupted.

"As your flight disruption was outside of the control of Ryanair, we regret to advise you that no monetary compensation is due in this instance...." I find this unacceptable. There are also a number of questions that remain unanswered.

Ryanair said that the flight from Liverpool to Granada (which would have been our return flight on Wed 7th) was cancelled due to 'bad weather' I understand that this flight was diverted to Malaga, and then returned to Liverpool empty.

I also understand that a flight scheduled to depart from Granada to Stansted (FR2639) at 21.10 was also diverted to Malaga but later went to Granada and then to Stansted. This flight wasn't cancelled , but it was delayed. In addition, at the time when our flight was cancelled, domestic flights were still operating to and from Granada. For example, a flight from Barcelona came and went.

This suggests that the reason of cancellation due to 'bad weather' may be an exaggeration and I'm looking into this

I feel that Ryanair have not acted fairly on this occasion. The alternatives offered were limited and necessitated additional expense. I'm not seeking a massive amount of compensation. All my wife and I are seeking is a refund of travel and accommodation expenses and an amount that covers my wife's loss of earnings.

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Calibration of Scales
Submitted 27 March 2007

I recently made my last trip with Ryanair from Linz to Stanstaed and onward to Dublin. When I left Linz my baggage weighed 14.5 kg and imagine my disgust when I carried my unopened bag from the carousel in Stansted to the check in for my Dublin flight to find it was 16 Kgs. I challenged the rude clerks attempt to charge me excess baggage. She was very rude and tried to take my passport until the excess baggage "fee" was paid. I snatched my passport from her as her action was illegal.

I demanded to be allowed check my bag weight on another scales. An equally supervisor came to see what the fuss was about and again she refused me my right to have my bag weight checked on another scales. A very kind policeman who passed intervened and suggested that i just remove 1.5 kg of weight and that should solve the problem. Initially the rude checkin and the equally rude supervisor refused to release the bag but the kindly bobby insisted that they should allow this.

When I got to Dublin I went to an Aer Rianta scales with my bag and checked its weight and lo and behold it weighed 13 kg. I wrote to Ryanair to ask for a calibration certificate for the scales in Stansted by guess what as is the rule there was no reply. I urge Trade and Standards offices to please insist on Ryanir display current calibration certificates at each checkin desk. If I buy food in a supermarket then there is an onus on the shop to have a current calibration certificate. In future if you are marginally overweight please ask to have the weight checked on another scales . A former Ryanir employee subsequently told me that he had the ability to adjust the scales in his favour.

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No Problem with Baggage Allowance
Submitted 26 March 2007

Having flown Ryanair into the wilderness airports for a number of years now, my complaints are many. However, one complaint we have never had is their attitude to being overwight on baggage.

We have always been allowed a little over and sometimes - at Christmas - a lot over. Particularly out of Shannon. There the check-in people are very pleasant. However we have had problems with Aer Lingus. On a 2/3 empty flight from Milan, Aer Lingus ground agents refused to carry a camera bag that was 6.2 Kg when the allowance was 6 Kg. Only our Italian friend's charm persuaded this grumpy girl to relent.

We have never had problems with Ryanair direct employes. Most of the problems have been with their agents. But it would be NICE to have a numbered seat.

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Letter to Ryanair About Customer Service
Submitted 25 March 2007

Congratulations on your agreement with Expedia. I was interested to fly with Ryanair from Charlerloi to Dublin on March 25th and take advantage of your new hotel arrangements but unfortunately your Belgium French and Flemish reservations services could not pick the phone up during opening hours to answer my call. Therefore I booked instead with AerLingus, paid 135 euros and arranged my own accommodation without Expedia's assistance.

In fact I also tried contacting your Dublin Reservations number but that had an unhelpful answering service and was only available to people in Ireland or the UK.

I wanted to share my frustration at the lack of service, telephone numbers that are not answered but could not find any emails, faxes or telephone numbers for Ryanair on your site.

You do seem to pride yourselves on having a very low complaints record yet it is impossible to make a complaint about the lack of service.

On your customer service page you say complaints will be accepted by fax or email but provide no fax or email for customers to contact. It does indicate an unwillingness to listen to customers and would appear that your published data on customer complaints is most probably false.

I congratulate your airline on the competition to fares you brought in which has been a truly great service to customers but I no longer travel with you. Is it not possible to provide both competitive fares and a genuinely good customer service?

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Dumped in Turin
Submitted 22 March 2007

We were unlucky enough to be on the Ryanair flight FR582 20070316 STN PSA to Pisa (Florence) on Friday march 16th leaving from London Stansted at 18.25, due to arrive in Pisa airport at around 21.30 hours.

Due to fog in Pisa, a landing was attempted but then aborted. The pilot and the flight assistant communicated to us that we were being redirected to Genova airport and coaches would be waiting for us and would be taking us to Pisa, about 1.5 hours drive away.

Once approached the airport, the plane went down...and then up again - the pilot communicated that it needed a different approach and he was going to try coming in from a different side. This was actually never attempted, after flying over the sea again and again. At one point the plane just kept going inland.

No further communication was given until about 15 minutes later we were told the plane was now going to land in Turin airport.

Turin airport is ridiculously far from our main destination (Pisa). It's over 450 kilometres north west of Pisa. Flight assistants communicated that once disembarked in the terminal, Ryanair representative would be communicating us what to do next. Needless to say, there was absolutely no one there. We all scattered around the small airport, unsure what to do next.

At this stage, Ryanair begun its shameful way of dealing with a plane full of passengers. They completely ignored their duties and obligations towards their passengers, which they seem to be doing rather well instead.

We were provided with absolutely nothing, no information, no food, drink, assistance.

There were no Ryanair airport representatives to tell us anything about the flight.

Flight cancellations or disruption due to weather are understandable. What is outrageous is the way they as an Airline treat their passenger.

Leaving people stranded in an airport 600 kilometers away from the destination, in the middle of the night, with absolutely NO assistance (instead, assistance by an airport representative who surely didn't enjoy being there but did all he could) - on the plane there were school kids, families with babies, elderly people. We all had to fend for ourselves, receiving nothing from Ryanair, no communication, not even a bottle of water.

They left us in the airport for hours - some of us used other means of traveling, like renting a car which is a very expensive option let alone the idea of driving miles on unknown roads in a foreign country, or catching a slow, middle of the night train. Only the next morning Ryanair reluctantly and after much messing around (attempting a last minute coach option) decided to fly the remaining, sleepdeprived, passengers, to Pisa with the Turin/London flight.

It is disgaceful behaviour which will be reported to the media in many ways possible. We are in touch with other passengers and will do all we can to shame Ryanair's treatment of its passengers.

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Security Alert
Submitted 21 March 2007

I was booked for the 4pm flight Stansted - Dublin. Sitting in departures next to an Irishman with his lap top on, he told me at about 3pm that the airport was closed as a " loo-la" (his word) was running amok on a runway.

He was in contact with someone who worked within the airport.

At 4-30pm we were loaded and then sat on the runway for 1 hour when we were told to disembark and rebook our flight.

Joining a long queue at the booking desk, I again spoke with the man who had told me that the airport was closed - he said that it had reopened at 4pm. and he was not pleased.

Several people asked to rebook for later that evening but were told that we could only travel the next day.

We then had to wait an hour for the luggage and then I had to return home by train - getting in at gone 10-30pm. - I had left home at 11-30am and I was 66 years old. I then had to travel again the next morning.

I wrote to Ryanair and received no reply and then secured an e-mail address where I wrote and requested compensation re the EEC guidelines.

Their reply "without Prejudice" stated "the flight cancellation was caused by a security alert which resulted in the airport being closed for a matter of time."

They advised me to contact my travel insurers to make a claim!

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Email Address
Submitted 19 March 2007

Here is an email address that I got at the end of a long saga: info@frsc.net

On 22 December 2006, I flew from Shannon to London Stansted with Ryanair flight FR104. On arrival in Stansted, my brother told me over the mobile that the Ryanair website stated that the ETA of my next flight to Hamburg/Lübeck would be an hour later than scheduled. About 15 minutes later, I got to the board on which the check-in desks are listed. The flight FR438 was cancelled, no explanation given.

Nobody at the check-in desks was inclined to give any support, and I did not even try to reach anybody under the Ryanair customer care telephone number because it is a) extremely expensive, and b) I heard from another woman who was left stranded with another Ryanair flight as well, that nobody picked up the phone under that number. I heard from airport staff that there would not be any seats available for Ryanair flights before 31 December. I could not book with any other airline due to the closeness to Christmas and the unusual weather situation at Heathrow.

I had to spend the night in the airport on a plastic chair which I had to fight for, then take the bus and train to Harwich early next morning to catch the Stena line ferry to Hoek van Holland. ´There I was collected by my brother who had to drive a good eight hours round trip to get me to my final destination in Germany (Bremen). I finally arrived in Bremen about 24 hours later than scheduled.

Ryanair did not offer advice, re-routing, free phone calls, refreshment / meal vouchers nor accomodation. I had considerable costs and inconvenience trying to get to my final destination. I lost a full day of my already short holidays.

At least I got the costs of the scheduled flight back, which were considerable (about EUR 200). But only after sending them three letters, two of them by registered mail. - And I got an email address back which is the main purpose of this email.

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Stranded in Madrid
Submitted 18 March 2007

I had a one-way flight booked with Ryanair from Madrid to Shannon on March 8, 2007. After having arrived at Madrid Barajas airport more than 2 hours in advanced, I did not see my flight on the departure monitors and asked at Ryanair's desk. They pointed me and some other passengers in the right direction and check-in started in time. The flight was due to depart at 1 p.m. but not only some 30 minutes before the scheduled departure the gate was shown on the monitors.

Then, all of a sudden, the departure time changed to 4.30 p.m. Me and most other passengers asked the staff at the AENA, the Spanish airport authority, was was going on. They called Ryanair's desk on the landside part of the departure area and got the information that Ryanair will do nothing.

The airport staff tried to explain to the Ryanair rep that they were in violation of EU law if they did not provide assistance, information, and vouchers for a snack. As most of you may have guessed, this did not make any impression.

The AENA people were flabbergasted. They offered to open a return path for us through security so that we could get to the landside desk and complain at Ryanair's desk. To my knowledge, none of the passengers made their way back to the other side of security, mostly because there was no guarantee that the flight would not be depart sooner than announced.

So, maybe 50 passengers started buying their own lunch, and waited until Ryanair's flight to Shannon started boarding 3 hrs and 30 minutes later. The captain mumbled something about "maintanance work" that had to be done. The cabin crew was busy selling their drinks, food, duty free goods, and some lottery scratch cards. They were kind of surprised that hardly anyone wanted to buy something.

As said before (probably a couple hundred times before on this brilliant and necessary website) Ryanair's behaviour is not that of a honorable salesman. Maybe enough customers play this Russian Ryanair Roulette, knowing that for every 10 or 20 cheap flights, one will leave them stranded. As long as we allow ourselves to be cheated on for the sake of 20 or 50 euros we save on our flights, Ryanair will probably see no problem in ignoring legislation.

Another interesting item is the fact that Ryanair can only be reached by a premium phone number (or not be reached). I do not know the legal situation in most other EU countries, but in Germany it became mandatory for any business entity to publish all contact date, e.g. full snail mail address, email address if they do business via the web etc. in any form of communication with their customers (also in email confirmation of your bookings). If they fail to do that, competitors like BA, Lufthansa, etc. can press charges for violating fair competition rules. These companies probably have much more motivated lawyers (and much higher budgets) than most of us.

Taking legal action against a company like that is probably a futile task for the ordinary traveler. One thing we can do, however, is promoting the activities of Ryanair to those this "airline" is doing business with: cooperation partners, legislators, and the communities along the Shannon river in Ireland where Mr Ryan has his private home. It would be a brilliant success if in a year or two, Ryanair and his owner would generally be know as the people who makes their millions by cheating on their customers, and not as a shining example of a sucessful entrepreneur.

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The Cost of Christmas
Submitted 15 March 2007

On Saturday 23rd December 2006, my wife, our 18 month son & I traveled from Bristol to Shannon on flight no. FR 1139 - for a visit to our family over Christmas. These flights were booked in June at a cost of £150.36. On our return, we checked in at Shannon airport on 27th December 2006 at 3pm for our return flight to Bristol on FR 1138. The flight was due to leave at 16.45hrs but we were informed at check in that the flight was delayed and we would be leaving at 18.30hrs. The delay was due to fog at Gerona and resulted in the delay in the flight departure from Gerona. We waited in the departure lounge until 7pm - when we were told over the PA system that our flight was cancelled. We had to reclaim our luggage and go to the Ryanair desk to get a refund or transfer to a new flight. We queued at the ticket office for 31/2 hours which was not very easy with an 18 month old baby and when all the facilities closed at the airport at 3pm.

When we eventually got to the sales desk we were told the earliest flight to Bristol would be on Friday 29th December at 12.10hrs from Dublin (Flight no. FR 506) and that we would have to make our own way from Shannon to Dublin. That night we had to get a bus to Waterford to stay with friends for 2 nights and then on Friday 29th we had to get a bus at 05.15hrs to Dublin Airport. So far this has cost us €60 in bus fares, 2 extra days in kennel fees, 2 days pay and a lot of extra hassle. Why couldn't a courtesy bus be provided to Dublin? this would have prevented a lot of this hassle!

When we arrived in Dublin and checked in for Flight no. FR 506 we were told our luggage was over weight by 3kg - although this was the same amount of luggage we had at Bristol and Shannon and we were not charged for the over weight luggage until we got to Dublin - we had to pay €24. After all the trouble prior to this we were not very impressed at this charge.

When we got to the boarding gate which was A71, after queuing for 20 minutes the gate no. changed to A70 and was then changed back again to A71 which caused great confusion and annoyance for all passengers, as the flight was already running late by 30 minutes. We finally boarded at 12.30pm and sat on the plane for a half an hour before the captain told us that the flight would be delayed as Bristol Airport was closed due to an accident on the runaway. We finally took off at 2.30pm - 2 hours and 20 minutes late. We found the staff were less than helpful, their English language skills very bad and when asked a question on 2 occasions the stewards (Daniel & Martina) just walked away. During this time, apart from the lack of information and bad communication, we weren't even offered a complimentary drink.

We have found the whole Ryanair experience appalling - the low cost airline has cost us dearly in fiscal terms as well as in time. Attached is a list of the extra costs we incurred.

Extra Costs incurred between 27th December and the 29th December

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"Free Flight" Experience
Submitted 12 March 2007

I received a letter of congratulations , I have qualified for a return flight give away for myself and a person of my choice. This was for spending money on the Ryanair credit card. The number I was quoted . And as I had suspected it was really all a bit of a confidence trick, it is true that the flights will be free but all the additional cost will be about £188. I am unable to give an exact figure as I do not have any confirmation paperwork from Ryanair

Well I decided that we needed and a holiday and asked for destinations, after a few phone calls to Ryanair we decided on Bratislava for a short break. The cost of the ticket increased at every level, there was travelling insurance and baggage costs all of which I found it very annoying and was really taking the mickey out of a customer.

I eventually booked a ticket for a return journey for myself and my wife to Bratislava I was given an a number of for a flight leaving on March 3rd and returning on March 8th.

I paid will for this flight using a Ryanair credit card. I waited for a time, then not having received any e-mail or letter or telephone confirmation I again telephoned Ryan Air on 0871246009 where I was told I only needed to quote my reference number at the check-in desk.

We duly checked in at the check-in desk only to find that despite having booked a flight for two people we were informed that my wife's luggage had not been paid for. And now I had to go find another desk where I needed to pay for my wife's luggage. They could not find my flight reference number then I was given another reference number , I had now to pay another £20 for my wife's baggage. We returned up to the check-in desk and received the tickets.

When I we boarded the aircraft our tickets were completely removed from a us I asked about the return ticket and was told we would sort it out later.

We had booked a hotel in Vienna, and used the Ryanair bus for our transport in an them back to the airport. The bus only departed in the morning at 6.30am or 3.15 in the afternoon. We chose the 3.15 as it gave us plenty of time.

On the way to the airport for there was an accident on the autobahn and then at the border did problem with a passport, when we finally arrived at the airport we discovered that a Ryanair flight was scheduled for 5 o'clock was not boardable.

We had to then pay completely over again including baggage costs and at a much higher premium for the 10.30 flight to Stansted. When we finally landed at Stansted we discovered that the last bus to Norwich had left. We then had to spend a night in the airport before we could board the Ryan Air free ticket cost me an enormous amount of money, I am very very upset, I have never had an such a horrible experience, I have travelled many times and with many operators. I believe I have been treated unreasonably and are would like to recover the cost of my return journey.

Would you please inform me of the measures I must take to be reimbursed for the cost of my return journey for which it I hold Ryanair completely responsible for .

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Missed Confirmation Number
Submitted 7 March 2007

Just wanted to share what I've learned from my own inefficiency and to confirm that the 00353 Head Office number does work.

I booked a flight online and stupidly didn't make a note of the confirmation number - I am assuming that it did actually flash up once I'd completed the booking and unlike me, I trusted that I would get an email confirmation.

Over a week later, nothing.

Did the usual trawl of their site for helpful hints but came up against the usual - you need a reference number to check your itinerary online and it was impossible getting through to speak to anyone on the 0870 number. You were led through the menu and either cut off or got the engaged tone.

I contacted the airport I'm flying from to see if you could still check in with just ID as suggested by some other forum sites - that is NOT true. You need your confirmation number as well as your ID.

I called the 00353 number, pressed 0 for the operator and made the mistake of asking them to put me through to reservations - don't do that, instead insist you speak to a PERSON and tell them your problem. The second time I phoned, I pressed 0 and again went through to "reception" - told her my problem and that I wanted to speak to a person - she dealt with it there and then herself and "re"sent the email confirmation. It was never sent in the first place but never mind! Got there in the end.

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Excess Baggage Charge
Submitted 3 March 2007

Today I flew with Ryanair from Girona('Barcelona') to Stansted. I actually arrived very early for my flight and was able to witness the checking in of their preceding flight to the same destination. It was obvious that they were showing no mercy whatever to passengers who were a kilo or two over their checked-in baggage limit. Vast numbers of customers were being directed to go to the excess baggage desk to pay extra charges.

Now I accept that the rules are the rules and one should be aware of them before entering into the contract to purchase a ticket. But things have gone beyond 'fair's fair'. Rather than show the slightest flexibility or goodwill, or for example allowing those in the same party to 'average' out their baggage allowance, Ryanair are clearly applying their rules to generate extra income. This leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

And if there was any doubt about their unsavoury tactics, then here is what happened to me today: when I saw the strictness being applied to the weight rules, I rather took fright that my own bag to be checked in might be slightly over-weight. I was in the fortunate position to have been accompanied to the airport by someone who was not flying and could therefore take away a kilo or two of unwanted belongings, so I took my bag to another manned Ryanair check-in desk where there was no-one queuing and asked "Would you be so kind as to allow me to pop my suitcase on the scales just to see if it's within limits?". The surly reply from the agent was "No, if you did that, others would want to as well". In fact, not anticipating such a response, I had already started to swing my bag onto the belt. As the digital reader started to indicate the weight, the check-in supervisor rushed to cover the read-out with her hand so that I could not read it! I was so shocked by this attitude that I simply removed my case and walked away.

It may even be that these agents are on commission for the extra revenue they generate. Even giving them the benefit of the doubt, I conclude that this is another example of Ryanair's totally uncaring attitude to customers and of their desire to squeeze them at every unexpected point. How can they get away with so-called 1p flights? Because they make huge money on all the following extras:

  1. Charges for credit card usage for ticket purchase. Even, please note, when the card one uses is a Ryanair Visa Card!
  2. 'Priority' boarding charge. Who in goodness benefits by being loaded first onto an aeroplane anyway?
  3. Failure to refund the Govt air tax if the passenger no-shows or misses the flight. This is a 'take-off' tax and is not due to the Govt until the passenger actually lifts off. So where does it go? Into their coffers! Ever tried getting it back? Don't bother.
  4. Wheelchair levy
  5. Baggage charge
  6. Excess baggage charge for over-weight. Passengers should realise that unless you are only ONE kilo overweight, it is cheaper to 'buy' another checked in bag at time of ticket purchase.
  7. Travel insurance added by default to ticket cost.
And I wont dwell on their ridiculous scratch cards!

Wise up to all this, dear Ryanair users! Its such a pity that such a fundamentally successful airline goes out of its way to alienate its best allies, its customers.

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Rude Member of Staff
Submitted 13 February 2007

Myself and my husband flew from Liverpool to Krakow in October last year, it was our wedding anniversary.

On the return journey all was well at the airport, the screens telling us our flight was on time and to proceed to check in and then passport control immediately, which we did. We checked in at 1.30pm in Krakow for our flight at 3:15pm, and were urged at check in to go quickly through passport control to our gate - Gate 4. We did so, and after a second security check with armed guards we arrived at our gate. The room was small, with a very small bar area, and seats. No toilets. After around 15 minutes we were told the plane was delayed and we would be provided with an update in 30 minutes. When the update came we were told the plane was delayed until 5:30pm - no explanation. By now the room was over spilling, with announcements still asking people on our flight to urgently go to gate 4, and with another Easyjet flight also being asked to urgently go to Gate 4 - even though our flight was delayed. The room was absolutely packed out, with people sitting on floors or just standing up - for hours. To go to the toilet, you had to go back out to the security guards with guns, and ask if you could use the toilet - and be checked and frisked on the way back in. There was a member of airport staff sat at the front of the room, but we were asked, on the display monitor above her head, not to approach her. No one could understand why a perfectly good room opposite with locked glass sliding doors with no one in it wasn't being used for the poor people standing up - and of course there was no one to ask.

After everyone had endured these conditions for a couple of hours, someone finally came out to say he would open up the other side - simply because you couldn't squeeze anyone else in the room we were in. So, we had about 20 minutes with a bit more room to move about.

We were finally asked to board just before 5pm. At this point most people were quite frustrated. On boarding the plane, my husband asked one of the cabin crew why the plane had been delayed. This girl replied in a sarcastic manner "why, haven't you been told in the airport?" to which my husband replied the obvious no. She then went on to say the flight had been delayed due to fog in Liverpool and it had been diverted to Leeds etc. My husband then said he was disgusted with Ryanair that no one had the decency to tell people this in the airport. To which the girl replied "well, it's not my fault". Very customer friendly. My husband mumbled something to the affect of "it never is your problem" and we continued on to find a seat.

2 minutes later after everyone had taken a seat the cabin crew girl in question came over again, draped herself over the top of the seat in front of us both, and said, in a very loud voice "have you got some sort of problem"! Both of us were flabbergasted. My husband said he had at least expected an apology on behalf of Ryanair. The girl then went on to say my husband had a bad attitude, and then went on further to explain that it was her day off and she had been called into staff the flight and that we were all lucky to be on the flight today as it was nearly cancelled. At this point I said to the girl that her attitude left a lot to be desired and my husband said not to worry and left it at that.

10 minutes or so after the plane had taken off when the girl was passing I politely asked if I could have her name - she answered "why do you want that?" loudly - I said I was going to make a complaint about her and she said all I needed was the flight number and which date and Ryanair would "know" who it was. I asked how Ryanair would know, and she said "they just will".

The girl in question also displayed an attitude with some people in front of us. One of them must have accidentally knocked the crew call button when they were trying to move the air conditioning towards them. She came up, and again loudly said to the two lads from Krakow, "have you just pressed the call button" - both of the lads looked at each other as they clearly didn't know what she was talking about - and she said in a loud voice "don't to it again" and then more slowly as she realised they were from Krakow "DON'T. DO. IT. AGAIN". The girl didn't wear her name badge for the duration of the journey, although the others did. Why wouldn't she give me her name? All of the other crew were lovely, and couldn't do enough for the passengers.

Clearly, the girl was unhappy she had been called out on her day off and was in no mood for apologies for anyone on the flight. She looked as through she wanted to be somewhere else and was very happy speaking to passengers on one of your flights in a manner she shouldn't have. This girl is the face of Ryanair, and when people have been delayed it's to be expected some passengers will be frustrated but for cabin crew to deal with it in a manner which will diffuse the situation immediately - not inflame the situation by saying "its not my fault" and then coming back and asking "do you have a problem" loudly, in an intimidating manner. I've seen BA staff kneel down and get to a passengers level when they are sat in their seat, and speak quietly, for the benefit of not only the frustrated passenger but for the other passengers on board.

On waiting at the baggage carousel to pick up our luggage 2 of the passengers who were sat near us came over and said they couldn't believe what had happened. One said they had experienced the same sort of thing in the past with the attitude of a Ryanair crew member.

I've written twice, by next day delivery so I know the letter was signed for and picked up, and have had no response at all. I found your site and emailed Caroline Green - and what a surprise no response there either. What a shambles of a company.

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Letter to Ryanair About Compensation
Submitted 12 February 2007

I am writing to complain and ask for compensation and a refund due to your disgusting service recently at London Stansted. We were due to fly to Shannon on 21/12/06 but after checking in and being assured that the flight was running and on time, only to find that it was in fact delayed.

We were then called to departures where we were told that we would be leaving at 12.10am a delay of 1hr 50. the flight was called and we started to walk across the tarmac to the plane ,when a man came out of the plane and said that we had to go back to the gantry as the plane was being clean and not ready for 5-10 minutes. We waited 50 minutes until it was announce that the flight was cancelled due to bad weather at Stansted. When we got into the departure lounge, we heard that a Ryanair flight was just taking off!! When this was pointed out, we were then told that there was bad weather at Shannon but I was on the phone to my sister-in-law, who was in Shannon airport, who told me the weather was clear and planes were taking off and landing ok. This I pointed out to your staff who then said it was because your staff had ran out of flying time. This I find very strange as surely you would have known well before that plane landed that they were out of flying time, or at least I would hope that you knew.

This was not the only problems we had as you had put on a plane to take us on 22/12/06 at 12.30, which after being told the wrong check-in desk and told it would fly on time this finally left at 15.20, a delay of 17 hours! This meant that a round of golf that I had paid for when I was last over in October, I could not play and lost our green fees of 60 euro, which I could not claim back as it was non refundable.

As you can see from this letter the service was very bad and I know that the weather was not good, your web site and that of BAA said Stansted was running on time and had no problems. We had to spend the night at Stansted as the 2 hotels that I tried to book wanted £200 for a room which as it was Christmas, we could not afford. As Stansted was so busy even at 2.30am we decided that, so we can keep safe our bags we spent the night in my car with the engine running trying to keep warm, yet more expense that I should not have had, if your staff had told me earlier we could have gone home. This was very bad organisation on your part and could have saved a lot of bad feelings and shouting at your staff if you had been straight up front. I have also enclosed some receipts for coffees etc that I feel you should also refund me.

I have travelled many times to Shannon and admit time problems are very few and far between but feel very strongly about this last flight of ours. I think that last year, I booked something like 12 flights to Shannon with yourselves and would like to carry on booking flights but feel that if you are not wiling to refund and compensate me on this occasion then I well have to make other arrangements.

I was also told that there is a new EU law which says you have to pay compensation as it was your fault that you cancelled the flight.

I am writing on behalf of my father-in-law as I paid for his ticket on my card.

I look forward to your reply with interest

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Letter to Ryanair About Changes to Allowances on Return from Poland
Submitted 10 February 2007

Dear Sir/ Madam,

I am writing firstly to complement you and your staff in the way that you dealt with the major problems recently that affected both my wife and myself when we flew to Lodz in Poland recently. Your staff at Stansted could not been more helpful. But this cannot be said of your partners in Lodz airport in Poland for the return journey.

My wife flew to Lodz on the 15th August 2005; arrived at the airport to encounter huge queues, but your staff at the information desk and check in were very helpful. My wife was very concerned that because of the hand luggage restriction she would not be able to take everything she needed for the 5 and a half-week holiday in Poland visiting her aged mother. She was put at ease by a very nice lady at information who advised her that because of the problems Ryanair were allowing her to take up to 25 Kilos as hold luggage. (We had booked both of our flights in January this year.) So my wife checked here bag that weighed 25 Kilos (she had no hand luggage,) and breezed through the check-in. She was none too please though of the delays then encountered waiting for a gate for the flight, having to run 7 times between departure gates as the gates were repeatedly changed.

I flew to Lodz on the 27th August 2006, and again when I arrived at the check-in I was advised that Ryanair were allowing an allowance of 25 Kilos, so my 20.5 Kilo piece of luggage (including the contents of my carry on which I had put into my suitcase) was not a problem.

The problem arose when both my wife and I returned home from Lodz on the 19th of September. My wife and I arrived at Lodz airport and were the 1st people at the check in. We were seen by a lady, who when checking our suitcases refused to accept them, stating that my wife's suitcase was 7.5 Kilos over weight at 22.5 kilos, and that my suitcase was 5.5 kilos over weight at 20.5 kilos. When I tried to explain that we had been allowed to travel out with suitcases weighing more, we were advised that we would have to pay or leave 13 kilos of our possessions at the airport. We decided to try and redistribute some of our luggage into the small plastic bags that we had, bringing down the checked weight of both suitcases to approximately 16.5 kilos each. We then had to ask my aged and infirmed mother in law to take home with her over 7 kilos of belongings that we could not carry with us on the flight because of your Polish ground crews total lack of understanding.

How can Ryanair as a company justify allowing customers to travel on holiday with luggage of one weight and insist that they return with less?

I found it very frustrating and somewhat worrying if this is how Ryanair treats its customers. I have been flying for Ryanair for 2 years now. The convenience of being able to fly to Lodz where my mother in law lives, instead of Warsaw with a two hour coach trip to Lodz was a vast improvement. However if this is the way that Ryanair treats their customers I will look at flying with BA who have always offered exemplary service or even with Easyjet and have to take the bus between Warsaw and Lodz.

I hope this letter is read and some action is taken, but I well expect that nothing will be done; it is up to you to prove me wrong.

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Return Flight from Riga
Submitted 6 February 2007

We had to use Ryanair to fly to Riga, returning on Sunday Feb 4 with 11.05am flight. We were asked to go to the gates and waited to board standing up for 40 minutes after which it was announced that the flight was delayed till 19.30. No Ryanair representative was present to explain what was happening, and the airport staff seemed to know very little as well.

At 19.30 the flight was further delayed to 20.00, then to 22.30, then to 23.30, then to 24.30 etc, finally taking off at 2.30am. All this time there was no Ryanair staff except a pilot of the plane appearing around 1am to promise the plane would fly, but he could not say when.

We were given one £3.50 food voucher (being at the airport from 9am till 2.30am!) and were not allowed to leave the departure lounge. All we could buy to eat was chips and other junk food at a small cafeteria. There were pregnant women, children etc, but no one seemed to care.

The airport staff kept saying they knew nothing and could not help, as there was no Ryanair representative in Riga. When we asked if we could speak to someone at the Ryanair head office, we were told by the airport staff that Ryanair did not want to speak to customers.

When asking for the European airlines regulations, we were told that Ryanair doesn't feel obliged to follow them. When we finally got on the plane, we were asked to pay for the food - they did not even have a decency to offer free meals in this situation! In short, Ryanair treats passengers like dirt, and I will never fly with them again, regardless how cheap their tickets are.

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Letter to Ryanair About Cost of Wheelchair Booking
Submitted 1 February 2007

I'm in receipt of your letter dated 10th January 2007. Unfortunately, you do not make it clear in your correspondence which of my letters you have eventually received? Please specify the exact dates for my reference so I can document our correspondence trail.

Of course, I have familiarised myself with Item 38, from the EU Staff Working Paper. I think, however, it was not their intention when they drafted guidelines on this issue that they intended the airlines should actually profit from disabled passengers. By now, you should have received my second letter which highlights the probable financial implications for those using a wheelchair.

I find it incredible that passengers are able to book hotels, car hire, etc yet they have to telephone for a wheelchair. I can only deduce that this is further evidence of Ryan Air's callous capitalism?

I note that you now advise clients that the telephone calls are 10p per minute. Could you please advise me when this rate was introduced, as the last time I used this service I was advised by your operators the cost was £1.00 per minute .

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Comment on How Ryanair Works
Submitted 1 February 2007

I'm writing to object to a comment made on your website which was submitted on 26th January - Knowing how Ryanair works. The writer says that we should play by Ryanair's rules. This is a ridiculous statement to make, my answer to that statement is simple - How can we play by Ryanair's rules when the rules are changed so frequently and quietly by Ryanair?

I fly quite regularly for work and personal reasons on different airlines, I know how budget airlines work, but the rate at which Ryanair changes their policies is staggering!! Almost every time I travel with Ryanair (every 2-3 months on average), something has changed. Recent changes to reduction in baggage allowance and not allowing families with small children to board a plane first have been made by Ryanair, these changes are having a huge effect on travellers. The cost of travelling on Ryanair is not cheap anymore, I was absolutely astounded recently to get a cheaper flight with Aer Lingus on my regular route recently. That was an absolute first!!

I think there will be more people like me who will look at flying with alternative airlines even if it means gong to another airport to get a far better more stress free service.

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Letter to Ryanair About Several Matters
Submitted 29 January 2007

I am writing to complain about the above holiday from which I have just returned with my family. It was most disappointing. I enclose a list of complaints. The main one was the fact that overall Ryanair is not "Family Friendly".

  1. Change of Name One of the party could not come on the holiday and another friend managed to step in and take the place. I phoned the airline and was disgusted that there was a £70 fee to change name. This is excessive. I flew in January 2005 to Paris and it was £49. I would like you to explain why it costs £70 cost to change the name.
  2. Baggage Allowance The party was made up of my husband, myself our two children age ten and four and another two adults. The allowance of 15kilos is not practical for a family of four to take four cases weighing the 15 kilos. This would mean that my husband would have two cases, my son of ten with a case, me with a case to carry and I have to push a pram. We tried to put as much in the one case of course we then had to buy a holdall and separate the luggage. This is not "family friendly" I would like to know why I cannot combine the allowance into at least two cases.
  3. Priority Boarding In the past you have always accepted children on the flight before any other passenger's board. On the day we find out that you have to pay in advance for priority boarding which is an additional charge of £2 per person per flight. That would have been an additional charge of £16 return. I would like you to explain why you are charging this?
  4. Allocated Seats When you check in you are not allocated a seat. It is a complete free for all. I was very stressed trying to push the pram and keeping us together. This resulted in us all sitting in separate seats. My four and ten year old where sitting in seats no where near myself and my husband. They were very upset and it was near impossible to ensure that they followed the correct safety procedures. What happens if there is an emergency the demonstration states that if there is a sudden drop in pressure then I should put the mask on first then attend to the children, how is this possible when the children are in a seat which is rows behind and in front of me This was unacceptable and I did not enjoy the flight at all I have never been so stressed in my whole life. Is this just another way to get money out of families? I need you again to explain why we cannot be taken onto the flight first? And why we are being charged for this?
  5. Flight Attendants On the return flight the attendants looked bored and as if a smile would kill them. The flight was late boarding with no apology and the attendant's dowdy and it was unpleasant to look at them. I pay my hard earned cash and don't think a smile is too much to expect.
I am a regular user of Ryanair and agree that you are cheap with no fringe benefits but on this occasion it felt as if you we were giving me a great deal in one hand but punishing me in the other because I was flying as a family. I felt like a second class citizen and any obstacle you could think of to put into place for families you have. To summarise I would like an explanation for the following:
  1. it costs £70 to change a name for the flight.
  2. Why I cannot combine the allowance into at least two cases?
  3. Why families with young children can not board first and why you charge for this?
  4. Why we can not have allocated seats for families?
  5. Why the attendants look bored?
A prompt and courteous reply would be very much appreciated on this occasion.

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Passport Demanded for Internal Flight
Submitted 28 January 2007

I haven't heard from Ryanair yet but this is what happened to me last week. I was due to fly with Ryanair From London Stansted (STN) to Prestwick Glasgow (PIK) on Friday, 19January 2007 together with my husband, son and future daughter-in-law who are getting married in Glasgow in the very near future. My son had booked these tickets on November 23, 2006. I had telephoned Ryanair prior to this date confirming with them that I would be taking with me my portable electric scooter as I suffer from Multiple Sclerosis and would need this until I boarded the aircraft such confirmation I received.

We arrived at Stansted with an hour to spare and duly went to the Check-in desk that was specified. Upon producing our valid photographic UK driving licenses I was informed that as I was born in the USA my BRITISH driving license was not good enough and I would not be allowed to board this internal flight without my passport which I had not brought with me because nowhere on their website does it state that if you are not UK born your driving license will not be acceptable and one would need to bring along a valid passport. There was no budging anybody on this as the young lady had called out another of Ryanair's employees who was introduced as the Supervisor of the Day who confirmed that I would not be allowed on the flight without my passport.

I have lived in the U.K. for 45 years and am, in fact, a dual national, but neither the young girl on the Check-in desk nor the Supervisor of the Day were interested in anything any of my party had to say, and what's even worse they couldn't care less about my state of health or the fact that they were going to be leaving alone a disabled person in the airport for a number of hours. As far as they were concerned rules were rules and it wasn't their job and it was totally my fault but I would like to know how as nowhere is this stated. I have never ever before in my entire life been subject to such apathy as I encountered last Friday.

My only option now as I had to be in Glasgow the weekend of the 19th - 21st was that my son and husband went to the Easyjet desk who had absolutely no problem with my driving license being proof of who I am and selling me a ticket. So my son purchased yet another ticket for £223.98 return this time. My flight left Stansted at 15:00 and arriving in Edinburgh at 16:20 on the 19th January 2007 and the return flight left Glasgow Intl at 16:20 and arriving at Stansted at 17:40 on the 21st January 2007. In actual fact the return flight left early and arrived at Stansted at 17:15 and the flight from Prestwick left late and didn't arrive at Stansted until 19:20 leaving me there alone once again for 2 hours!

So I, a Multiple Sclerosis sufferer in a wheelchair, was left at Stansted alone whilst my husband, son and future daughter-in-law boarded the Ryanair flight to Glasgow with me going to Edinburgh where my son had to collect me from, adding insult to injury and incurring further costs in his having to hire a car in order to collect me and my wheelchair from there instead of his future in-laws just collecting us all from Prestwick which was the original plan.

Had Ryanair stated anywhere on their website that a passenger not born in the U.K. had to bring their passport as opposed to their driving license for an internal flight I would have course have done so but they didn't state this anywhere and I am not psychic.

To say what was supposed to have been a very pleasant weekend was traumatic is putting it mildly. I want my son's credit card reimbursed, I also want him reimbursed for the price of the car hire as well as compensation for the hell they put me through that I am now, almost a week later, still confined to my bed as through their total ineptitude and lack of consideration and concern I have had a serious MS attack which I put down 100% to Ryanair and the stress they put me through.

I sent them with this email:

1) A photocopy of the ticket my son had to purchase from Easyjet
2) My Ryanair confirmation email via my son
3) A photocopy of my UK driving license

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Letter to Ryanair About Charging new Tax for Cancelled Flight
Submitted 27 January 2007

Customer Standards Department
Ryanair Head Office
Dublin Airport
Dublin
Ireland

Dear Sir/Madam,

On the return flight from Limerick 26th August 2006, I "won" a "free" flight in a draw on the plane. When taking part in the draw, it was promoted as a free, no cost flight. There was no mention of taxes to be paid.

I went ahead and made a booking to Sardinia on February 2nd and was asked for my credit card, being led to understand that if I was to for whatever reason cancel, you would have to take a nominal charge, even though this was a "free" ticket. So I gave my details, in good faith, and now, regrettably. I received confirmation, and to my horror discovered that I was to be charged £84.65 in total! For a "free flight"!

I phoned back again to enquire and was told to ignore what was on the email and that I would be charged "only £34.76" for the tax, and would not be charged 49.98 for the flight! When I protested and indicated that if this is so I would like to cancel as this is not "free" and the draw was a sham, I was told that this would not be possible, as it is clear that taxes would be charged, that my account has been billed, and there was nothing you nor I could do about it.

With the recently legislated green tax, I phoned Ryanair again, and to my horror was informed that, not only will you keep the tax on a flight that I do not want to take, should I cancel, but that YOU WILL ALSO CHARGE ME THE GREEN TAX, even though I will not be boarding any plane, and not leaving my house!

I understand your anger at the Green Tax, and I too am furious with this pathetic attempt to make money off the common people's backs.

But I wish to add my anger at your company for taking advantage of me as a customer. I, in good faith, took part in a draw where there was misleading information to start off with. Then, when phoning, having my details taken for my card-not for tax but for insurance against cancellation, then to be told that if I CANCEL YOU WILL CHARGE ME ANYWAY, AND THEN FOR TELLING ME THAT BY STAYING AT HOME-YOU WILL TAKE OFF THE GREEN TAX AS WELL!

Where are the ethics, honesty and good practice of your company? I find it hard to support your cause when this is how you behave to your own customers. I wish to cancel the flight, have my tax charge reimbursed, and an apology for all the time and angst you have put me through as a result of "winning your free flight". I will never fly with your company again!

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Knowing How Ryanair Works
Submitted 26 January 2007

May I say have had many good experiences, as a Christmas present I bought my girlfriend a weekend away in Valencia (Stansted-Valencia return) for just £16.50 including tax (each). Also Ryanair has enabled me to return home more often whilst studying (Dublin-East Midlands), and to get from my mothers house to where I live now cheaply (Dublin-London) and to study abroad (Stansted-Tampere), and to go on a 'lads' holiday to Latvia (Tampere-Riga) all very cheaply.

However after reading some of the letters on your website I feel that these people are having to pay more because they are simply unaware of how Ryanair works. Take the example of the pensioner who arrived 5 minutes late for a flight, I know as a regular user that they will not allow you to board if you are late, and also states this clearly in their terms and conditions. She was unfortunately forced to pay extra because she did not know that you HAVE to be on time, lets face it, if there was not a time Ryanair said "now we have to stop letting people board and do the paperwork" the plane would never take off.

Also the story of the marine, unable to use his military ID, I grew up on military camps in Germany and I know how easy it was to get forget documents squadies were literally selling them for 20 Marks (showing my age German currency before the Euro). Also looking at my past Ryanair booking forms it clearly states "The only acceptable forms of ID are" in which military ID is not included. I read a stat that Ryanair gets charged £2,000 for every passenger it lets on without the correct ID so you can understand them being paranoid.

Although I am willing, quite freely to admit many stories, like yours, were not out of ignorance to how the airline works, but to failings in Ryanair, many passengers on your website would benefit from knowing all the 'tricks' to Ryanair, basically it means playing by their rules. But I feel if people know this more they would have a safer, cheaper and greener flight.

I feel that such a section entitled "advice for flying with Budget airlines" would mean more people were aware of how these airlines work and avoid many instances which have occurred in stories on your website.

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No Option to Cancel Before Extra Fee Added
Submitted 25 January 2007

Thought this article I posted on my blog maybe of interest to you:

http://www.fromthefrontend.co.uk/2007/01/22/rip-off-ryanair-take-it-a-step-to-far/

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Refusal to Give an Elderly Injured Passenger a Wheelchair
Submitted 23 January 2007

Here is a link to an article where Ryanair refused to give an elderly injured passenger a wheelchair.

Article

To see the original letter of complaint to Ryanair, see:

Original Letter

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Refusal to Pay Due Compensation
Submitted 23 January 2007

I would like to relate my own bad experience with Ryanair.

We were flying to Berlin-Schoenefeld from London at 6.25 am. Boarding was first delayed for two hours. When we boarded we were suddenly instructed to get off again. Then we were told that due to a technical problem with the aircraft, we would not be able to fly with it! The flight was delayed for 14 hours while they sorted out the problem. During this time Ryanair's representatives promised us a full refund of the tickets as well as full compensation for all food and drink consumed while waiting, as they are obliged to according to regulation EC 261/2004 as the delay was their fault (failure to provide an aircraft).

When I wrote to Ryanair to claim the compensation promised I received an impersonal reply claiming that the delay was caused by circumstances outside Ryanair's control, which was nonsense (see below). I have pointed this out to them in two further letters but received no response to either. What a surprise!

I will not fly with Ryanair again - as many others have pointed out, the small saving you make when buying their tickets is not worth the annoyance they cause by the contemptuous way they treat you.

Ryanair's response to my claim for compensation:

Dear Customer

Thank you for your recent letter.

On behalf of Ryanair we sincerely apologise for the disruption you suffered with regard to your recent flight itinerary. Ryanair are dedicated to providing a punctual service for all passengers and this is evident by the fact that each and every month Ryanair continues to be the No. 1 on-time Airline in Europe.

However, notwithstanding the above there are rare occasions such as political instability, adverse weather conditions, security risks, unexpected flight safety problems and strikes that affect the operation of an operating air carrier. We sincerely regret that your flight was one of these rare flights disrupted.

As your flight disruption was outside the control of the airline we regret to advise that no compensation is due. Should you have incurred any additional expenses please contact your travel insurance to initiate a claim.

Yours sincerely

RYANAIR PASSENGER COMPENSATION DEPARTMENT

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Ryanair Claims of Passport/ID Validity
Submitted 22 January 2007

First of all thank you very much for setting up your site. It has been most interesting to hear of other passengers' bad experiences with Ryanair and I am glad to be aware of the various ways in which Ryanair may mistreat customers.

Several stories on your site centre around Ryanair's refusal to allow passengers to board due to alleged problems with passenger's photographic ID/visas (e.g. miniscule tears in passports, making false claims about passports/visas requiring at least six months validity)

The whole idea of the photographic ID checks is surely to validate the identity of the passenger, not carry out a passport check.

As far as I can see, Ryanair or any other airline should have no right to refuse travel on the basis of passport/visa validity because:

In particular, what does the legislation state regarding the following points?

By having a copy of the regulations at hand we can stop Ryanair and others from abusing the photographic ID check.

Thank you very much in advance and keep up the good work!

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Late Credit Card Debits
Submitted 22 January 2007

Last October 2006 we bough our tickets to Santander for Feb. 2007, we paid for them there and then, and that was the end of the transaction!! So we thought! Today I received an email from Ryanair telling me that due to the new airport taxes coming to effect in February, they are kindly charging the new increases to my credit card in the next two weeks.

I am not too sure if they are legally able to keep my credit card details for such a long period, probably yes, within their terms and conditions. They always hide themselves behind them instead of owning up to their own mistakes. But the fact that they have the cheek to go ahead and charge me for these new taxes is incredible! Surely they should approach me to ask for my consent before going ahead or offer me an alternative method of payment.

I am also confused as why do I have to pay for them. I booked the flights long before Mr Brown introduced the new increases, so am I legally bound to pay these?

This is the last of a long list of problems with the airline. Unfortunately they are the only one flying to Santander. But enough is enough! We have reach the point that we rather use any other airline, even if it means more travelling that keep putting up with Ryanair.

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Exchange of Emails with Ryanair
Submitted 22 January 2007

From Ryanair 5 December 2006

Dear

I acknowledge receipt of your letter dated 6th November 2006, received in our office on 20th November last.

Firstly, please accept my apologies on behalf of Ryanair for any inconvenience suffered when checking in for your return flight on 24th October 2006 from Ciampino to Stansted.

Ryanair do operate a priority boarding system whereby at check in, each passenger is given a numbered boarding card, so the earlier a passenger checks in, the earlier they will be permitted to board the aircraft.

Furthermore, up to 31st October 2006 we allowed families with children under 12 and special needs passengers to pre-board as they either require seating together or additional time to board the aircraft. Additionally, passengers who web check-in are offered this service. Our crew makes pre-boarding announcements to ensure that these passengers are able to board first.

Once families and passengers requiring assistance have been pre-boarded, the remaining passengers holding boarding cards 1-90 will be accepted for boarding. Once passengers 1-90 have boarded, a general boarding call is made for the remainder of the passengers to board.

I regret that this procedure was not followed at Ciampino on your day of travel. Please be advised that your comments have been forwarded to the Duty Manager of Ciampino Airport to ensure that all policies and procedures are adhered to at all times.

With regards to our cabin crew, it is routine for them to stand at the rear of the cabin in order to welcome passengers onto their flight. Entry to the aircraft would have been hindered had they stood forward.

Concerning your wife's handbag, Ryanair prides itself on the high standards of service and professionalism provided by our staff. We endeavour to maintain these high standards with regular retraining programmes, which focus on providing excellent service to our customers. We sincerely regret that this was not reflected to you on this occasion and as such have forwarded your comments onto our Inflight Manager, to ensure that this type of situation does not recur.

However, I must advise you that as you were sitting in the row of seats next to the emergency exit, all items of hand luggage must be stowed in the overhead lockers for safety reasons. I also wish to confirm that it is a legal requirement due to the fact that if there was an emergency, any items of baggage located in the vicinity of the exit seats and the exit itself may impede the exit of passengers from the aircraft. This is also stated in our Terms & Conditions located in our website.

Despite your unhappiness with our service on your return flight, I hope that you will afford us the opportunity to welcome you onboard another Ryanair flight in the future.

Yours sincerely

For and on Behalf of

RYANAIR LIMITED

Anonymous

Customer Service

To Ryanair 6 December 2006

"Airport Check-In

Neither of these were adhered to.

"Boarding

Again, neither of these were adhered to.

As to my wife's handbag - I can find no mention of this in your terms & conditions. We have sat in exit seats before and never experienced these problems, indeed fellow passengers sat in similar seats stowed hand baggage under the seats in front in full view of the cabin staff.

Forwarding my comments on does not absolve your company from responsibility despite your apologies.

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Lack of Assistance During Cancellations
Submitted 18 January 2007

On Tuesday 28th November 2006 my friend and I had our flight from Krackow to Glasgow Prestwick cancelled due to fog. I notice from your press stories this was reported on behalf of 200 irish passengers around the same time. the reality on 28th November was that thousands of passengers had flights cancelled but were not told until reaching the departure lounge creating complete gridlock in the airport and resulting in passengers from several ryanair flights attempting to access information from the ryanair desk while more passengers from later flights attempted to check in for flights which would not be taking off.

After 4 and a half hours of moving nowhere at the end of a queue with various rumours of "no flights till next tuesday" we discovered B.A. could fly us from Katowice that day for an obscene amount of cash. Eventually got back to Prestwick the following day at lunchtime.

We are currently at the just received the standard "without prejudice" letter from Ryanair and would appreciate any guidance on what to try next. I believe some other Scottish refugees from Krackow had some success contacting the Polish Civil aviation authority who took Ryanair to court.

My main complaint lies with the complete lack of assistance from Ryainair staff, as there did not appear to be any at the airport, only the poor Polish servisair staff who struggled to clear the backlog .

I do not intend travelling with Ryanair in the future, irrespective of whether we succeed in recovering reasonable expenses.

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"Free" Flights
Submitted 15 January 2007

The latest promotion promises free flights. After reading the conditions very carefully as they always add a word or 2 which always means the offer is impossible to get. I thought for the first time I'd got a free flight.

We booked in yesterday and went through to booking free flight. Rome to Stockholm is a very badly used service and there are always seats. I spoke to my friend who has access at the airport and she confirmed loads of seats left. (yes Rome Stockholm was on the list of flights you could book)

I went to book and surprise surprise it says its full! What rubbish. To get my flight I would have to telephone for at least £10 which was what it cost me last time.

I fly on Ryanair at least once every 3 weeks and I hate their service and their really rude staff. The last time I flew I phoned and changed the booking and when I got to the airport I had to pay £268 as they hadn't changed it. I was my fault as I didn't write down a new confirmation number. What a surprise people on the desk were rude and unhelpful as always, unless I cant help it I try never to fly with them, What a difference from BA who even provided me with a taxi when the flight was late due to bad weather, wasn't even their fault. With all ryanairs add ons Easy jet is now often much cheaper.

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Cancelled Flights
Submitted 15 January 2007

Just before Christmas Ryanair cancelled a flight from Lubeck to Stansted on which my partner was flying - the Ryanair site gave a link to rebook at no additional charge but when he tried that link it said that his flight was still flying (which it was not) so was unable to transfer his flight at no cost. As he wanted to be over for Christmas he had to cancel his initial booking of €47.00 (which was refunded) and had to rebook at a cost of over €200.00. The rebooking screen suggested calling a premium rate number in Germany which he tried (as did I in the UK) and there was a recording saying the offices were shut and not open over the weekend. All in all it meant that Ryanair benefited by about €150 which had to be paid if my partner was to spend Christmas with me.

Also looking at their website there is no mention about the increased UK air passenger duty and yet they are issuing statements saying it must be paid before travel but not giving any details about how to pay this. Editorial Note: there is now a page on the Ryanair site stating that the amount will be deducted automatically from the original credit/debit card. This appears to contradict previous statements. There is no mention of transaction charges.

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Irish Identity
Submitted 10 January 2007

I had a flight cancelled by Ryanair in 2003 on my way home to my mother's sixtieth birthday. I arrived two hours before the flight to be told that Ryanair had overbooked the flight. They would offer me another flight later that evening. I had a connecting flight to Galway from Dublin and would have missed this and my mothers birthday. I had to fly one-way with BA at a cost of £230 which was never refunded. I did seek legal advice after this but to my shame never followed up on it.

This Christmas we had a flight cancelled due to fog. There was no fog when the flight was scheduled to take off. We incurred significant costs and arrived back to Bristol 48 hours later. Below is the letter I wrote to the Irish Times:

Madam,

I am one of the many passengers who had a flight cancelled by Ryanair over the Christmas period. Whilst watching television that same evening from my airport hotel room, I noted with interest the lofty position of Ryanair's chief executive and its co-founder in Ireland's richest with a cumulative wealth of almost two billion Euros. As an exile, I am constantly hearing reports of the loss of Irish soul and subculture with our newfound wealth. I participated in the Dublin marathon in 2006 and found great strength in the encouragement I received from the many tens of thousands of supporters lining the streets.

Our identity is not being threatened by the citizens of Ireland but by the business model created by one of its main entrepreneurial success stories. The complete apathy shown by the airline to relocate its passengers and hold good on the contract that they had entered into with families at Christmas time was shameful. This model of profit above people at all costs is the greatest threat to our identity and I fear what I will find when I have recovered sufficiently to next compete in the marathon should this model continue to pervade Irish enterprise.

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Baggage Strategy
Submitted 10 January 2007

I recently travelled alone from Stansted to Rodez. My companion couldn't make it as her father had had a heart attack, so I had to cram all essential baggage into one case. I just had a small rucksack for hand baggage. I therefore cancelled one ticket at check-in, with the 15kg baggage allowance.

My bag was 20 kilos, so I was told I had to pay £27.50 excess baggage. I (very) politely pointed out that I'd just cancelled a seat and 15kg of baggage and pleaded for mercy. No chance. My hand baggage was around 5kg, so, overall I was within the limit.

What will I do in future?

Take the maximum hand baggage in a new case from Tesco (£7.50). When I see some of the bags crammed into overhead lockers, I'm horrified, but if other people do it, there's no safety gain if I don't. Ryanair is OK if you don't have a connection to make, and if you are not time constrained. At any other time, I wouldn't use them. NO WAY would I fly with them for an "essential" journey.

I am trying to work out a strategy for booking, which will cost the least amount to make AND change, whether it's Ryanair that changes it or me. So far I've thought of booking a single, booking each individual separately and wearing loads of clothes! Anyone out there got any tips?

In their defence, Ryanair has allowed people to fly more often, to new places which have seen a large increase in tourism, and generally their staff are reasonable. BUT, they have to make money, hence the low baggage allowance, premium telephone lines, charges for any change, charges for credit cards and pretty expensive refreshments. I do the maths, then decide.

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Military ID Refused
Submitted 10 January 2007

My son is a Royal Marine who has just returned from the Gulf. I gave him a lift to Luton to catch a flight up to Glasgow to see a friend but when he produced his Military ID card Ryanair refused to fly him. They said they didn't accept Military ID -- which must be one of the most secure IDs in the country -- but they would accept his driving licence, which he didn't have with him. I don't have to point out how many phoney driving licences there are about.

That was bad enough, but the attitude of Ryanair staff was simply appalling. Their couldn't care less attitude, obnoxious rudeness and downright insolence was sickening. This was only my second experience of Ryanair and the first one was nearly as bad. NOBODY should travel on this airline it is the pits.

We tried to get them to refund his fare but they refused point blank and there doesn't seem to be much we can do, unless anyone has any suggestions. Finally, to put things in perspective, we walked round the corner and got a flight on easyJet which happily accepted his Military ID. British Airways and most others also accept Military IDs. So if you have a son or daughter in the forces, make sure they do not mistakenly book on Ryanair because not only won't they be able to travel, but Ryanair will pocket their money and walk off laughing. You have been warned!

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Changing Identity Rules for Return
Submitted 10 January 2007

A few years ago I flew from Beauvais to Dublin with a return ticket. My passport was out of date but I had my identity card (carte de séjour) with me. This situation was questionned but approved by the supervisor of Ryanair's representative at Beauvais. (Ryanair has since furthered defined what constitutes photo identity).

On the return journey I was refused admittance to the flight on the grounds of identity and was told I could get my passport updated in Dublin. As it was the start to a weekend, I would have had two (expensive) nights in hotels in Dublin plus having to purchase a ticket at last minute rates. I also had a commitment for the following evening in France which I could not miss. Thirdly there was also the perspective of an airport strike to begin the following day.

I therefore had to buy a regular flight to London (there were no further Ryanair flights), pass a night in London and travel back the following day. I then had to get a taxi from Paris out to Beauvais to collect my car, there being no buses running also for strike reasons.

This exercise cost me over €500.

My point was that once Ryanair or its representatives had accepted my means of identity for the outward journey, they had entered into a contract with me which they subsequently failed to respect. Although I had paid for a ticket and had photo identity with me, the lady responsible at Dublin was completely insensitive to the problems that her refusal would cause. She also tried to tell me what would or would not be acceptable in France even though I had had over 25 years of living and working there. She told me that I had an expatriate's identity card (carte de séjour) which did not constitute an identity card for French purposes and that there was a risk that I might be refused entry. This was a ridiculous argument - as agreed by the representative of foreigner registrations in France based at Nantes. I subsequently obtained in writing from the French authorities that they consider it to be acceptable for identity as it requires the same justifications as a National Identity Card. This latter would have been acceptable to Ryanair even though a National Identity Card (contrary to popular belief) is not an obligatory document; you simply need to be able to justify your identity : passport, driving license. Had I initially been refused boarding in Beauvais, I could have made other more economical arrangements.

I decided to go through the small claims court in France but I could not find any official representative of Ryanair in France. Eventually pressure of business meant that the problem lapsed. However I used to be a fairly regular user of their services but this treatment left a bitter taste in my mouth and has meant that I have not used them since this incident about 6 years ago. Now that Easyjet also serves Ireland it is no longer a financial penalty for me to travel by means other than Ryanair. I do not rule out using them again but it would only be as a last resort.

Success seems to have gone to the head at all levels within Ryanair - their attitude is: don't complain because it's still cheaper to fly with us. As a consultant I have seen this arrogance in other industries that enjoy a temporary advantage; what they don't realize is the number of people who will be gunning for them as soon as their competitive edge is absorbed - as it surely will be.

I am copying this mail to Caroline Green at Ryanair but I would be extremely surprised if there is any response.

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Stranded at New Year
Submitted 10 January 2007

I and my parents (both in their 70s) were booked to fly back from Treviso airport at 10.30 on Dec. 30. The airport was absolutely chaotic as many flights had been cancelled due to fog, but we were told to check in as our flight was not experiencing problems. At 11.00, 30 mins after our flight should have taken off, we were told the flight had been re-routed and was therefore cancelled from Treviso. If we wanted to reschedule our flights, we could do so, but the first available flight would be Jan 2, and there was no guarantee of seats.

With no Ryanair staff available to answer questions, and no indication of how we could go about re-booking, we were obliged to find somewhere to stay the night, and to sort our transport issues out ourselves. We paid for the bus to the main station (no help with transport or accommodation for the stranded passengers!), found a hotel, and tried to sort out an alternative flight home. There was absolutely nothing available from anywhere in the north of Italy for the next couple of days, and the earliest flight I could find was from Rome on Jan 1.

I bought tickets (£225 per head); paid for the hotel (£60 per head); bought train tickets to Rome (£40 per head). On our return, I had to pay an extra £33 for parking at Stansted. Had I been younger ( a lot younger) I might have been inclined to sleep at Treviso until I managed to get a flight, but with both parents in their mid-70's, this was clearly not an option. I am out of pocket a considerable amount of money. I have been told that my insurance does not cover me, as cancelled flights are the responsibility of the airline company. Ryanair makes it quite clear that they accept no liability for anything relating to bad weather conditions, so I can forget any sales shopping I might have planned. Had there been anyone available to talk to, I might have been able to come up with a cheaper and less exhausting option, but there wasn't so I have to accept that the money has gone. I have written to ryanair, and look forward to being very pleasantly surprised, but am trying very hard not to hold my breath!!

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Complaint and Response About Priority Booking
Submitted 9 January 2007

Complaint

I am writing to complain about the shoddy way in which my wife and I, along with other passengers, were treated after we had checked in for the above flight via Check'N Go on the internet.

We duly presented ourselves at the boarding gate, only to be met by a hostile and rude attendant who refused to take the internet check-in passes as priority bookings and advised us to get in line with all other passengers. The only priority check-in that he would accept was the yellow tickets given to those priority customers who had checked in baggage. Those of us who had hand luggage only and had checked in via the internet were told that our passes were not priority and we should get to the end of the queue.

I showed this official the words "Priority Boarding Pass" were printed on our passes to which he replied -" this is a mistake - it only means that you have booked in on the internet and you do not have priority". I explained that the only difference between our passes and the yellow tickets given to others, was that they had booked in luggage whilst we had hand luggage - he was very rude and told us to get to the end of the queue and if we didn't like it, to complain to Ryanair.

Luckily,( I thought !) a member of the cabin crew from the aircraft walked to the gate and I asked him, on behalf of myself and the other passengers who were similarly treated, whether our passes were priority - he looked at them and immediately said "yes" - The official at the gate took exception to this and instead of supporting the passengers as being correct, the cabin crew member then backed down immediately and said something to the effect that "different airports have different procedures" - patently wrong but showing a total lack of moral courage to do the right thing on behalf of the passengers who had paid for priority passes and put the gate official right.

My wife and I travel this route regularly and would like you to take action against the arrogant and rude official in Mucia and the weak male cabin crew member before we travel again in January 2007, as we do not want any repetition . It would also be fitting and fair for Ryanair to refund the priority charges to all those passengers who booked in via Check'N Go and then were denied the service.

I look forward to your early response

Response

I refer to your recent correspondence regarding your booking confirmation

Passengers who are travelling without checked baggage can choose to purchase our Online check-In/Priority Boarding service online and can then check-in online and print off their boarding pass from 2 days up to 4 hours before the scheduled departure time of their flight. Once at the airport you can bypass check in queues and then be priority boarded first onto the aircraft provided you arrive at the departure gate on time.

Also, passengers travelling with checked baggage can purchase Priority Boarding, by contacting our Call Centre up to 4 hours prior to departure (subject to opening hours) or at the Airport up to 40 minutes prior to check in closure. Once the passengers has checked in for their flight at the Airport they need to go to the Ticket Desk to collect their Priority Boarding receipt which will enable them to priority board the aircraft.

Whilst I note your dissatisfaction with regard to our Priority Boarding service, this is an additional service which passengers have a choice whether to purchase and as such these fees are non refundable.

Yours sincerely

Ryanair Customer Services

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Distant Airports
Submitted 10 January 2007

This is not a direct criticism of Ryanair,

But is very much a criticism of Ryanair's use of secondary airports.

In November I flew to Barcelona as a business traveller for a conference.

However the airport is over an hour from Barcelona and there is a link bus.

This worked fine on the way to Barcelona, but on the way back while I was waiting at the bus station for the bus back to the airport I was robbed and my laptop stolen.

Whilst I may have been at some danger from the muggers, and asked the bus driver for help, but as he spoke no English he took no notice of me.

So although I may have saved a few pounds in getting to Barcelona, I lost a laptop worth over £1000 and will think very hard before flying to secondary airports with Rayanair. (actually they don't tell you it is a secondary, so you tend not to know until you arrive)

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Skiiing Holidays
Submitted 9 January 2007

I just thought that it would be of interest for people to know that if you are using Ryanair for a skiing holiday, beware. They have ludicrous baggage weight restrictions, totally unsuitable for a skiing holiday; one of our party in the past had to pay over £100 in excess baggage. In addition we were told that we could not take our ski boots on as hand luggage, this incurred another extra charge. We concluded that this was a money generating scam. On return from our holiday it was impossible to get to their customer service dept. emails were sent and never replied to, I was told that she does not speak directly to customers? The whole experience left a sour taste and gave our party the feeling that they have found a way of indirectly increasing the price of flights and that there customer service dept was anything but.

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Forced to Split Baggage
Submitted 9 January 2007

I recently flew to Valencia from Stansted with Ryanair and my husband and I took one suitcase weighing 29 kilos. We knew that our allowance was 15 kilos each and thought we would be OK.

We were checked in at Stansted with no problem but on the journey home we were told that the suitcase was too heavy and that the limit for any one suitcase was 16 kilos. We were not offered the ability to pay an excess as we were under the limit for each of us but they would not let us take one case weighing 29 kilos. We had to buy 2 bags at a cost of 20 Euros and separate the contents of the suitcase into these. We took one bag on board and put the other in the hold. This happened to lots of people on the same flight.

What is the difference between having one suitcase weighing 29 kilos and 2 suitcases weighing 15 kilos each? It would seem from other complaints that Ryanair are only challenging people on the return journey when they just want to get home and won't complain as much. I will never fly Ryanair again.

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Overbooking
Submitted 9 January 2007

As everyone knows, ALL airlines overbook their planes - i.e. sell more tickets than seats.

This more often than not works out fine - since invariably customers do not show and the plane is just full or less than full.

However when it doesn't work out and the plane fills up before last check-in, the budget airlines simply close check-in early (when the plane is full). Usually citing some 'security reason' or 'computer problem' to the remaining passengers waiting to check-in.

Naturally time runs out before they can check-in and so these customers that arrive last miss the flight and furthermore they have to pay for the next flight - losing twice. If they also have missed onward connections, hotels or holidays then they've lost even more than just the flight cost.

This is a problem caused by the airline, blamed on the 'late arriving' passenger who in fact may not have actually been late, but in any case by the time the arguments have been had it is always too late to do anything about.

So the airline always wins, sometimes they win twice - so - arrive very early.

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Late Email and Good Experience
Submitted 9 January 2007

I recently booked some tickets on Ryanair's website to go to Ireland. The booking was made 2 days before the outward Flight was due to leave and 5 days before the flight back was due to leave.

I saved a copy of the web page containing the confirmation details to my computer hard drive, fully expecting to get an e-mail from Ryanair giving me all these details.

Nothing came through the first day so I was happy that I had saved a copy of the web page. In fact nothing came through until 5 minutes before my outward flight was due to leave.

What is the point of e-mailing confirmations if they only arrive 5 minutes before my flight is due to leave? The original date of the e-mail was shortly after the time I booked but the time I received it was 5 minutes before my flight was due to leave.

I can discount my e-mail service provider because in-between those times I received many other e-mails as normal.

I e-mailed Ryanair via itinerary@ryanair.com but got no reply as I expected.

Apart from that I have never had any problems with Ryanair. In fact here is a very good experience from about 3-5 years.

I mistyped a surname online by repeating one 1 letter twice. I didn't notice this until I got to the check in desk. I had to go to another Ryanair desk to look at the problem but they allowed us to travel so that is a good story.

I expect Ryanair to offer very little and when I travel with them I go with that mindset.

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Shared Baggage
Submitted 9 January 2007

A recent problem that occurred at Christmas is when 2 travellers shared one bag they were told at check in on their return that it had to weigh less than the individual baggage allowance. As it was over the single limit (but still well under the limit for the 2 of them) they paid a large additional fee in 'excess baggage'.

You might have thought that Ryanair was 50% less likely to lose one bag than 2, but travellers need to know that they should take a bag each to avoid this happening to them.

Incidentally the baggage handlers at Leeds had no problem on the outward flight, but Ryanair at the other end seemed to be taking a lot of money from passengers in the same situation.

It is far from unusual for Husband and Wife to share one suitcase, just be aware that Ryanair will charge you extra if you do.

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Overweight Baggage
Submitted 9 January 2007

I would like just another of these ridiculous baggage stories. My wife and I were flying from Stockholm-Skavsta (which is not even remotely close to Stockholm) to Hamburg-Lubeck (which is somewhat remotely close to Hamburg). We had two bags, one each. One was about 4 kg above the limit, the other was below.

The lady in Skavsta refused to check-in the bags and asked for an overweight payment. No discussion helped even though we had even paid for four bags when we booked and now tried to check-in only two (since we had decided to rent the skiing gear instead of carrying it). Now we had to sit down on the floor in front of the check-in counter and take the 4 kilos out of the one bag and put it into the other bag (to the amusement of the other travellers). Then it was fine to check-in.

What a joke! If they had the weight limit because baggage handlers were not allowed to carry heavy bags, that would be fine. But they just use it as an excuse to charge extra. One our flight to Sweden we had the exact same two bags on a Germanwings flight from Cologne (proper) to Stockholm (proper). No problems at all. Guess wich airline we use next time?

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Budget Travel Experience
Submitted 8 January 2007

After many hours searching on the internet for a new year break my wife and I finally found a great break to Malta. The only downside to this was that we had to fly with Ryanair!!!

After hearing many horror stories from friends and relatives we were a bit dubious about flying Ryanair but though that everybody deserves a chance to prove themselves.

On 30.12.2006 we flew from Luton to Malta, an experience we will never forget!!! Things at first seemed to be going good. We checked in without any problems and the fight was even due to take off on time. The time came for us and the other passengers to board, but no plane????? After standing at the gate for what seemed a life time a plane finally arrived and passengers started to disembark their flight. To ours and many other peoples amazement, I am sure, we were told to bored. This probably doesn't sound a bad thing but we feel it was as there was still people getting off!!!! How can an airline ensure safety for its passengers when people are getting on and off at the same time?

As we climbed the stairs to get on we thought that things can only get better. How wrong can you be. As most people are aware Ryanair is a no frills budget airline but even I was not prepared for what I saw when I got onto the plane. The first thing that hit me was how untidy the plane was. I understand that these airlines have a short turn around but I am sure that other airlines manage to keep a plane tidy. Luckily we were first to get onto the plane which meant we managed to get a good seat and how glad of that am I. After a mass free for all I am glad we paid £2 each to priority bored the plane. After all passengers were on the plane in an amazing short amount of time we were ready for take off, or so I thought. Sitting back in my seat I was amazed to hear from the front of the plane '' I hope we don't feel a draft through the door again.'' Something you do not want to hear as you are about to fly at 30,000 + feet.

After taxing down the runway and listening to the safety demo from the rudest air hostess in history I again decided to sit back and enjoy the flight as much as I could. After take off the cabin crew came round with the drink service. As we were both hungry and thirsty we decided to buy a drink and sandwich. We and many other passengers were amazed to hear that you could pay for you food with your credit card, sterling or Euros. Who on a flight to Malta would have Euros on them when the currency in Malta is Maltese Lira!! To me it would make more sense for an airline flying to a country that doesn't use the Euro to except the local currency. After purchasing some food and drink I went to place my menu in the seat pocket. To mine and my wife's amazement we were completely shocked when I pulled out of the pocket to big pieces of plastic. These bits of plastic were obviously off of the plane, approximately 30cm long and 3 cm wide. This once again made me feel why on earth am I flying Ryanair. After some looks of panic off of others and the crew I put these pieces back and just prayed that we would arrive in Malta soon and in one peace.

Soon enough came the time for us to descent into Malta. Finally I thought I can start to enjoy my holiday once on the ground. We landed safely but that wasn't the end of the experience. Once landed and disembarking from the flight you expect to hear the normal ''thankyou'' , ''enjoy your holiday'' but with Ryanair, no. The following was what we were greeted with. '' Well at least we have landed early we can get rid of this lot, board the others and get home early''.

This is the experience we had whilst flying with Ryanair. As mentioned above we were prepared to give them a chance but I am sorry to say that our experience seems as bad as other peoples who have flown. To me Ryanair should not be allowed to fly and all staff need to be retrained in customer service skills. Ryanair is definitely an airline I will not be flying with again.

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Refusing Full Refund
Submitted 8 January 2007

I recently flew to Sicily with Ryanair. Only when I returned to the UK did I realise there was a problem. Ryanair had charged me twice for the return ticket. (I had bought a single ticket to get to Italy. Then another single ticket to return home).

I wrote to Ryanair in Dublin asking for a refund. (The amount of money was significant). I did not anticipate a problem at this stage. However, the Customer Service department refused to refund in full. They acknowledged that they had made a mistake. They had charged me twice for one ticket.

But they said they would only refund part of the money. They said they need to keep some to cover their costs. I spoke to Trading Standards. They said Ryanair were legally obliged to refund all the money. If they did not refund all, they would be breaking the law.

I approached Ryanair one final time. I told them they were acting illegally. They were uninterested and again refused to return my money.

When I spoke to a lawyer I was informed I could take Ryanair to court. However, my bank surprisingly intervened and returned the money!

I no longer fly with Ryanair. I use other airlines even if the destination airport is less convenient.

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Retrying Credit Card Payments
Submitted 8 January 2007

The volume of stories on the site, even over the last few days, show exactly how lacking in customer care Ryanair is & what a need there is for a site like yours. Another problem with Ryanair is their website which appears to be very flakey when accepting payment. I normally try & pay by debit card as the charges are cheaper but a number of times I've been told my card hasn't been accepted, forcing me to change to a credit card (with higher charges). However, the last couple of times this has happened I have just exited the site, rebooked completely from the beginning, using the same card the same card & it's all gone through OK. I offer this as a suggestion to anyone encountering the same problem.

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Letter to Ryanair about Wheelchair Services
Submitted 7 January 2007

In your promotional literature you provide statistics for the speed at which you respond to complaints, unfortunately there is no mention about the number of complaints which are ignored. I referred to in this instance to my letter dated the in which I drew your attention to the fact when one books a wheelchair, this cannot be done online, and that the premium rate telephone costs a minimum of one pound per minute. I understand that each ticket purchased from Ryanair carries a charge of approximately 40p towards the provision of wheelchair services. I am reliably informed that approximately 1/400 passengers require such assistance and that this cost to the airline is £16. It would appear therefore that Ryanair are already making a significant contribution from the needy.

As you have elected to ignore this letter I have no other option but to refer it to the following bodies,

1/info@ryanaircampain.org
2/BBC breakfast TV (William Turnbull)
3/Association for the disabled.
4/Mail on Sunday.

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Lost Bag Recovered
Submitted 6 January 2007

I recently travelled from Stansted to Newquay with Ryanair. Unfortunately my case was lost which was upsetting at the time. Their staff could not have been more helpful at Newquay. They took all my details and started the investigation. True to their word they found the bag undamaged and delivered it to me by courier. I would hate to think what would have happened if it had disappeared on the railways where cases have to be stored at the end of the carriages. One more point the service from Cornwall is excellent and I will continue to use it.

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Point-to-Point, but Selling Onward Tickets?
Submitted 6 January 2007

One of Ryan Air's favourite tricks is to sell in advance coach tickets from Stansted to Central London. It's just another way in which they inflate revenue without actually providing a service.

A family of 4 of my friends (2 adults and 2 children) travelled from Stockholm to Stansted to visit my family here in London.

Their flight left 11/2 hours late without any explanation.

On arrival at Stansted they discovered they had missed the last coach connection and were obliged to buy rail tickets at great expense - completely negating the low fare that had enticed them to fly Ryan Air in the first place.

Subsequently they contacted Ryan Air in Dublin for a refund of the missed coach tickets and compensation for the extra costs incurred in taking a train to Central London.

It's no surprise that Ryan Air refused to accept any responsibility for the extra costs incurred.

Now my friends and children travel a lot but have told me they would rather submit to the Spanish Inquisition than fly Ryan Air again - and they never have. Moreover they and we always strongly advise everybody we meet to shun Ryan Air like the plague.

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Seat Loading Distribution
Submitted 6 January 2007

When I checked in for Ryanair flight FR 442 Dublin to Liverpool, a Boeing 737, I was pleased to learn the flight was under 1/3 full.

However when I entered the plane, last as usual, I found all the passengers squeezed up together in the mid section of the plane 3 & 3 across like sardines. I chose a seat just in front of the sardine rows, as no isle or window seat was free and I suffer (mild) claustrophobia.

He then apparently went and asked the captain who sent him back 3 times each time to insist I become a pliant and extremely uncomfortable sardine in the packed centre section, to follow "rules" but he did not know which or what rule.

Finally apparently responding to a call from the captain, 2 armed Irish policemen came aboard and told me to leave the plane. They did not know why, they were simply responding to the captain's order. I left with them.

Since then I have written to Ryan to ask why they have this practice of sardine packing on mostly empty flights. The reply was a laughable "balance???" (see attached), and a request for clarification of "balance" was ignored.

I have since flown Aer Lingus and easyjet 737s, also less than 1/3 full. In each instance passengers were given free choice of seating. With easyJet the cabin crew specifically asked passengers to spread themselves "uniformly" throughout the plane.

I asked the easyjet captain what the Boeing air safety guidelines are for seating. She said, "for safety passengers should be asked to sit uniformly distributed throughout the whole plane".

She did not recognize the word "balance" in this context, except to say Boeings instructions are "passengers should NOT be allowed TO SIT ALL TOGETHER in one section of the plane".

When I told her of the Ryan experience she thought the cabin crew might have misunderstood the captain's orders.

Or, we both agreed, it could have been to make the job of the cabin crew easier in the service, or for the cleaners after landing.

Flight Safety invoked when the real reason was convenience of Ryanair staff

Ryan Air reply when asked them why the "sardines" was

"I wish to confirm that the reason for not utilising certain rows of seats is balance. The aim is to have the weight within the aircraft distributed throughout the middle of the aircraft if flight load has not reached full capacity. However, in the case of a flight being full these seats may then be used as there would be an equal distribution of weight."

Maureen Noonan
Customer Services"

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Two Experiences of Good Responses from Ryanair Staff
Submitted 5 January 2007

1) In Summer 2005 I was booked to fly from Carcassone to Stansted. I failed to check my email before leaving (they had sent one out to all passengers), and on arriving at the airport found that all flights were cancelled due to a french industrial dispute. A Ryanair rep quickly listed out the options, and offered me an alternative flight from Girona early the next morning at no additional cost. This was efficiently resolved in 10 minutes at the airport and new travel documentation issued on the spot.

2) In January 2006 I and three others booked to fly to Perpignan for a few days. There was exceptional snow at Perpignan and we were diverted to Girona. As we came off the plane buses were waiting to take us to Perpignan. We set off but snow had blocked the autoroute at La Jonquera and the buses could not proceed. After some time we were offered the choice of a hotel in Girona for the night, or being dropped at Figueras station to get a train to Perpignan. We chose the train and after a long delay due to the very severe weather got to Perpignan 10 hours late.

On our return home we submitted a claim to Ryanair for subsistence, train and taxi fares. This was paid in full by cheque two weeks later. Despite the fact that the problems were completely out of their control, Ryanair did their best to get us to our destination and met our costs in full.

As I write this, stories in the press are running about British Airways with a warehouse full of undelivered luggage and charging premium rate phone calls for people to get information about their stuff! Enough said.

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Sitting With Children
Submitted 3 January 2007

Flying from Stansted to Kerry (Ireland) before xmas 2006

My wife, 4 year old daughter and I were waiting with the other passengers with small children to board our flight near the gate. The flight was late due to fog, but I was just happy to be going as lots of other flights were being cancelled .... the announcements on the PA system in the Ryanair terminal were like "Would the people who were going to dublin on flight FRXXX please go to their gate where they would be led to the baggage reclaim to get their bags" - they got their money back with no apology and no chance of getting home for xmas.

Our flight was getting ready to be boarded but people with kids were told to back up as the people with yellow tickets were getting boarded first. I had never heard of this before, I asked one of the people with the yellow tickets and he told me that he paid £2 (€3 in europe) at the check in desk. He told me that he had been offered the yellow sticker when checking in

When the yellow ticket holders had gone through the Ryanair staff said everyone else could board, NOT people with children or handicapped people - EVERYONE. Luckily we had been close to the gate and got onto the plane early and got seats together, some families did not get close enough and ended up with one parent seated with a child or two with the other parent quite far away.

When we were coming back from Kerry to Stansted in Jan 07 we were offered the yellow sticker but I declined as few people were taking up the offer. When boarding was announced there was a special queue for the priority (yellow sticker) passengers and it was mostly full with people with kids ...... they had got the stickers as it was the only way to ensure that they would get an opportunity to sit together. What will happen when everyone buys the yellow stickers?

I wont be flying Ryanair any more, they move the goalposts too often (catching out customers, forcing them to pay more that budgeted/planned for) and when there are problems the customer is always the loser.

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Printing Boarding Card
Submitted 3 January 2007

Just to warn anyone who plans to print their own boarding card that they ned to be sure the computer they are using will print o.k. I tried this in an internet cafe in Southern Spain and it did not work. I thought I would have to check in as usual to get my boarding card. After along wait in the queue I was told when I went to the desk that I had a boarding card. Of course I had not.

I then had to go to the information desk and queue again to get a special one printed, then back to the original queue, and for all this I was charged about 15 euros extra,(admin!!)

I wrote to Ryanair, but I am sure you know the reply. "our terms and conditions state the position"

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Advertising Suspended Route
Submitted 2 January 2007

I have travelled to and from France using Ryanair 58 times in the last three years. When all goes according to plan, they offer a superb and economical service. These are my good and bad experiences.

57 trouble-free flights with only minor delays.

On one occasion, I experienced a four-hour long delay while they flew two engineers in from another region of France in order to inspect the plane for engine damage possibly caused by birds on the runway. Without exception, the passengers were more than happy that Ryanair chose to put our safety first.

Although a lot of the complaints about the Company relate to cancellations and delays due to bad weather, no-one could accuse them of compromising on safety issues.

Having booked several trips in advance for 2006/7, between Nottingham EMA and Bergerac, I was informed by e-mail that the route was suspended from November until April 18th 2007, and have therefore incurred considerable expense in phoning to re-arrange the disabled assistance required at departure and arrival points. As I had to make several very long calls to arrange this in the first place, I am pretty disgusted by their requirement to phone again, given the difficulty in actually getting to speak to someone

I am also less than happy about having to fight my way to and from Stansted, the alternative airport.

To date, the refunds due on the original flights have not been received, 3 months later.

Despite the temporary suspension of the route, they are continuing to advertise EMA to Bergerac in their current promotions.

A ONE-MINUTE late-check-in resulted in refusal of boarding for French friends returning to Poitiers. They had to pay a total of £180 to get onto a flight to (fairly) nearby La Rochelle.

Their 'default' system of booking on-line has caught out many unwary friends, who have ended up with insurance they didn't realise they were accepting, ditto priority check-in etc. It does smack of sharp-practice.

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The Cost of Getting Out of Trouble
Submitted 2 January 2007

My husband, our three children, sister, parents and I were to fly back from Traviso airport at 10.30 pm on December 30th. My father had had a skiing injury and had a broken shoulder so Ryanair had given him the opportunity of boarding first so he could get a seat of his choice. That was the nice part of our journey.

When we returned our cars to the rental company's, they told us that we should hang on to them because flights were being cancelled due to the fog (we had managed to leave Stanstead a week earlier in far worse conditions). We checked with the staff in Traviso and were told that although other flights had been cancelled, there was no problem with the Stanstead flight. Our bags were checked in and we were told to go to the gate to board, where we stood for 30 minutes, before being told at 10.40 that the flight had been cancelled as it had to be diverted to another airport. We were informed by loudspeaker that the next available flight was on January 4th.

We then travelled to Marco Polo airport (with no assistance from Ryanair) and had a wonderful night sleeping on the floor until we could get a flight with another airline (I suppose I shouldn't mention the name other than saying it starts with a B, has an M in the middle and ends with an I). This airline has a wonderful concept of customer care.

This might not sound like a fright story, but it cost us £1300 to get back to the UK, not to mention dealing with very upset small children and a 70ish parent with an injury. I'm not sure where we stand with insurance yet, but lets face it, when you are in your forties, you have credit cards to fall back on. Young people use this airline because its cheap and don't realise the importance of insurance, I certainly didn't when I was younger and travelling. Not to mention that they state they are not ATOL on their documents.

On anther note, which didn't seem terribly important at the time, on a trip to Dublin with said airline earlier this year, my baggage did not arrive. When I asked about it, I was told that there wasn't room on the flight so they had left it at Stansted,,,,,,,

Anyway, the lesson learnt is not to be enticed by 99p tickets. I have travelled with this airline before and it's been fine, not terribly pleasant, but ok. I am a Customer Services Manger so may have high expectations, but I will never ever ever fly with Ryanair again.

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Ryanair Refuses Other Identification When Passport Stolen
Submitted 2 January 2007

I had the following experience with Ryanair last summer when I was travelling from Stansted to Frankfurt, Hahn, and on to a conference at Trier with several elderly and infirm (like myself) friends whom I had brought by car to Stansted. During the conference I had the misfortune to lose my wallet containing my passport etc. The loss was reported to the police who provided a report.

As I had other means of identification, driving licence, etc and the number of my passport, I assumed that, as an EU citizen, I would be allowed to travel back to Stansted. The other three members of our party (a retired bishop whose leg was in plaster after a fall, a retired medical consultant with recent hip replacement and my wife) were all dependent on me as the driver to get them home with their suitcases etc).

Ryanair refused to allow me to fly, although they said that other airlines would probably have acted differently in my circumstances. They provided the address of the nearest British Consulate so that I might obtain a replacement passport. This address proved to be mistaken. The consulate was in fact not in Frankfurt but in Dusseldorf. By the time we reached Dusseldorf it was closed. We fortunately had kind friends near Duisburg who came to our rescue and then took us to Dusseldorf the following day. The consulate staff were very supportive and, as I had my passport number, were able to telephone the UK and obtain my details within a few hours.

They also expressed surprise that Ryanair were unaware of their location and were not prepared to allow me to fly in the circumstances. We eventually returned to Stansted via Weze where we were obliged to obtain two further Ryanair tickets for my self and my wife who had remained with me as a German speaker.

I wrote to the Ryanair Managing Director in Dublin on our return home about their lack of customer care but received no acknowledgement or reply. The good side of the story is that I did get my wallet with all its contents back, thanks to an honest citizen of Trier and Saga Insurance met all our extra costs, However, we will think twice before we fly with Ryanair again,

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No Refund on Return, When Outward Flight Cancelled
Submitted 2 January 2007

I've used Ryanair many times over the past few years and most of my experiences have been fine. As noted by many of your contributors their staff are rude and unavailable but as long as you don't need them it's not a problem.

My worst experience, which has led me to check all and any other travel options before booking with Ryanair, was when I booked a last minute flight from Stansted to Cork in 2004. I, fortunately for me, booked it by credit card through Tara Travel in London. I was going to a wedding on a Friday and only booked the flight on the Thursday evening due to personal circumstances. Tara Travel booked a single flight out and then a return from Cork as this worked out cheapest (approximately £250 in total.)

The Cork flight was cancelled when I arrived at Stansted the next morning and although I was offered a flight to Dublin I couldn't get from there to Cork in time for the wedding so I went home. Ryanair refunded the cost of the single flight but refused to refund the Cork to Stansted return as I had failed to turn up for it so that was my fault. I spoke to a customer service rep who reiterated the company line and then wrote to my credit card company asking for a full refund which they did immediately. I got a cheque from Ryanair and a full refund from the credit card company, the cheque I forwarded onto Tara Travel and as I understand it they incurred the loss of the return flight.

I now always book by credit card and last time my flight was cancelled I didn't bother with Ryanair I just asked the credit card company to refund the payment which they were quiet happy to do.

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Another Reduction in Service
Submitted 2 January 2007

I am a regular user of Ryanair. I use their services about 3-4 times a year. The reason that I user Ryanair is that my family lives on the coast in Essex and Ryanair are the only airline flying to Stansted from the area in Germany where I live. Travel to other airports in the UK add at least 2-3 hours to my journey.

Even in the few years that I have used Ryanair I have noticed the reduction of the level of service, or the change from part of the standard offering to an extra chargeable service. In the last year we have seen the addition of charges for hold baggage, which I dislike but the best part came when flying to the UK before Christmas.

One thing that I have always found positive is the priority boarding for families. I travel mostly with my young daughter, in which case the getting her seated and sorted under slightly less stress is welcome.

On arriving at the gate on dec 22nd I was informed that priority boarding for families no longer exists. There is a priority boarding for people who checked In via the ryanair web site. This is of course only available for those without hold luggage, so not possible for me when travelling with my daughter.

I assume that there will also soon be the possibility to pay for priority boarding.

Although I use Ryanair regularly I must say that the experience is not enjoyable. I would never extend my travel with Ryanair beyond a one-hop trip, and if I have an alternative airline I use the alternative. I think this is the only basis for using Ryanair, i.e. as a last alternative.

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No Responsibility for Delay Caused by Ryanair
Submitted 2 January 2007

I have had problems with 'Ryanair concerning their reluctance to accept responsibility for a situation that arose at Stansted airport 06.09.06.

I will give a brief outline. A booking was made on 24.08.06 to dep at 17.10 to Seville. Myself and 2 senior citizens had arrived at appropriate queue at 3Pm some 2hrs 20 mins prior to take off. Anyway the first flight desk decided to close- although there were only a few passengers waiting in this queue.

We were informed by somebody coming on to the floor that we had to move over to another queue. However, there were a lot of passengers behind us and instead of giving us priority over and above those behind us- there was no control- a free for all ensued, and we were pushed behind in a very long queue.

By the time we were issued with boarding passes it was 16.20 and we got to security at 16.30. It took 30 mins to clear and when we had to go along long concourse to the gate it was 17.00 and we missed the flight by 6mins.

Anyway, we were supposed to report at the gate at 16.30 which was impossible.

It was about 17.30pm and i had to try and find out what could be done- so about 18.00 explained to 'Ryanair staff the situation and I was informed that I should approach BAA as it was their reponsibility for queues. Of course at this time I was not fully aware of who controls the queues to check in.

Anyway, BAA said it was to do with Ryanair. At this time it was too late to travel 200 miles home by coach. I had to phone a hotel reservation company to explain the situation.

I was very unhappy with the situation. I went back to Ryanair staff and requested was it still possible to travel to Seville next day it was. However, we would have to pay £100 each on top of the fares already paid over the internet. We were not prepared to do this.

The only thing the Ryanair staff did was to provide their contact details- no phone number 0r email address - only a fax no and address.

So here I was stranded at Stansted with two senior citizens- one of whom was a lady who had lost her brother recently to contracted MRSA - so she needed 14 night break.

Anyway, from our pockets we had to purchase food etc.

When getting back home I contacted Ryanair on several instances even writing to Mr Michael O'Leary each reply was the same they could not take responsibility for the situation. It was even put to him in the light of the promotions going on would it be feasible to honour our payments already made for a future flight- no joy here.

It was stated in one later from Ryanair that he, that is Michael O'Leary would contact the station Manager at Stansted to review procedures. Why do this after receiving later letter?

Anyway, BAA was contacted and it was stated that the airline is 'wholly responsible for management of flght desk and also the queue at desk. BAA's responsibility lies with control of security queue.

The delay was protracted by the airline closing the desk far too early and not overseeing the queue for next flight desk.

Even another body concurred it was the inability of Ryanair to deliver an adequate service that we missed our flight.

All the Ryanair letters from Ryanair relate to are statements about regulations and how the onus is on the passengers to get to the departure gate on time.

They apportioned the blame on us- not allowing for the fact that our protracted delay was as result of the actions of their staff at Stansted. It took one hour 20 minutes to clear them and in contrast just half an hour to clear security.

Ryanair has even had the audacity to state that they hope that the situation we found ourself in will not put us off from flying with Ryanair again in the future.

Why we we do that- it would be given Ryanair additional monies on top of the money already paid for non acquisition of a flight to Seville.

Another aspect of a letter is the part that stated we would like to assure you that this is not typical of our service and hope this does not put you off from flying with us in future.

What is Ryanair up to on the one hand stating they can take no responsibility then going on about their service?

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No Compensation For Damage
Submitted 2 January 2007

A couple of years ago I went from Stansted to Malmoe in Sweden. Despite having taking my flight suitcase (the same as the pilots are usually carrying) with me onboard many times before Ryanair requested to have it in the baggage room.

The suitcase had lockers which I ensured were fully locked before leaving it in the care of Ryanair.

When I arrived in Sweden and took the suitcase on the belt, the suitcase had been forcefully opened. The lockers were destroyed. Obviously somebody - from the check-in to the check-out had tried to open it by force in order to steal the contents.

I addressed Ryanair personnel immediately and they requested me to fill in a form to it could be reported to Dublin. I got a receipt confirming that I had made a claim.

When I came back to UK I tried for a couple of months to find a shop that could repair the damage to my £300 suitcase! That seemed to be impossible.

I then wrote a letter to Ryanair and claimed compensation as a result of not being able to repair the damage. The answer was that as I hadn't made my claim with eight days, they wouldn't pay me any compensation. I draw their attention to the fact that I was in possession of a receipt which confirmed that I had made my claim within minutes of receiving the suitcase from the airplane.

They refused. They obviously couldn't care less.

Since then I have tried my best to avoid travelling with Ryanair!

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Priority Boarding Charged For
Submitted 2 January 2007

My wife, daughter and myself travelled to France on a Ryanair flight leaving East Midlands just before Christmas. We'd travelled in the summer with Ryanair and with a child in tow we appreciated the fact we could have priority boarding on to the flight.

However at Christmas their policy seems to have changed. We were informed that we would have to pay £2 each each way for priority boarding. This would have amounted to £12 which is not a great sum. Although with the tickets costing well over £200 we didn't want to pay this fee. It seems like Ryanair do all they can to find another way of squeezing money out of the fare-paying passenger. Although on the return trip the Ryanair staff in France could see we had a child and allowed us to board first. Maybe it's another case of rip-off Britain?

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Penalty for Mistake in Booking
Submitted 1 January 2007

My partner and I reserved and paid for the above flights and prior to leaving home booked in on line. We drove to Stansted and after passing through Security and Passport control walked to the embarkation point.

At the final departure check an employee of Ryanair noticed that the names on tickets and passport numbers did not match. In booking in on line we had mistakenly but my passport number on my partners ticket and vice versa. We were both able to produce our passports to confirm our identities, and had driving licences and other means of identification with us. Despite this we were not allowed to board the flight. The Ryanair member of staff who conveyed this message was intolerably rude.

We were told that if we managed to get back to the check in desk we could buy two more tickets at an exorbitant price. as the plane was full we were being invited to repurchase the tickets which we had already paid for, No question of concern about extra proof of identity!! There was not enough time to do this before the plane departed and clearly the member of staff realised this.

On returning home we emailed a letter of complaint to Ryanair and received a standard reply referring us to their terms and conditions. Indeed they emphasised the need to produce passports when requested to do so. We read and reread their rather inept communication but were unable to find any reference to flight exclusion in the circumstances mentioned above. We emailed Ryanair again to point this out but received no reply.

Clearly we realise that we had made a technical error in our booking procedure but fail to understand how Ryanair and its staff could have behaved in such a rude, domineering and unhelpful manner. We are not terrorists but merely a middle aged couple attempting a celebratory weekend break in France

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Penalty for Online Check-in
Submitted 31 December 2006

Another Ryanair Scam, readers be warned! I checked in online for a Ryanair flight but when I got to the airport I was told that my hand baggage was too heavy and would have to be checked in. No problem I thought and didn't mind paying the €10 for the bag but then I was charged a €20 penalty fee for doing the online check-in in the first place. The extra bag cost me €30. I suppose as usual, it's all in the small print!

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Refund of Baggage Fee
Submitted 31 December 2006

yes I to have had problems with an air line called ryan air, I was advised that this airline would be great for me as I travel to Spain regularly, I duly booked a flight from Liverpool to Granada, which appeared to be a good move the price was right,( I did book early ) and I did get to Spain on the agreed date, however my problems started when I wanted to return, it was unfortunately the day of a baggage handlers strike at regional airports in Spain, not ryan air's fault I agree.

I checked the internet to confirm my return flight as instructed and all was well and the flight was on time, or so it seemed, fortunately for me I also checked my emails at the same time and there I found correspondence from ryan air advising me that because of the strike all flights were cancelled and that I had the option to either claim a refund or re-book on a flight later in the week, this was ok because I was in the fortunate position of staying with friends at no cost to me, I tried to book another flight the best price that I could find for most of the was in excess of £190 per person one way, no way could I afford this so I eventually found flights with another company. Upon my return home I tried to contact ryan air no joy!!!! I eventually sent a letter to Mr M O'leary c/o Ryan air Dublin which I have no doubt found it's way to the company I also asked for a refund this was duly sent to me, but as I had paid a return baggage fee I asked for a refund on that as well. All this happened in the month of September 2006 to this date I have received nothing, not even the courtesy of a reply from some unknown person in a very tiny office somewhere answering all the complaints against this company. Being shot down by a united nations panel ( the world intellectual property organisation) means nothing to someone like o'leary and he should remember, the people that made him his money can also take away

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Shared Luggage
Submitted 31 December 2006

Ryanair decided on our way back that 1 bag was over weight!! We packed 1 case as a husband + wife team and it was acceptable on the way out from Stansted 26th Oct 06 but not return !!. The case weighed 20Kg but this was for 2 persons which was lighter than the combined weight of many couples individual cases? I weigh 79Kg + wife 65kg and had to put up with the annoyance of sitting next to a person who must have had a BMI of 45 ie 20st /140kg The excess was £40.00. This was grossly unfair + tainted our feelings towards the whole holiday. There had been no warning, + I feel you have done us your name a great disservice.

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No Help With Missing Luggage
Submitted 29 December 2006

My wife son and I flew out of Birmingham to Dublin on 21 August this year. When we got to Dublin our cases were still in Birmingham. After being kept waiting at Dublin airport for four or five hours we eventually left by our hired car to the west of Ireland. As this was the start of the airline security scare we hadn't been allowed to take hand luggage on board so we literally had what we stood up in although fortunately I had my wallet in my pocket. We made numerous telephone calls to Ryanair in Birmingham and Dublin but all we got was a recorded message saying we will call you back, needless to say that never happened. Eventually on Wednesday 23rd in the afternoon our luggage arrived at Sligo Airport after asking that airport to intervene on our behalf which they did in a very helpful manner. As we had to buy neccesities, toileteries, food (we had brought quite a lot of food with us but of course it had to be destroyed) a change of clothes, (it rained for 2 days) reimburse telephone calls etc I kept all the receipts and on return asked Ryanair to compensate me. I cant remember now but I think they offered us about 24 Euros each which I declined and claimed via my travel insurance. Basically I found their attitude appalling and they just didn't care. What was ironic was at the same time as this, their Cheif Exec was on the radio whingeing that the British Govt should pay Ryanair millions in compensation for the disruption they suffered. The man and his company are a joke.

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No Compensation
Submitted 31 December 2006

This is my letter of Complaint to ryanair.

Dear Sir / Madame

On Saturday 25 November, my wife and I had a confirmed booking to fly to Malaga for a weekend break. We presented ourselves at book-in two hours before the scheduled departure time as requested by Ryanair. We boarded the flight 30 minutes before take off. Just as the aircraft was about to take off, the captain informed us that there was a technical fault in the cockpit. An Engineer boarded the plane and spent another 40 minutes in the cockpit. We we're then told to get off the plane and that a spare part was being flown from London and we were told to wait in the terminal for 45 minutes. We we're in the terminal for 10 minutes when an announcement was made over the public address, that our flight had been cancelled and we would have to wait until the following morning to be carried to our destination. When we booked our flight, we felt confident that our journey would be a pleasant affair due to Ryanair's constant praise of its own punctuality record.

After the announcement, we approached the information desk for a bit more information and were not shown any courtesy for our predicament. No offer of transport was made, no refreshments, no offer of accommodation. We should also have been advised of our rights as is required by the regulations.

The cancellation caused us severe inconvenience, discomfort and stress. It caused our Spain resident hosts great inconvenience also. On our arrival the next day, we were stranded at Malaga Airport as our hosts had other commitments to attend to first.

It would appear that Ryanair has absolutely no regard for its customers and feels that it can treat them with contempt with no repercussions.

Having consulted with my solicitor, and having been advised of my rights under

Regulation EC No 261/2004.

I hereby claim the compensation amounts specified under Article 7 paragraph 1(b) of the above regulation. This is a dual claim for both passengers in my party.

My Confirmation number is

I expect a prompt conclusion to this matter, and I note that according to Article 12 paragraph 1 of the regulation, exercising my rights under the regulations will not prejudice any further claims for compensation. Should I decide to take such a course, I would expect it to be a class action against Ryanair Ltd.

Yours Sincerely

This is Ryanair responce to me.

Without Prejudice.

Following your recent correspondence to us regarding booking confirmation number DHLFCF.

On behalf of Ryanair, we sincerely apologise for the disruption to your recent flight with us. Ryanair is committed to providing on time services for all passengers and continues to be the No. 1 on-time airline with the lowest level of flight cancellations in Europe, as detailed in audited statistics issued by the UK Civil Aviation Authority.

However, notwithstanding the above, there are rare occasions such as adverse weather conditions, unexpected flight safety problems, strikes security risks that affect our flight operation. We sincerely apologise that your flight was one of those occasional flights disrupted.

As your flight disruption was outside of the control of Ryanair, we regret to advise you that no compensation is due in this instance. Should you have incurred any additional expenses in relation to this flight disruption, please contact your travel insurer to initiate a claim.

Yours sincerely

RYANAIR PASSENGER COMPENSATION DEPARTMENT

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Suitcases
Submitted 30 December 2006

When we arrived at Granada airport we were told that we would could not check in our suit cases only hand luggage could be taken, and that we would have to dump them if we wanted to fly home, no offer of bringing our cases home on another flight, but were told by staff at the Ryanair desk that we could change our flight free of charge and that Ryanair would pay for any Hotel, Car hire or meals incurred. We changed our flight and on our return we faxed copies of our expenses to the number we were given by the staff in Ganada. No reponse, sent them again, no response. Sent them by recorded delivery, no response. Sent again with a threat of legal action, finally an answer, ' its not our fault so no compensation is due'.

We will not be using Ryanair again.

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Trampled Children
Submitted 30 December 2006

My wife, our two small children and I were booked on the last evening flight departing from Reus last August 25th. Other families with small kids and us positioned ourselves at the front so that we could embark first, this is Ryanair's policy. When the time came to embark we were told to proceed to the plane. We decided to opt for the rear door of the aircraft but a Cabin Crew member from the door above told us we could not access the aircraft that way and redirected us to the front door. My two small children were getting onto the steps when suddenly a mass of extremely aggressive adults coming from behind pushed and shoved and began to trample my children with total disregard for their safety and we lost sight of them for a minute or so in all the mad scramble. My wife was hysterical and I had to intervene and threaten violence to recover our children who were crying and very frightened. While all this was going on the Cabin Crew member at the rear allowed passenger to embark via the rear door. Upon entering the aircraft I complained to a male Cabin Crew member but he didn't appear that bothered. Only later when everyone had seated down did he have the gall to sort of apologise while trying to exculpate Ryanair from any responsibility. It seems other families found the situation very traumatic too. For a moment my wife and I feared the worst for our children and remained very angry for a couple of days. Ryanair ground personnel at Reus lost control and allowed a very dangerous situation to develop, breaching in the process Spanish Law concerning Airport safety.

We thought of complaining, but I decided it wasn't worth it since it is our experience that everything in the UK is always rigged in favour of Corporations, while consumer have few and hard to enforce rights. Instead we will never fly with them again and will ensure anyone we know thinking of using them will be made aware of your excellent site. Word of mouth does wonders.

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No Compensation
Submitted 30 December 2006

When we arrived at Granada airport we were told that we would could not check in our suit cases only hand luggage could be taken, and that we would have to dump them if we wanted to fly home, no offer of bringing our cases home on another flight, but were told by staff at the Ryanair desk that we could change our flight free of charge and that Ryanair would pay for any Hotel, Car hire or meals incurred. We changed our flight and on our return we faxed copies of our expenses to the number we were given by the staff in Granada. No response, sent them again, no response. Sent them by recorded delivery, no response. Sent again with a threat of legal action, finally an answer, ' its not our fault so no compensation is due'.

We will not be using Ryanair again.

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Delayed to Deliver Part
Submitted 28 December 2006

My wife and I travelled with RyanAir about 4 years ago from East Midlands to Dublin - we have had around 70-80 flights (short haul and long haul) over the past 10 years.

This was supposed to be a 40 minute hop. The check-in was a free for all - absolute chaos.

On boarding and trying to find a seat (we did) it was immediately obvious that the aircraft was filthy - litter and detritus everywhere.

It was then announced that we would be delayed. Why ? Apparently we would wait until a couple of RyanAir technicians boarded the flight. No problem with our aircraft - an aircraft on the tarmac in Bristol had broken down and we would be delivering a spare part.

We waited nearly an hour for the technicians to arrive. Having missed 'our slot' we then waited for an opportunity to take off and the circled over Bristol airport for an opportunity to land. Then we waited on the ground for an unprogrammed slot to take off.

Our 40 minute hop took over 4 hours.

The technicians could have driven to Bristol in considerably less than 3 hours but RyanAir were quite happy that 200 paying passengers would miss a whole evening of a weekend break just to save a few shillings.

We vowed never to use RyanAir again - and we haven't

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Baggage Sharing
Submitted 28 December 2006

I really struggle to understand Ryanair's policy on baggage sharing.

In September I travelled home to Ireland for a family wedding. At the UK airport, I checked in one suitcase, I was travelling with my 2 young children on my own, so I didn't want to take separate suitcases for each of us and to be charged for this. On checking in, I was over my baggage allowance, I apologised to the lady on the desk for this but explained that I couldn't have managed 2 children, 3 suitcases and a buggy as well as their backpacks and a Waterford Crystal wedding present, that I was too scared to put in the hold. She was extremely pleasant and told me it was OK as others had checked in with no baggage for the flight.

On the return journey, I travelled back with the same suitcase, only slightly lighter but still over the baggage allowance, I apologised again and explained my situation, this time the lady on the desk in Dublin, just told me I would have to pay an extra 42.00 euro, which I didn't have. I tried to reason with her and explained that I had travelled over with heavier luggage and hadn't been asked to pay, she wouldn't listen and told me to stop moaning at her as it was Ryanair's policy. But as a customer facing employee of Ryanair, I believed that she should have dealt with the situation more professionally. Her attitude was if you don't like it go elsewhere and complain to someone else. In the end I took my suitcase off the belt, took it to the toilets to take out as much as I could to put in our backpacks, I had to go back to the desk as the Ryanair employee had our boarding cards and when my luggage weighed in under the allowance, she just handed over the boarding cards without even looking at me. How rude!

But at the end of the day, I still travelled on the flight, with the same baggage weight, the only difference being that I had separated it up, the majority of it was in the hold, with some in our small backpacks in the cabin. But I had not paid any extra!

Now was it worth the hold up at check in, the stress for the Ryanair employee, me and my children? No!

The baggage sharing policy is nonsense, if a family is travelling together why shouldn't they share a suitcase? I believed that Ryanair should be discounting me for 3 of us sharing a suitcase, after all, it's less for the check in staff to process, less for the baggage handling staff to carry, takes up less space in the hold and a quicker turn around time at the destination as there is less baggage to unload. Maybe I should pay to travel with 3 suitcases in the future, after all it will still cost Ryanair more for me to do so.

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Non-Existent Route
Submitted 28 December 2006

My husband and I live in Herault, SW France. In the autumn Ryanair announced a new flight starting late this year direct from Marseille to Marrakech. On 24 October 2006 we booked a return flight for January 2007 at a total cost of 204.04 euros and received confirmation together our booking reference. We then separately booked a hotel in Marrakech.

On 16 November we received an e-mail from Ryanair with the following message 'we regret to inform you that your booked flight has been cancelled due to the delay in the ratification of the EU Open Skies Treaty between the EU and Morocco. Consequently, for reasons outside of our control, we have been forced to defer, indefinitely, the commencement of our flights to/from Germany and France'.

A refund was offered which we requested.

If we had cancelled the hotel then we would have lost that money. Therefore we booked a comparable direct flight via Air Maroc at a total cost of 518 euros - consequently incurring a further 313.96 euros.

The only reason we decided to go to Marrakech in the first place was because of Ryanair's cheap flight.

I wrote a letter to Ryanair's Customer Service Dept stating 'reasons were not outside their control' in that they had no right to advertise and accept payment for a flight which had yet to exist because authority had not been granted and requested a refund for the additional 313.96 euros we have had to pay. I copied this letter both to Trading Standards in Westminster and Dublin stating that Ryanair was breaching the Trades Description Act advertising a service which didn't exist. It was not until they received my letter that their flight refund was forthcoming.

All I got back from Ryanair was an e-mail repeating their first statement. I got no response from Trading Standards in Dublin. The response from Trading Standards in Westminster was that they couldn't comment as we did not live in that borough.

I then discovered the existence of the Air Transport Users Council and wrote to them with copy correspondence. Their reply was that we had to take the matter up with the equivalent governing body in France. To date I have not done so, as I would need to get all documentation translated and doubt very much whether their body will care about an Irish airline. I have thought of contacting the Dublin Irish Commission for Aviation Regulation but reckon this will the fruitless as of course Ryanair generates a huge income for Ireland.

I am still very angry that they were allowed to advertise a 'proposed' flight and take bookings. A lesson we have learned and I hope will be a cautionary tale for others is be very wary of newly announced routes until they are actually functioning or - make sure you book the hotel through Ryanair as well - then all money would be refunded.

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Special Needs Call Costs
Submitted 28 December 2006

It is now the policy to charge people with special needs extra money, when you book on line you have to inform Ryanair that you have a passenger that needs assistance on to the aircraft, before all you did was phone head office and they took your details, now you have to phone reservations which is a premium phone line, the operators are very UNHELPFUL and keep you talking which cost you money,

I had to phone THREE times to get the information in, which cost me €3.90 for each call.

Also we are charged a wheelchair levy or €19 even though we always take our own wheelchair

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Two Experiences
Submitted 28 December 2006

Firstly I'd like to congratulate you on your recent success in being allowed to keep control of your website. Obviously Ryanair hate any negative publicity of which they have an inordinate amount of, mostly due to their non existent customer service. I have had two experiences of Ryanair's obnoxious behaviour towards its customers and now refuse to fly with them, unless absolutely necessary.

The first experience was when myself, my wife and our new born daughter were to fly to Aberdeen from Dublin two years ago. After a very short time, I noticed that the plane had begun it's descent, far too early for Aberdeen. After one or two enquiries to the cabin crew, the pilot informed everyone that we would be landing in Edinburgh due to adverse weather conditions in Aberdeen. We were also informed that Ryanair would endeavour to transport everyone to Aberdeen.

When we arrived in Edinburgh, there was absolute chaos at the Service Air desk, which services Ryanair. We were informed that due to some festival, there was a complete shortage of taxis/buses and were then handed a piece of paper with a Irish MOBILE phone number on it, claiming it was their customer service number in Dublin. I rang the number several times but to no avail. Eventually, my wife, holding our newly born daughter, pleaded with the people at the Service Air desk to try and come to some arrangement to get us to Aberdeen. They then informed us that they had managed to locate a mini bus for one of the passengers, a 13 year old boy who only had some change in his pocket, who was technically destitute and therefore had to be transported to Aberdeen. I'm sure this was a legal responsibility on Ryanair's behalf and that is why they did it. Anyway, we managed to travel to Aberdeen on said bus but purely as a consequence of another passenger's situation. Everyone else on the flight were left to their own devices.

The second situation arose when myself and my family were travelling from Dublin to Sardinia via Stansted. Even though we had three and half hours to wait in Stansted before our connecting flight (also with Ryanair) to Sardinia, we missed the connecting flight. This was due to our flight from Dublin being delayed by two and a half hours. When I enquired as to the problem I was told by a member of Ryanair's staff that there was an initial delay in getting the flight from Europe to Dublin.

I again had to pay for flights to Sardinia the next day and taxis, food and accommodation overnight at Stansted.

I was also informed that Ryanair would take no responsibility as they are a point to point airline even though it was clearly their fault that I missed my flight and had to incur a lot more expense.

The thing that annoys me the most with Ryanair is the constant bullshit about it being a low fares airline. About five seats on every plane are low fares, the rest are normal. Everything else with Ryanair is ridiculously expensive, from a cup of coffee to a Mars bar.

As a paying customer with Ryanair or any other company, I expect a reasonable and courteous level of customer service, especially when it is their fault. I cannot abide by the way they treat people and it's high time that sanctimonious prick, Michael O'Leary got a taste of his own medicine. People argue that live animal export is cruel and inhumane, they should try flying Ryanair! Keep up the campaign and well done.

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Wheelchair User's Humiliation
Submitted 10 July 2006

I am a wheelchair user, and was booked onto flight FR182 Dublin to Aberdeen. When I arrived at gate A71 at Dublin airport I was informed that I would be boarded after "families with small children", as per Ryanairs on signage at the gate...

Families with small children
Passengers requiring help to board
Seats 1 to 90
Seats 91 to 189

At the check-in I had asked for a seat at the rear of the aircraft near the toilet and was given seat 48 (it is not a pretty sight watching a wheelchair user try to get to the toilet on an aircraft).

What happened was this...

At the gate all the other passengers were boarded leaving me as the last passenger, I complained to "john" (he wouldn`t give any further ID) and he said that it was because the aircraft was refuelling, he then changed this to say it was "company rules".

I was taken out to the aircraft and had to transfer to a `carry-on` chair with the other passengers looking out the windows, the `lift` did not go well - for some reason the Ryanair staff lifting me on to the aircraft managed to hit almost every step on the way up (could this be because I had complained at the gate ?).

Instead of going to seat 48 I was taken to row 3 (at the very front of the aircraft) and in full view of all the other passengers onboard had to struggle to transfer into the aircraft seat without the offer of any help from the Ryanair staff.

Having been put into row 3 meant that I was unable to use the toilet on the aircraft, because to do so would have been in full view of all the passengers on the flight and as previously mentioned watching a wheelchair user try to get to the toilet is not a pretty sight.

Why does Ryanair treat disabled passengers this way ?

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Letter to Ryanair from Customer (no reply at 9 July 2006)
Submitted 9 July 2006

Dear Sirs

Delayed Fights

I had booked to travel, with my wife, on the flights with the following details: [provided]

When we arrived at Granada we joined a queue and were told that the flight had been cancelled. We were told that the flights on the next day were fully booked and that we could have bookings for the flight leaving on 30th March at 11.15am.

We were given an address to write to claim compensation and were told that reasonable meals, hotel bills, etc.would be paid by Ryanair.

When we arrived to check in on the 30th March we were told that the flight had been delayed until approximately 14.00 hours. Nevertheless we were forced to go into the departure lounge, which was already full, at 10.40. There were no available seats and no refreshments. We boarded the plane at 13.40 and were then told that we would not be taking off until 16.00. We did, in fact, leave at 15.55. The total time we were delayed being 40 hours.

At no time were we offered any refreshment at all. We were even told, on board the plane that we could not purchase anything before take off. I understand this to be a customs requirement; we asked if we could be given some bottled water and were told that this was not permitted by Ryanair.

I believe that the way in which we were treated was in contravention of 'The European Denied Boarding Regulation which came into force in February 2005.

Whilst I realise that there were problems created by the French Air Traffic Control Staff; nevertheless some flights were permitted and, therefore, it must have been Ryanair's choice not to use the slots allocated for the flights from Granada.

On our return to Stanstead it was apparent that your competitors had managed to re-route flights and that, although delayed, the flights were not cancelled.

I wish to claim the following expenses that were occasioned by the cancellation of our flight. I stress that these costs were kept to a minimum and do not include fuel.

Extra day car hire - Euro 18
Hotel (2 nights @ Euro 53.50) - Euro 107
Meals - Euro 139
Loss of earnings - Euro 184
Phone calls - Euro 10
Extra car parking at Stanstead - Euro 11

Total - Euro 469

I should be grateful to receive your cheque for the above either in Euros or the sterling equivalent, being £325.

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Three Experiences from one Customer
Submitted 8 July 2006

(1) Stansted To Rome

I was booked on the 7.00am flight and managed to get to Stansted at 6am to join a very long queue. As ever, Stansted was jam packed with early morning customers standing in line vaguely wondering if they were in the right queue. I was.

At 6.20am they closed the flight. There were at least 15 of us still standing in line. I naturally assumed that we would be checked in until I saw the desk attendant stand up and walk away. We were left staring at each other.

I accosted a passing Ryanair employee who listened to me patiently, then looked at his watch and said "The flight's closed" I explained that I'd just told him that. He looked over at the queue, looked at where we were now standing, and said "You should have got here in time". I explained that I had been standing in the queue since 6am and had arrived in plenty of time. He spoke into his walkie talkie then said to me again "The flight's closed" and then walked off, leaving us. I was incredulous, no-one else would speak to us, they were too busy. I then raced to the Easyjet counter and bought a ticket for their 7am flight. "You're very late" they said. "Don't start" I said. I wrote to Ryanair and complained, tried to get a refund etc etc. Not even the courtesy of a reply.

(2) Stansted to Venice.

Four of us booked for the 7am flight to Venice.We were going for two days. We checked in, and at 6am got the little train out to the departure gate which was jam packed. We waited to board.

At 7am there was an announcement. Our flight was cancelled. Damn, we thought, but these things happen. Then they announced the cancellation of another flight. And another . And another. There were no 7am flights at all. I asked what had happened to all the planes and was told "Fog". I pointed out there was no fog. "Last night. None of the planes could get in". I explained that we had asked about the weather when we arrived at 5am and was told at the check in desk there was no problem, which technically there wasn't, it was just that there weren't any planes to fly anywhere. "It's easier for us if you're here" she said. "In case of what?"" I replied. "In case we can find a plane". I explained that they appeared to have no planes at all, going anywhere, and clearly had this information from the previous night. "Couldn't you have told anyone?" "No. It's easier if you're here" she repeated.

Literally hundreds of people then set off back to the terminal, and back home, the only offer being a replacement flight late that night.

I wrote and telephoned Ryanair in a fury since we also lost our accommodation costs. No reply.

(3) Stansted to Prestwick

Ryanair's "London to Glasgow" (ha!!) service wasn't that long started when we realised it was the perfect way to travel to a wedding in Prestwick. The wedding was for some Americans who had chartered a jumbo and were landing at Prestwick (the ancient family home). We set off in plenty of time, my wife and two children, with tickets that were not cheap but had been pre-booked. We got stuck in terrible roadworks leaving London and arrived late, at 10.25 for an 11am flight. Being Saturday morning the airport was very quiet. We tried to attract the attention of Ryanair staff and were told the flight was closed. We explained the hold up, the wedding, etc etc and they just stared straight through us. My children began to cry. My wife was upset. I was upset. The staff just stared straight through us. We had no luggage. Eventually, they lifted a telephone (about 10.35 by this time) and reluctantly agreed that my wife could board the plane, but only her "as it's full". We were relieved that at least one of us could go, although this didn't stop my children crying. My wife boarded the plane and texted me to say that there were 48 empty seats. Needless to say, the plane then left an hour late.

I wrote to Ryanair and this time I DID get a reply. It was a printout of a timetable with a handwritten note. "Please turn up on time". No refund, no explanation, nothing.

I try not to travel by Ryanair and find now that all airlines have the same marketing gimmick to fill their empty seats, the difference being that they tend to fly to airports which are near your final destination rather than up to 60 miles away.

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Ignoring European Legislation
Submitted 8 July 2006

My complaint is a familiar one, that the company ignores European legislation about compensating inconvenienced passengers but also makes it as difficult as possible for customers to contact them. I had to send my complaint by fax although the responses from Ryanair that I received were by email.

My daughter flew to Palermo last year, but the return flight was summarily cancelled because of smoke from brush fires drifting across the runway. I and my wife had flown with Alitalia and were immediately rebooked on a flight that we could have taken the same day. Obviously, Alitalia is the local national carrier so it has certain advantages in terms of its administration, but there was no Ryanair company rep at the airport to supply information or make new arrangements for the passengers who had already checked in. Eventually after customers became very angry and the police had to intervene to protect the booking agent who was not a Ryanair staff member, a lottery system was introduced for seats on flights in succeeding days. My daughter eventually got one for two days later. When I tried to obtain compensation for hotels and car hire for the additional days we had to stay in Palermo, Ryanair refused and ABTA and the European aviation authorities offered sympathy but no practical help.

For the company, it could brazen things out leaving us no choice but to undertake expensive and risky legal action through the European courts. Because Ryanair is an Irish-registered company, any legal redress has to be through the European courts. A few unhappy passengers with no prospect of repeat business with Ryanair may not matter in the big scheme of things as far as its profitability is concerned. But it is a symptom of the high-handed and contemptuous attitude towards its customers which one hopes it will come to rue. The watchdogs are unwilling to tackle the problem, so many people are left stranded or dissatisfied with the service.

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Long Story of Emails and Legal Proceedings
Submitted 5 July 2006

On the 25, 27, 30 Jan and 1 Feb 2006, I received e-mails from Ryanair advising a change of flight times to my reservation ex Liverpool on 14 March 2006

Each email offered me the choice of accepting the change, accepting tokens for another flight, or a cash refund within seven days

On receipt of the third email (30 Jan) I elected for a refund to my credit card by clicking on that option

I then received an automated e-mail flash back acknowledging my request

At February end I realised my credit card had nor been refunded and I called the 'help line'.

After an interminable list of questions and wait I was told that yes Ryanair had received the refund request, but it had also received an acceptance of the changes, and therefore the 'help line' couldn't help and I would "have to send a fax to Dublin" to claim the money

I sent a fax on 1st March

By 10 March I had not received any form of response. I called the 'help line' again and was told to write to Dublin

I wrote by Recorded Delivery on the 10th March

On 13 March I received an automated policy statement by e-mail that bore no relation at all to either my fax or letter

I replied that day by e-mail and recorded delivery letter to the signature of the e-mail, a Susie Smith asking for a proper response

Ryanair responded on 20 March by e-mail with another automated policy statement, that again no relation to my complaint

I replied the same day by e-mail and recorded delivery, concluding by giving Ryanair until March 24 to confirm that it was processing my refund. Otherwise I would instigate proceedings

On 30 March, six days after my deadline, and at 19.25 in the evening, Ryanair responded by e-mail claiming that I had accepted the flight changes, that no refund was due, but for goodwill it would give me one anyway. But it couldn't because my credit card had expired

However, that morning at 9.15 I had instigated proceedings through the Online Small Claims court for recovery of my refund and my costs

I replied on the 30 March that evening by email with the new expiry date of my card and a copy recorded delivery letter mailed on 3 April. In both I explained that I had already instigated proceedings, as advised on March 20, and said that if it would undertake to refund my flight and expenses, I would of course withdraw them.

On April 14 I received a copy letter from Manches LLP (solicitors to Ryanair) to Northampton County Court arguing the Court's right to adjudicate and ending with "Meanwhile, we will be attempting to settle this matter with the Claimant without the need for further intervention of any Court."

By 30 May, six weeks later, I had heard nothing at all from Manches LLP or from Ryanair

I wrote on May 30 to Manches, pointing this last fact out

They responded on 9th June (a Glenvil Smith, Consultant) with a list of irrelevant events, saying in effect that everything was my fault, but ending with the promise of a cheque which "will doubtless be with you shortly" for my fair refund, but not my expenses

I replied on 12th June listing the errors in Manches account. They replied to me on the 15th, still claiming everything was my fault, and again promising a cheque

After advising Manches on 18 June that no cheque had arrived, one then did so on the 20th, six months after the promised seven days.

Three key points:

It was only after I threatened legal proceedings that I received any attention at all

Ryanair claims in its Website Code of Conduct' to respond to faxes and letters within seven days, which it singularly failed to do throughout this little saga

My letter of 18 June to Manches advising that I will now start proceeding for the reimbursement of my expenses in this matter, remains ignored.

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Contacting Ryanair
Submitted 5 July 2006

I successfully managed to contact Ryan Air through the email of Gemma Walsh which I got from your website. She was very helpful and my query was dealt with in a reasonable amount of time.

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£40 for Baby Stuff
Submitted 5 July 2006

My wife and baby son were travelling to Ireland and my wife's bag was 1.2kg too heavy and they tried to extort £40 from her to take it all, this was all stuff she needed for the baby and yet the supervisor insisted she pays the £40 or she takes out some of the stuff from her bag. This is outrageous!! Should someone turn up slightly over their limit, they should allow them to check the bags in, some people bring nothing so this would balance out the weight of stuff taken on board so what's the problem?

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Change of Flight Time
Submitted 5 July 2006

Currently a part-time MSc student around my full-time job as Charge Nurse A&E. My MSc requires me to do a summer school which for 2006 is to be held in Finland. Booked a flight to Tampere with Ryanair on 19th January for travel on 20th August.

However in June Ryanair emailed to tell me my flight was to be delayed by 45minutes and would now arrive in Tampere at 2230hrs rather than 2145hrs. On perusing Finnish bus and train timetables I discovered that this meant I could no longer travel because the last bus left at 2230hrs and the last train at 2307hrs and the distance between the airport and train station is 18km.

I rang Ryanair on 4/7/06 and spoke to a nice lady called Hanna who agreed that the buses stopped running at 2230hrs but suggested I checked the Finnish train timetable. This I did and discovered the above after finding the distances on a Michelin map!!

So today 5/7/06 I rang the same 10p/min number and again gave the same details. However this time the operator was "unable to locate my flight details" even though they were exactly the same as yesterdays and asked me to ring another number.

When I rang this number I was immediately told that in order to try and sort out Ryanair's cock-up of my travel plans, I would have to pay £1.00/min for the privilege. I asked the lady to ring me back and she said she could not do so. Over a barrel I again explained the problem and she eventually agreed to offer me a change of flight or a "travel credit". However neither of these options were useful to me, so I wasted £7 on the phone for no gain. I am really looking forward to spending 4+ hrs in a foreign train station awaiting the next train which arrives at 0430hrs.

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Refund of Costs
Submitted 5 July 2006

My flight from Rome to East Midlands was cancelled after a 2 hour delay,instaed of returning to East Midlands (arriving 7.30 pm) my companions and I found ourselves in Stansted at Midnight; without any tranasport and no one from Ryanair to help.

We arranged a one way car hire and arrived home at 4.15 am having picked our car up from EMA.

I was determined to get a refund of costs incurred,no more than that and set about the task.At first I was sent a couple of standard letters to my matter of fact demand for refund;which incidentally were just that, no hysterics no threats no whingeing BUT with questions for them to answer,such as why were we not offered refreshments or telephone calls and why did they fail to fulfill their contract, which was to transport us to East Midlands from Rome since they were obligated to get us to our final destination as indeed they should have offered us refreshments and phone calls, which they are required to do so by the AUC.

eventually after they had skirted round issues by ignoring certain questions I started asking questions one by one and by this time I had the a name on the replies which suggested it was being dealt with seriously even if they were still attempting to shaft me.

However I did get full redress for car hire and calls and refreshments;It is obvious that airlines are on a knife edge with their profits and hence the draconian way their customer service operates; also I must point out that it is the nature of some of the general public to claim 'compensation' for even being served coffee too hot or too cold and when people sniff an opportunity to claim they will try to claim for more than they are entitled to,it is these people who need sorting out as well...... the proffessional complainers.

Another point to mention is that I paid with a natwest credit card so that I would have redress through my card issuer should I fail to receive what I paid for.I may as well have paid on my debit card because despite not receving the the service I paid for I had absolutley no help whatsover,unless they did anonymously, because the letters I recieved from Nat West were dismissive,patronising and rude.In fact out of this debacle Ryanair actually stand head and shoulders above Nat west....and thats saying something.

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Excess Baggage
Submitted 5 July 2006

It's Probably a familiar story but here goes anyway. At arriving at Stanstead for my family Skiing holiday to Andorra, which was booked as a package and I had no idea we were booked with Ryanair until the confirmation came through. We booked in our luggage (2 adults 2 children) and were told very politely that strictly speaking each person should have personal luggage as bunching is not aloud. However, the nice lady was going to let it go but to bear it in mind next time we fly with Ryan air. Little did I know they meant the NEXT time i.e. the return flight.

As I have found from other articles on this site when we got back to Barcelona (ha ha ha) Gerona. We were met with intransigent, not English speaking staff, who didn't work for Ryanair and definitely had no authority to waive our excess baggage of £114.00. With two tied children and no chance of changing the baggage configuration, we had no choice but to pay up.

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No Telephone Support
Submitted 5 July 2006

I write as someone who uses Ryanair several times a year and whose experience of flying with them has generally been a good one, but a recent problem during a Spanish holiday did give me considerable pause for thought.

Whilst in Spain a close family friend died and we needed to re-schedule our return flight. As we were quite close to the departure airport of Jerez we decided to call in there and make our arrangements face to face with the Ryanair staff. On arrival we found that their office was shut and another enquiry desk told us that it is only manned for the period of about two hours prior to a flight. I have no argument with that; Jerez is a very small airport with, I think, one Ryanair flight a day, but surely it would be possible for a notice to be left on display advising clients of the situation and giving a contact telephone number for use in case of emergency. Such a simple customer service measure would cost nothing.

The neighbouring enquiry desk was again most helpful in giving us a telephone number for Ryanair. On dialling it, we received a pre-recorded message, in English, advising us that this was a " restricted line " which did not take calls and giving us another number to call. On dialling this we received another pre-recorded message, this time in Spanish, which we were unable to understand. Upset by our unexpected bereavement, and totally stumped as to what to do next, we were reduced to telephoning a family member in the UK and requesting him to make contact with Ryanair and re-schedule our flight. This he swiftly succeeded in doing and the problem was resolved, although of course there was no refund of the fares on the cancelled flight.

I entirely appreciate that as budget airline users we get what we pay for and I am not naïve enough to expect BA service for budget prices. I had imagined that our experience in Spain was perhaps an unfortunate isolated incident, but it would appear that Ryanair do not, as a matter of policy, provide a telephone customer service. I use Ryanair because it is inexpensive and flies from Stansted, which is within easy reach of my home, and I expect I shall continue to do so, but , bearing in mind that any airline has to have a licence to operate, should not the licensing authority make an effective customer service a condition of the licence? The budget airlines have opened up huge travel opportunities for people of modest means, and we are grateful to them for that, but their clients are surely entitled to assume a certain basic level of customer support.

Perhaps we should be writing protest letters to our MPs or, in Ryanair's case, to the Irish minister of transport?

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Confiscated Burner
Submitted 25 June 2006

We took a flight from Frankfurt Hahn Germany to Tampere Finland some 3 weeks ago. In security check security guys confiscated our neutralized trangia burner. It was full of water after Finnish airport security and Finnair. They had succesfully neutralized the burner for us some 1.5 years ago. However, Ryanair told us that all burners that have had in the past some flammable fluid (in this case alcohol) inside have to be confiscated. After arguing this first with the security guy, then with his boss, we went to Ryanair's desk to ask what we should do to get the burner to Finland. The answer was: we are not a post office. That was it.

We had to buy a new burner in Finland. The price was 12,80 €.

The funny thing is that the burner had travelled with us in more than 15 flights, 4 airline companies and 70.000 km in the air earlier - without problem.

Our solution was simply not to use Ryanair. We recommend the same to everyone.

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Customer Service
Submitted 18 April 2006

In my job as an international journalist, I fly to many destinations around the world and use a lot of different airlines. I can quite honestly say that I have never been so badly treated and so rudely spoken to as I have been during my recent experience with Ryanair.

On April 12, our flight from Düsseldorf to Glasgow Prestwick was cancelled due to a well-publicised bomb threat which closed down Glasgow Prestwick airport. There were no Ryanair staff to be seen before, during or after the announcement; there was no information given as to why or what to do next and when directed back into the arrivals terminal, the colossal mess was left to the Düsseldorf Weeze airport staff to clear up.

Due to the extreme importance of our journey, we made it clear that we must get to Glasgow by April 13. We were put on stand-by for the flight to London Stansted and told we would be on stand-by for for the flight from London to Glasgow Prestwick in the morning. We left for London at 22:00 on April 12.

The fact that the customer service on the flight to London was terrible and that two Ryanair stewards argued with each other publicly during the entire flight would be enough for complaint in itself. But after arriving at Stansted expecting to speak to Ryanair staff about our stand-by to Prestwick, things got worse. Again there was not a soul in sight. After having to pay £90 for a hotel room -- no compensation or organisation forthcoming from the company at this point -- we prepared to return to the airport at 4:40 the next morning when the Ryanair desks would open.

On April 13, we arrived to confirm our stand-by reservation for the flight to Prestwick. The Ryanair representative we spoke to said that she had no evidence that our original flight -- the one scratched due to a bomb threat that was all over the national media -- had been cancelled. When informed that it had and that we had a stand-by reservation for Prestwick that morning, she became abusive and rude. She said, more or less, that we had had our flight (D'dorf to London); that Ryanair was a "point-to-point" airline and that if we wanted to get to Prestwick, we had to buy a new ticket for £330.34 which would not even guarantee us getting on any flight to Glasgow. We bought the ticket for the 8:00 flight despite saying we wanted it for the 6:40 flight -- after being told there was no 6:40 flight. We then managed to get on the "non-existent" 6:40 flight to Prestwick, almost £400 lighter and swearing that we would never use Ryanair again.

This remains the case. Knowing that Ryanair carries thousands of customers a year, our commitment to never fly with the company ever again may not even register. But from my investigations, I know we are just two of a growing number of people who will never fly with Ryanair again. The least the company can do as a final gesture is to refund the cost of the flight from Stansted to Glasgow Prestwick. An offer to pay our hotel expenses would also, in our opinion, not be too much to ask for either.

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Problem With This Section
13 February 2005

A problem has arisen with this section of the site, in that since the recent publicity, it may be considered worth flooding us with messages. We are only recently receiving two types of contribution which are not in the original spirit of sharing information.

One kind is a number of messages suggesting that people should know that "you get what you pay for", often then adding some kind of challenge suggesting that the comments won't be published, claiming that we work for other airlines etc. We would be happy to publish genuine stories praising Ryanair as long as they have some specific content, such as an example of Ryanair giving good or improved service. This would reflect well on everyone.

The other kind is messages abusing Ryanair, making wild claims and expecting us to publish them. For all we know, these come from people with an interest in the airline industry who want us publish libellous statements about Ryanair without the original author having to take any risk.

Both types of message won't be published as stories, and we may end up not taking any more contributions to this page. To the best of our knowledge, what already appears below was provided in a spirit of honesty.

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Passports and Full Flights
Submitted 13 February 2005

I have to confess first to being a long-term Ryanair supporter - I have flown with them more than 400 times and have always had a view that short haul flights should be given the same caché as catching a bus.

If Ryanair need to introduce draconian measures to protect themselves against penalties levied by Aviation Authorities then I understand; if Ryanair need to implement a strict baggage policy to speed up turnarounds then I understand - without going on it is generally comprehensible that in order to keep prices low a business may have to work on a tight form of Terms and Conditions.

And now I have been bitten on the hand by the dog I feed: last month I travelled with Ryanair from Dublin to Stansted. I went to check in for my flight to Montpellier only to be told that my well-worn passport "could be tampered with" - nonplussed I provided other photo ID to demonstrate that the passport had not been tampered with and that it was indeed me. Ryanair staff were not for moving and escalating the issue only drew greater rudeness, but brought me into contact with another 7 people who had been refused check-in for similar and more spurious reasons.

My travelling companion continued to Montpellier and rang me on arrival to say that every single seat on the plane was taken - it was lucky that so many of the passengers like myself had failed to meet their criteria or Ryanair would have been overbooked on the flight.

After spending an hour deciding whether to take a different flight with a different airline I thought I should give Ryanair another go - without question they sold me a one-way ticket back to Dublin for GBP180 and no concerns at all about the vulnerability of my passport - indeed when questioned the check-in girl hadn't a notion what I was talking about.

Two trips to the British Embassy in Dublin and I have a new passport, not because I needed one (according to the passport office), but because they sympathised with the dilemma many people had found themselves in with well-worn passports and Ryanair.

I have tried to raise the issue with Ryanair, but their system of ignoring you to the point where you give up in frustration has worked again and I just can't be bothered to pursue it any longer.

Ryanair's view is that they are routinely fined Euro2000 if they allow anyone to travel on a passport which is then refused by the immigration authorities at the destination airport. I have no idea whether this is true or not, but I do know that the British Embassy considered my passport to be valid even if Ryanair didn't.

I am still a fan of no frills budget travel, but I do wonder if it is a case that Ryanair are doing themselves a disservice by training their staff in counter-travel tactics as it is bound to add up in the end, and what happens when one of their underpaid and poorly looked after staff blows the whistle? I guess we will probably just live with it!

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More Good Experience
Submitted 13 February 2005

I have flown Ryanair countless times and have only ever had good experiences but the attitude towards customers amazes me. I was astounded to read today that Ryanair say they don't have a complaints telephone line or on line form because it would increase costs ... well if they want to keep costs down why are they perusing legal action against this web site.

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Good Experience
Submitted 8 February 2005

For balance. I have travelled more than ten times with my wife to Trieste airport and to Klagenfurt. I accept that you get what you pay for and therefore my expectations are quite low as regards customer service and quality. As an airline I must say, I have personally no reason to complain about them. The flights have always departed within 30 mins of their scheduled times and if you book in advance when they warn you of their special offers, they are cheap.

We pay on average less than £60 for a weeks return for two adults which makes it very reasonable to go to Slovenia for a break. They are nearly always cheaper than Easyjet WHEN BOOKED IN ADVANCE. It is of course spectacularly expensive to make a last minute change of flight but this is common practise in the industry. I have workmates who have had problems with Ryanair flights where they have been left stranded or had luggage lost for a period but I have never had any problems myself.

I believe that from my personal experience they are quite good at what they do - move you from a-b cheaply. It helps if you think of them as an intercountry bus rather than an airline. I know of people who have had similar problems with other major carriers who then get a meal or some compensation - obviously this is nice. However, you must remember that these freebies come at a price - the ticket was that much more expensive. Ryanair expect their customers to be going for short breaks or to visit relatives or long weekends, as a result they perhaps take less care than those airlines who know they are likely to be carrying high value luggage.

This site is valuable because it does show that even though the majority of passengers get exactly what they expect, a minority to get very poor service or shabby treatment. Rather than harranging you and threatening you with m'learned friends, they would be better advised to spend that money on sorting out their customer service levels so that they were less abrasive. (as an afterthought, I was over allowance at Trieste and the staff there told me to re-pack some of my luggage or pay the excess so I think it depends on the airport staff.)

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Passports Yet Again
Submitted 5 February 2005

I purchased a ticket from London to Eindhoven. I was travelling on a valid EU passport which had 5 days left on it, but I was travelling back to the UK within the 5 days.

Extremely rude ryanair check in staff told me that I would not be able to travel as my passport wasn't in order, and that in order to travel "international law" required that I have at least 6 months on my passport.

This is complete rubbish, as it is ultimately up to the landing country to accept or deny entry, and since my passport was valid for both journeys it didn't matter.

Ryanair staff continued to act like robots/cracked records repeating over and over some kind of script about my passport needing to be valid at least 6 months from date of travel. Also, since I am a National of the Netherlands I am entitled to travel back to my country with a passport that expired that day, and according to UK immigration officers I spoke to at Stansted I could even travel on an expired passport (back to the country I was a national of) so long as the photo looked like me. This was also confirmed by the Dutch Embassy in London and Dutch border protection I called in the Hague. Of interest is the fact that in some cases people can travel without passports IF the receiving country AGREES to this but Ryanair refused to even send a telex to the Dutch border police, which is standard procedure.

In any case, my passport was totally valid for a 3 day trip as it was 5 days away from expiry.

However, after 4 hours of phone calls at my considerable expense I missed my flight but then Ryanair had a change of heart. They said I could now travel but had to buy a new ticket and pay over E200. I refused, and when I asked for a refund of the original flights they said NO. SO, they wanted to let me miss the flight, pretend to suddenly realise their mistake and then ask me to pay 200 euro more and no refund on the original flight. I would advise anyone to stay away from them.

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Passports Again
Submitted 30 January 2005

I lost my passport while on holiday in Spain (LIKE THOUSANDS OF OTHERS APPARENTLY). I reported it missing at the local Police Station and filled in the appropriate form which was in 4 parts, one of which was given to me to produce at my departure airport. I also had a photocopy of my passport which I always carried with me - just in case ...

On the day of my flight I went early to Murcia, San Javier airport just in case there were any problems. When I got to the Check-in desk I was told that the document from the Police was not acceptable to Ryanair and neither was the photocopy of my passport. Much pleading and begging proved to be in vain, the staff were both unhelpful and rude, Predicament! My wife was on the same flight and had no means of getting from Dublin airport on her own.

The Airport Police assured me that they would let me through with the form but not without a Boarding Pass which I could only get from Ryanair. The SERVICEAIR office in the airport advised me to go to Alicante Airport which is about 70 miles away where they said EVERY airline EXCEPT Ryanair would accept the form.

Luckily my car was still on hire so I said goodbye to my wife and drove to Alicante. I had just missed the last flight to Dublin so I took the next flight to Manchester with Monarch, hoping I could get a connecting flight to Dublin that night. In Manchester I missed the last flight to Dublin by minutes.

I spent the entire night in a cold almost empty Manchester Airport and at 6.30 am got a train to Holyhead and the ferry to Dublin. The trip from Spain took me 23 hours. My wife had to take a very expensive taxi from Dublin airport. I arrived home too late for an important family function. It costs me hundreds of Euro and much distress. I will never fly Ryanair again!

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Early Change of Booking
Submitted 28 January 2005

Wife and I were booked for a flight to Germany Sept 04. She had suddenly her NHS operation moved forward , so I ad to cancel, good 5/6 weeks in advance!!. Was informed of 'no fefund policy' but could change flight for a massive fee per person. This was not an option considering uncertain outcome of operation.

Needed a note confirming cancellation , payment of a fee was required. Etc. etc

Moral of the story, once they've got you they bleed you dry. They are easily the meanest mob in the business.

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Carrying Skis
Submitted 26 January 2005

This is now an old story, but one which certainly highlights the ethics and attitude that govern Ryanair's business. In 2002, I went skiing with a group of colleagues in Italy. We flew with Ryanair to Turin. this is our story...

As a final note...I still use the airline, but only when the flights are extremely cheap and I NEVER buy anything on board. However, I once took a small bottle of water with me and while taking a sip was told that I couldn't drink it on board...I could only consume water that I'd bought from the airline on the aircraft!!! Needless to say I ignored them and finished the bottle...I don't think even an airline has the ability to restrict a human being from basic sustanence regardless of it's provenance.

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Change of Flight Time
Submitted 23 January 2005

This is my story. I decided to tell it here after reading about www.ryanair.org.uk in Private Eye, and the attempts at strong arm tactics to close down the site. If Ryanair want to argue the toss I've still got the letter where they finally accept liability, but fail to apologise or offer recompense!

The story I have to tell goes back to the 24th June 2001, the day after my Wedding. My wife and I had booked to fly to Pisa in Italy and had hired an apartment in the hills near Florence. The whole thing was arranged via a travel agents in Cambridge, UK. The day of the wedding arrived and a fine day was had by all. We were then collected and taken to Stansted airport in ample time for our flight. I remember checking the 'Departures Board' as we arrived and thinking 'that's our flight number, but the time is wrong, our flight is in an hour...'. I was wrong. Ryanair had moved the flight forward an hour. Arriving at the check-in desk the staff told us the flight had just left. I was understandably shocked and asked why no-one had informed us the flight had changed. Initially they stated that it said on our flight documents that you should check the flight time in the 72 hours leading up to the flight. I had all the flight documents with me, so I took a couple of minutes to read them. I didn't find this particular instruction, so therefore asked the staff to indicate where this text appeared. They couldn't find it, but fell back to the position that it 'should'! There next position was that efforts were made to inform us. Firstly by telephone, but then by post. I checked the telephone numbers they had for me, and these were correct. However, no message had been received, and no message left on the answerphone. The desk operator told me that according to their system attempts had been made to commmunicate the change, but then, having failed to reach us they had contacted our travel agent and the responsibility would have then been theirs. As it was a Sunday and our travel agent was by this time closed, and we had been fortunate enough to be able to get on the next flight to Pisa we left it at this, deciding to sort it out upon our return). We did, of course have to pay for the flight again, but at least we would still get there.

The holiday was very nice, and Florence was, as always, beautiful.

When we returned from Italy however, the next stage of the story began. Initially I spoke to our travel agent, explaining the above. They checked their records, and confirmed that they had had no communication from Ryanair. I told them that I didn't care who was to blame, I just wanted to know who was going to repay me for the cost of the flights and offer an explanation and recompense.

At this point I didn't hear anything for a couple of weeks. However, the local travel agent was not sitting idle. They had received the same lies from Ryanair as we had at Stansted. So they rang up the customer service, claiming to want to just check something on our behalf. The person they spoke to read the full record of what had happened of their screen, confirming that the full attempt to let us know the change of flight time was one phone call (no message left) and then nothing else. No follow up phone call, no letter, email or carrier pigeon. They hadn't tried to contact the travel agent at all.

Faced with their own admission we were refunded the cost of the second flights, but no explanation for the bare faced lies of the staff (who presumably were looking at the output from the same system) or apology was ever forthcoming.

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Baggage Limits
Submitted 5 November 2004

Stansted to Alghero. My wife and I both had hand luggage only. In our confirmation, it stated the following:

"ONLY ONE SMALL PIECE OF HAND BAGGAGE (E.G. HANDBAG OR BRIEFCASE) WEIGHING NOT MORE THAN 10KG AND BEING LESS THAN 50CM X 35CM X 23CM (20 X 14 X 9INS) IN DIMENSIONS IS ALLOWED IN THE CABIN"

It doesn't say suitcase interestingly, but my wife and I measured the small suitcases that we usually take as carry-ons and found that in all dimensions they fell a few centimetres within the restrictions, including the wheels. We packed carefully to be within the 10KG limit.

No problem at Stansted, we were checked in quickly and went through.

On the way back however, we were challenged by the check-in agent about the size of the bags. (He never bothered to weigh them.) He had us put them in the little basket they use to check dimensions. The bags barely fit. We had to force them in. Another nice check in agent (not Ryanair staff) said they would be OK and told the other agent to accept them.

But the fact is that the basket was clearly smaller than the stated dimensions. We could have checked our bags in as we had no other luggage (except that we had fragile items in the bags), but other people who already had a bag to check would have been over Ryanair's ludicrous 15KG weight limit and forced to pay excess baggage. It all seems a bit ridiculous since Ryanair plans to charge people for checking in bags in the future, and also given Easyjet's policy that bags can weigh as much as the passenger can safely lift into the overhead locker, and that the size they allow is quite a bit bigger. It might be worth travelling with a tape measure to prove that the bags are within the dimensions and that the basket is too small.

The flight back was not brilliant. It was almost full, but they insisted on blocking off the first and last two rows, for "balance". We (and others) were told very rudely by a flight attendant that this was "company policy". (Ryanair has a lot of ridiculous policies, like not accepting emails from passengers so that they get fewer complaints and can crow about it.) I can see that when the flight is not full, but when it is, what difference does a row or two make? The announcements were made by an attendant with a very thick Italian accent. Honestly, if I hadn't been familiar with the safety demo I wouldn't have understood most of what he was saying. Interestingly, the only announcements that were made in Italian were the ones where they were flogging various items. The safety demo was in "English" only.

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More Passport Horrors
Submitted 4 November 2004

Myself and 4 girlfriends had arranged a trip to Italy and were flying at 6 am Dublin - Brussels (Charleroi) and then on from Brussels to Pisa. The trip had been booked and paid for in January with the return flights costing €180 - Pretty good value I thought at the time.

On the night before the trip I could not find my passport so I desperately tried to call Ryanair to find out if I could fly with my drivers licence. I couldn't get through to anyone in Ryanair and so called the Irish Embassy which had an information line leading me to believe that I could fly within the EU without my passport. I called around and lots of people assured me that I could use my license.

Needless to mention when I got to the check-in desk, the very rude and unhelpful staff informed me that I could not fly without my passport. I have subsequently checked with many airlines who have informed me that legally I can fly without it but that I may have issues on arrival in Italy etc but that that is no concern of the airlines. Anyway that isn't really the bad part of the story.

I accepted they wouldn't let me fly and went to their 'Customer Service (ahem)' desk to change my flights to later that day to enable me to get a new passport. I was informed that I could not change the time of my flights and had to book new ones. The only flight I could get was Dublin - London at 7 pm that evening with a connecting flight to Pisa the next morning at a cost of €220 one way (more than I had paid for the original return flights). I was past the point of caring what the cost was as I just wanted to get to Italy with my friends.

But here comes that bit that really got me: I didn't want to pay for the new flights until I had made sure that I would be able to get a passport in time so I asked if the flights could be held for an hour - No way. I appreciate that company policy is not to hold flights but Ryanair had already been paid for my original flights which no doubt were resold and would not be losing out by holding one poxy flight for an hour to show some understanding of my predicament. They refused to hold them so I left the airport and spent the day in the passport office getting a new passport, where I met, by the way, 3 other people who had been refused onto Ryanair flights that morning due to tiny tears in their passport covers or passports that were slightly water damaged.

The staff in the office informed me that Ryanair constantly refuse passports that any other airline would accept as they were perfectly legitimate passports just in order to resell the flights and cause passengers to pay twice to get to their destinations. Once I had discovered that I could get a passport in time I called the Ryanair phoneline to book the flights which now cost me €280!

After a disastrous day I awaited boarding of my flight to London where I had booked a B&B for the night (at a further cost of £50) as my connecting flight to Pisa was not until 7 am the next morning. It approached 7 pm with no sign of boarding so I checked the screen which informed me that the flight was delayed! What gets to me is not the delay but the fact that there was no customer service announcement to inform passengers. This went on and on with no announcements and finally the plane took off at 11.20.

You're actually not going to believe this but there was then a delay with the baggage on arrival in Stansted so I ended up getting to the B & B at 2 am, had 3 hours sleep and then had to get back to the airport to catch my flight to Pisa. The point is that delays happen, people make mistakes etc but what Ryanair fail to understand is that just because they are a 'low cost' airline does not give them the right to have no customer service whatsoever and to be totally dismissive of any complaints. Their constant response to any complaint or criticism is a kind of 'you get what you pay for - what do you expect at these prices' mantra.

But the real point is that while the first 20 seats on a plane may be at low cost the rest of the passengers are paying full whack and get treated with utter contempt. There was nothing low cost about a €280 flight and yet I was not even paid the courtesy of being informed about the delay or offered as much as coke once we finally boarded the plane. There was almost a riot in the airport that night with all the disgruntled passengers (most of whom were not Irish and were not shy about very vocally complaining).

I can't understand how Ryanair think so little of customer service especially with all the new competition coming in. I will thank Ryanair for introducing some competition in the market particularly in Ireland but I must say that getting a cheaper flight is not of much use if it's late or cancelled or if the staff are so unpleasant and unbending that your trip is ruined anyway. I never did complain as I knew what the response would be.

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Checkin Refused 2
Submitted 30 October 2004

(fax sent to Ryanair)

Why are you such a difficult company to make contact with except for booking flights?

I have just returned from a trip to England which finally had to be undertaken by sea ferry - at the end of an eight hour drive - after having been refused check-in on a flight from St Etienne to Stansted. (Monday 25th October 20004 STD 1350 - Confirmation No: ZLYHLH)

My wife and I and our two children arrived at the check-in at 1315 after a long hold-up on the road to St Etienne caused by road works. (You must be well aware by now of the impact these considerable roadworks at Rive-de-Gier on the A47 have had on traffic coming to St Etienne) We were told, along with another 10 or so other passengers that check-in had closed and that we would not be able to take that flight. This information had to be given to us by an unfortunate gendarme as no representative of either the airport or Ryanair was initially prepared to talk to us.

I am well aware that you will deflect any criticism of your actions by arguing that this decision was covered by the rules and guidance given to passengers. I am also well aware that within the context of a major airport and a large number of movements such rules may have to be applied strictly. St Etienne however is not a major airport, dependent as it is on Ryanair for its survival, and in the hour that we were at the airport there was one other movement which involved half a dozen people embarking for Strasbourg. But the most galling, indeed anger-inducing, aspect of the situation in which we found ourselves was that the incoming flight from Stansted had not yet landed and indeed did not land for another twenty plus minutes. So there was no argument that luggage had already departed across the tarmac or that staff were required to handle other movements. When we eventually managed to talk to the airport commercial manager we had the insulting 'haven't you heard of 11th September' line thrown at us. Security and safety considerations are indeed important but the tragic events of 2001 must not become a refuge for such a dismissive and inflexible approach towards the travelling public.

In this case we were left in no doubt that we were the losers out to a bloody-minded approach which reveals an interest in taking money but not in providing a proper service. Does low cost have to equate with no service and no flexibility? The approach of JetBlue in the USA would suggest there is another way. The very fact that JetBlue provides an easy channel for contact - as does easyJet, unlike yourselves, indicates that it is possible to operate in this field without trying to hide away from the public which is feeding your coffers.

I await with interest to see whether you are prepared to respond to this letter and to compensate myself and my family for the cost incurred by your company's obduracy, which I defy you to defend in this particular case.

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Excess Baggage 2
Submitted 26 October 2004

I have travelled on Ryanair 3 times. The first two times I travelled with them, I thought that they were ok. But I really did not like their so called priority checkin (free for all).

The last time I travelled with them was with my mother from Skavsta to Tampere. We had decided to offload some of our baggage from our trip in Stockholm's central station and had 20 kg worth of baggage.

Some people in your site have moaned about refunds and cancellations. our return flight to Skavsta was cancelled. we were offered the chance to change it, but I opted for a refund and this was processed immediately.

We were charged excess baggage on the outbound flight (£50) and here's the stupid bit.... At the checkin desk, the woman told me that my hand luggage was overweight and that I would have to rearrange it into smaller pieces less than 10kg. I argued with her, but in the end did as she told me and I was allowed to take them onto the aircraft.

As soon as I got out of her sight in the customs hall, I re-packed the my hand luggage as it was originally.

The aircraft's cabin looked very tacky and the seats were very uncomfortable (no leg room). As we were only on the flight for 35 mins, I decided to put up with it. I pity the people who had to spend 2.5 hours crammed up though.

The tickets I bought came to about £30, but with the excess baggage, they came to £70. This is where Ryanair get you. They sell some fares cheap, set an unreasonable baggage limit and that's where they make their money.

As well as this scam, most of their airports are a long way (at least an hour away from cities where they say they fly into.)

I won't be flying with ryanair again, I'd rather pay the extra and get service, a reasonable baggage limit and destination airport actually in the place where it is advertised to be in.

My partner and I are going to Berlin at Christmas. We are flying on Air Berlin. The ticket prices came to £120 taxes included and I paid and extra £15 to pre book the seats we will sit in on the aircraft. I'm looking forward to seeing what Air Berlin are like. They offer many routes from Stansted.

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Priority Seating
Submitted 12 October 2004

(letter sent to Ryanair in June 2004 with no reply)

re FR 584 (06.45) and FR 593 (23.20)

We have used your airline several times and enjoy flying with you - but we have also experienced the same irritating problem each time.

When travellers take the trouble to get to the airport especially early - then rewarding the first 65 by allowing them to board first is a great idea.

However, in practice, the moment the passengers hear the boarding announcement there is a free-for-all; everyone sprints to the gate as if they've been asked to evacuate the building - and it becomes impossible to get anywhere near the front of the queue. This occurs, by the way, at both the home airport and the destination one.

Would it be so difficult if BEFORE announcing boarding, your staff simply asked for the first 65 passengers to step forward?

One other thing - on our Saturday flight back from Pisa, the crew were obviously proud of the fact that we landed back at Stansted 25 minutes ahead of schedule. However - we then had to wait 45 minutes for our luggage! What was the point?

PS - It would be a lot more convenient if you showed an Email address!

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Security on Internal Flight
Submitted 11 October 2004

On Sat 2nd October my family (3 kids) and I arrived at Prestwick to fly to Bournemouth at 6.45 am

However my passport was out of date by 2 months and I was point blank not allowed to board. I accept that I was not complying with their terms and conditions, however the customer service was appalling. They took great pleasure in my predicament and would not consider the fact that I had other ID (not photo), I had three children with my name on their passport was proof of whom I was. They could not put up anybody of seniority to compromise. The check-in was closing so I had to leave 3 crying children with my wife and make my own way south.

It then became apparent why Ryanair pursue this course of action - (no other airlines are as stringent on internal flights) MONEY. The solution that Ryanair came up with to solve my problem was to go to the Passport office, renew my passport and catch the same flight the next day by re-booking the ticket at £40. I ended up driving down and the whole sorry episode ended up costing a great deal of money and as a consequence we will never use them again and we will make sure that as many people we know do not use them.

I have not complained to them yet, so does anyone have any tips as how best to get some recompense? The other issue I have is that the ID policy is surely there for security and to make sure that unattached luggage does not fly. Having been refused entry my bag still went onto the aeroplane - making a mockery of the security policy

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Refund Refused
Submitted 21 September 2004

I was about to take flight FR4191 from Milan Bergamo (BGY) to London Stansted (STN) on Friday 17 Sep 2004, 06:55. The flight was reported to be delayed for 5 hours (at their reply you will read that the flight was canceled). At the check in they told me that I can buy a ticket for the next flight FR4193 at 10:00 and at the Ryanair cashier desk they gave me a piece of paper with a Ryanair address to ask for a refund. Somehow they misleaded me to believe that the refund will be immediately given. Nevertheless, my fax was replied by a complete denial, as you can read bellow.

I read on the "terms and conditions" of the ryanair web site (www.ryanair.com) that:

FLIGHT CANCELLATIONS AND SCHEDULE CHANGES

All monies paid (including taxes, fees and charges) are non-refundable unless your flight is cancelled or significantly rescheduled by Ryanair in which case you are entitled to a travel credit or full refund of all monies paid.

Their email says:

"As you may appreciate, Ryanair is a very efficient low fare airline and whilst we pride ourselves upon not charging extortionate fares that many of our competitors do, equally our low fares do not permit us to meet consequential expenses of passengers who may on rare occasions be inconvenienced. In this regard, I regret that we are not in a position to accede to your request for compensation. This should be claimed from your travel insurers."

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Airline Employee
Submitted 16 September 2004

Editor's note: The original message was supportive, but it has led to a bit of correspondence between people making different claims about the staffing and maintenance arrangements of Ryanair and other airlines. I suspect that this could lead to representatives of different airlines using this space to make libellous claims about each other anonymously. It's also not really what the page is about, which is stories from customers. We suspect that the "disgusted" message came from someone with a vested interest in Ryanair as well, but since it doesn't make any potentially libellous claims it can stay.

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Credit Card Charges
Submitted 12 September 2004

I've just booked flights from dublin to stanstead and return for 3 people. I paid by credit card and noticed the price quoted had risen by €15. It was due to a handling charge for using a credit card. They took 6 charges for the 6 individual flight. The terms at booking only say handling charge is €2.50. They don't explain it will be multiplied by amount of journeys.

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Reply to Disgusted
12 September 2004

Thank you for your message. Our site begins, before anything else, by acknowledging that for many travellers, Ryanair has opened up new opportunities. It is also made clear that we have no problem with "you get what you pay for".

It is surpising that you think we are a threat to Ryanair. There is no evidence of this.

However, Ryanair should learn that maybe it should not try to make victims of individual helpless customers in order to extort money from them. They never know who might fight back.

We are very pleased that you have had pleasant enough experiences to be satisfied with Ryanair and hope that this continues.

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Disgusted by this Site
Submitted 12 September 2004

Firstly, I believe your website is absolutely disgraceful. Ryanair have changed the way millions of ordinary people travel. Those who could not afford to take a holiday can now do with Ryanair. School children have hugely benefited from historical/geographical trips, that would have previously been too expensive to organise. Millions of pounds have been created in European communities through tourism Ryanair has brought. In addition, all over Europe, jobs have been created and economies have flourished.

It is disgusting to think how you could produce a site that could ground Ryanair and affect the whole low-cost airline industry. You are risking the livliehoods of many, many people; risking educational opportunities; as well as accessible air travel for millions. Other pre-Ryanair users reading your website are obviously going to be put off flying with Ryanair and therefore you are preventing them from valuable opportunities. The 13 'stories' submitted on your website, show a small proportion of air travellers. Ryanair is extremeley good value for money and 'what you get is what you pay for.' Those who do wish to carry on wingeing can travel with BA for twice as much, along with the strikes, high lost luggage rates and poor customer service. Of course, Ryanair does have to make money so has to offer the last remaining seats at £150+, but this alllows the majority to be sold free (+tax).

So, please think what your brain-washing site will do to our economy, and the millions of satisfied passengers who use Ryanair.

A Very Satisfied Ryanair Customer - deeply upset by the content of your website.

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Cheapest?
Submitted 9 September 2004

My wife was looking to fly from London to Glasgow with about two weeks' notice. This is one of the few routes where Ryanair and Easyjet actually compete (sort of), and where it is possible to put the "50% cheaper than Easyjet" claim in their website header to the test. I found that it was actually cheaper on the days my wife wanted to fly to travel from Luton to Glasgow international. This is without even taking into consideration the extra cost and time of getting from central London to Stansted versus Luton and from Prestwick to central Glasgow.

I faxed Ryanair with what I had discovered, and queried whether the claim on the website was misleading. (I also queried why they don't accept complaints by email when all other airlines do, and force most people to fax an international number - and then claim they have the lowest complaints in the industry.) I got a response saying Ryanair offers ³a broad range of fares to suit the varying requirements of the travelling public. However, all our lowest fares per route are far lower than those of our competitors. Regrettably owing to availability these fares tend to sell out quite quickly owing to the demand for our fares.² The reply also mentioned that Ryanair offers promotional fares from time to time.

This did not answer my query, and I replied, ³In your website header you state quite clearly that you are O50% cheaper than easyJet¹. I take that to mean that, on all routes where you compete, you are always 50% cheaper. This is clearly not the case. Sometimes, easyJet is cheaper, as in the case I illustrated. You do not mention ³special offers² in the internet page head. You make a blanket claim which is not true. Please tell me how this is not misleading.²

The reply: ³It is not only our special offer fares, which are lower than other Low Fare airlines; our regular fares are far lower too.²

So I decided to put the claim about "regular fares" to the test. I check as far in advance as possible, March 2005, and guess what, Easyjet beat Ryanair every single day in March, by a considerable margin. I sent another fax pointing this out to them, and more than a month later had no reply.

The reality is that Ryanair¹s claim to be a "champion of low fares" is clearly not true.

You can email Ryanair if you know the name of a person there. The formula is lastnameinitial@ryanair.com. Head of customer relations is greenc@ryanair.com. It doesn't work for Michael O'Leary sadly, and you might not get a reply, but the email gets there.

The bottom line is check Ryanair if they fly where you want to go (being very careful to be sure the actually DO fly where you want to go) but then look at other options. They have lulled people into thinking they are always the cheapest when they are not. And if you do fly with them, expect no redress when things go wrong. I fly with them 8 or 9 times a year. My last flight with them was delayed two hours because of a technical fault on the inbound plane which had to turn back to Stansted. Surely Ryanair's fault. I missed the last train out of Stansted despite having left an hour and a half's margin, and my wife had to drive over and pick me up (two hours each way). I don't think anyone can deny that I deserve some compensation for that. Weather? Fine, not in Ryanair's control. But when their plane breaks down?

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Check-In Refused
Submitted 26 August 2004

On Aug 23 in Glasgow Prestwick airport, I and one old lady arrived at 10:15, but three workers of Ryanair were very very cold to reject us to check in, which the flight was at 10:50. They said we were 5 mins late, so we could not check in due to security reason, but at that time they didn't collect passengers to get on the airplane yet (we saw some passengers of the same flight were still around the check-in desk). We explained to them it was because the train delayed for 25 mins (it should arrive at 9:45), I only have a hand luggage. Besides, I told them there is no any note on e-ticket or anyone told me that the passengers should check-in 40 mins before the flight, and they said "they should tell me when I bought the ticket on website". In fact, I never be noted about that! (In Ryanair website of customer service, they note check-in opening 2 hrs before until STD-30--- What does STD-30 mean?)

But they did not listen at all, and just kept saying "It is useless to say anything. No, No, No.....". The female manager's face was cold as ice....

There is only one flight to Bournemouth per day, so I asked if I could take next day's flight. They said that I have to pay 40 pound more (it is more than one ticket I booked on website). We asked them about the accommodation, and they said we could stay in the airport as we like. We asked about the information about coach or bus to go back to Bournemouth, and they said that we have to ask the information center by ourselves. We asked them if we can get our money back, and their answer was still "NO". They could not do anything for us!!!

How cold and poor customer service they are!!! Finally, I and the old lady went back to Glasgow town center and bought the train ticket (75pound) to go back, and we arrived Bournemouth at 23:00.

Such a bad experience is just approved that they try to keep the only good ranking in on-time flight, but no customer service at all. In fact on 18 Aug from Bournemouth to Glasgow (FR7545), they delayed for 20 mins. Why they could not accepted our check-in for 5 mins late.

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Change of Flight Time
Submitted 19 August 2004

At the beginning of July, I booked three return tickets from Stansted to Rome, to depart on 27th October. There was a choice of several morning flights, the two earliest being at 6:25 and 8:40. I chose the 8:40 flight (FR3004), because it was leaving at a more civilised hour, despite a slightly higher price. No problem; the booking was confirmed.

However, Ryan Air emailed me a month later to inform me that the flight time had been changed to 6:10 am, and asking me in a very "take it or leave it" way to accept the change. I had little choice, because their booking conditions make it clear that you are only eligible for any sort of refund if the change is more than 3 hours, and this is, very carefully no doubt, "only" 2.5 hours different. Even if I had been able to get a full refund and rebook, it would have done me no good because meanwhile the price had risen to more than twice the amount I paid.

I am convinced that is a cynical and probably normal practice on the part of Ryan Air - fill the most popular flight first, and than shift it out of the way to the very start of the day, then fill the others. This is my first experience of Ryan Air, and it will be my last. We have flown a number of times with easyJet with no such problems, and I wish I had booked with them this time. They might have had only one morning flight to Rome on the day in question, and it might have been very slightly more expensive, but (at the time I had the email from Ryan Air) that one flight was unchanged, and the price had not gone up.

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Cancellation Still on Sale
Submitted 19 August 2004

I booked and paid for two ticket 25.6.2004

From Klagenfurt At(KLU) to Rome Ciampino(CIA)
Mon, 27Sep04 Flight FR9612 Depart KLU at 12:40 and arrive CIA at 14:00

COMING BACK

From Rome Ciampino(CIA) to Klagenfurt At(KLU)
Tue, 05Oct04 Flight FR9611 Depart CIA at 10:55 and arrive KLU at 12:15

two days ago, I got this email from them:

RYANAIR FLIGHT CANCELLATION

Ryanair sincerely regret that the following route has been cancelled with effect from Monday 20th September 2004.
Klagenfurt to Rome Ciampino
Rome Ciampino to Klagenfurt

Ryanair apologise for any inconvenience that this may cause. Please ensure that any other passengers who are included in this flight reservation are advised. As there is no alternative flight a full refund will be automatically be processed in 7 working days for credit or debit card payments and 14 working days for any other form of payment.

and that's it.

Yesterday I went to their homepage and tried to buy THE SAME FLIGHT, and I could do it without problem. The only difference is, that the ticket is much expensive. Can You understand that? There is no sign or message that the following route is cancelled from Monday 20th September, You can still buy ticket for THE SAME FLIGHT.

I just can't believe it.

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Stranded in Sweden
Submitted 20 July 2004

The following is an account of how my boyfriend and myself were treated when our outbound flight from Gothenburg to Stansted (flight FR 969) was cancelled. I think it's a disgrace! Ryanair you need to tighten up your operations and the service you provide paying customers before you call yourself an airline.

With minutes to go before boarding, there was an announcement informing us that the flight was delayed and that we were being transferred from Saeve airport to Landvetter by coach. After locating our own bags on the pavement, we were instructed to check-in once again. We proceeded to wait in the checkout queue for well over an hour. The airport staff on duty then informed us that the time the crew were legally permitted to work had elapsed and the plane was returning to London without us.

Landvetter airport staff were immediately surrounded by disgruntled passengers. Despite their numerous efforts to contact Ryanair there was no representative in the country and no one to speak to. Other passengers who dialled Ryanair on their mobile phones from Sweden were forced to listen to lengthly recorded messages. Landvetter staff on duty finally made contact with a Ryanair staff member in Ireland. In the mean time we waited for hours in a cold, empty airport, a fair distance away from the city centre. When asked what to tell the passengers, the official response from Ryanair was, that in the event of a cancellation, passengers need to make their own flight arrangements. We were told to re-book our flights and advised that all outbound Ryanair flights were fully booked over the next three days. We were instructed that Ryanair would not be sending another plane for us. Landvetter staff then asked whether Ryanair would pay for a coach to take us back to Saeve airport at 5am that morning, as there might be a chance to speak to a Ryanair representative and find out more information.

Because the emphatic advice was that we should make our way back as Ryanair would not be taking us back home anytime soon, we made the very difficult decision to pay for another flight - a premium priced flight with KLM. A large number the passengers flew back using SAS and KLM. I appreciate that Ryanair were prepared to take us back to Saeve the following morning, but quite frankly the thought of being transferred to Saeve yet again, only to be told that there is nothing Ryanair could do seems ludicrous! Ryanair flies out of Saeve, however the alternative flights we were considering, were scheduled to take-off from Landvetter. Come on Ryanair, there is only so much people can take! A night of no sleep, with very little end in sight and only a vague hint of a return home 3 days down the line! Who has three days to spare - what about work obligations and financial constraints? With no outbound Ryanair flights for the next three days, we'd have to make out way back to Landvetter at out our expense. What a mess!

And no apologies! Nothing! Not even a lukewarm, 'we are sorry for the inconvenience experienced'! I am outraged and still a bit shocked! Our cheap flight to Sweden ended up costing £330 for an additional flight - along with a day's loss of earnings for both myself and my boyfriend, in accordance to our respective companies policies. The sheer exhaustion and frustration cannot be quantified! I'm also upset by the fact that it was Landvetter staff that took the brunt of complaints from your very angry passengers. Shame on you Ryanair - I think you owe all of us a deep apology for your 'cowboy company' antics!

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Excess Baggage
Submitted 15 July 2004

I have just returned from a short break in Salou with Ryanair who flew me to Reus from Dublin. The flight both ways was fine and found the staff very friendly compared to the usual standard that fly the Ireland-UK routes. While checking in on my return flight the check-in desk operator advised me that our baggage was 37 kilos which meant that I had an excess of 7 kilos, and would have to pay 49 Euros (7kilos x 7euros). The operator seemed to get great satisfaction in enforcing the excess.

I asked was there anyway around this and she advised me 'No'. She then said that my passport would be held until the 49 Euros was paid.

I went to the Ryanair desk and enquired about paying the excess. When I enquired about hand baggage I was told I was entitled to 10 kilos hand baggage. I asked was it possible to change the baggage around and was told 'No'. I was told that once you accept to pay the excess, nothing can be done. The Airport in Reus is pretty small with 2 gates and to be able to retrieve my bag and do the change would not have been an issue.

First off I never accepted to pay the excess and secondly the check-in operator never gave me the option to change some of my baggage to hand baggage when I asked her was there away around the excess.

When we tried to argue the point about the excess we were told that we had two choices, pay the excess and fly home or be prevented flying on today's flight, have the baggage returned so we could reorganise it and then book another flight for tomorrow. (At what price? Editor)

It is absolutely crazy that in this day and age that these policies exist. It is great that these websites exist so people can express their views. I was reading the Ryanair magazine (RAM) yesterday and was livid to read that Ryanair has the lowest complaint rate of all the airlines in Europe, something like 0.46 complaints per 1000 passengers. A proper forum needs to installed to ensure that Ryanair cannot flout these statistics which surely cannot be painting a true picture of the airline.

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Seats and Baggage
Submitted 9 July 2004

First of all - congratulations on the site. It's just unbelievable that Ryanair can get away with treating their paying [passengers with such contempt. I just hope that their execs and their shareholders read this site occasionally.

I would also like to make a couple of comments about a recent flight I took with Ryanair and also some news I heard just this morning.

Firstly, I recently travelled to Cork - all without a hitch! However, I was very disappointed to find that they have now decided to remove the reclining function from their seats to reduce their costs. My reaction to that is that I would very gladly pay a sum of an extra 50p or £1 to have that function fitted. BTW - my contacts in the airline industry tell me that the difference in cost is approx $11.00--USD to have or have not a reclining seat function.

Secondly, I have just heard on the radio that they plan to phase out all checked in hold luggage by 2006. I am absolutely appalled at that. I fairly often use Ryanair to travel to sites I work in in Europe and take my own clothed for a stay of approx 10 days duration, in addition to working clothes and hard gats etc. Even with the most frugal of packing, there is no way I could cram all my items into a cabin sized bag, maintaining their weight control which I understand will be increased to 10 kg.

Secondly on this matter, we have a large family and are able to use Ryanair to travel to relatives in Italy. Children need clothes to be able to live in when we are way and the hope of getting all our needs into a small case as cabin baggage for each seat we have is ludicrous in the extreme.

I have an idea to purchase a few shares in Ryanair in order that might have a say at their AGM and voice these and any other concerns I might have as a passenger (and a shareholder) !!

What do other contributors think?

Ryanair's published baggage policy

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Early Check-In Closure
Submitted 18 June 2004

This is to let you know about the extraordinary attitude I have received from Ryanair in a lengthy attempt to resolve a complaint and how I would warn any potential travellers of the contempt in which they appear to view their customers should you ever have a reason to complain.

My Fiancé and a friend had booked a weekend trip to Brussels with Ryanair (flight + accommodation) and had been due to travel in February of this year. On arrival at the check-in desk well over an hour before the check-in deadline my fiancé realised she had left her passport behind. At this point I got in my car and drove to the airport keeping my fiancé advised of my progress (via hands free) and she in turn the check-in desk. I arrived outside the terminal 10 mins before the check-in deadline. Ryanair had been keen to close the gate early but advised my fiancé that they would keep the check-in open whilst she collected the passport from me directly outside the terminal (some 60 yards away). At this point and some 5 minutes before check in was officially due to close the Supervisor overruled check in staff and closed the desk early - the travellers concerned were then refused check-in even though they were in possession of all relevant documents on time at the relevant check-in desk. No offer has been made by Ryanair to take the holiday another time and we have been treated with absolute contempt. The trip cost over £400 and in effect we have been fleeced.

I wrote a letter of complaint to which I received a reply that completely ignored the content of the complaint. I sent a further two letters and two faxes but received no reply whatsoever (despite the charter to respond to all correspondence within 7 days). I then wrote to the Air Users Council in desperation which did then generate a response from Ryanair who said the desk closed on time (which is untrue according to the speaking clock and the clocks at Stansted) and that was the end of the matter. I have now written to BBC watchdog, am filing a small claim against Ryanair in the county court and will be speaking to Trading Standards, not because I particularly have the time but because I hate being conned.

As someone who travels a reasonable amount by air I have been interested to see how many of the airlines are now so close to Ryanair costs. For the sake of a marginal saving the feeling of being treated like dirt and with such contempt is not in my opinion worth the theoretical savings available particular in this case where the holiday paid for was never delivered and any refund refused. It has been pointed out to me that part of Ryanair's attitude may be because it will be difficult to prove that the desk closed early. However even if it did close on time (which it didn't) I have never heard of an airline not then at least offering travel on another date, particularly when they were fully aware of the circumstances that occurred that evening.

Has anyone had a similar experience and if so did you ever get it resolved satisfactorily?

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Telephone Charges
Submitted 9 May 2004

In February 2004 I booked a holiday in Spain departing 4th April and returning 11th April. The holiday company booked the flights through Ryanair and on the Ryanair printout was an instruction to ring their reservations centre to confirm the flight as it was booked in advance. I was held in a queue for 30 minutes. There was also an instruction that return flights must be confirmed 72 hours prior to the flight and as this would mean telephoning from Spain I asked the reservations centre for a local number. I was given this 'local' number and duly complied with their instructions, only to be held in a queue again for almost 25 minutes. To my horror I discovered that the number that I had been given by Ryanair was a premium number and the cost of this one call was 51.5 Euros (approx. £35).

On my return to the UK I wrote to Ryanair (letter posted 13 April 2004), explaining that I had incurred expenses due to the misinformation of their employee and asking for a refund. I then waited for the seven working days that they take to respond to customer complaints. (According to their official website they have achieved a 100% success rate in this area - 8 May 2004) It is now 9 May and I have still had no response from Ryanair. I attempted to fax them copies of the letter and the bill associated with the phone call, but despite numerous attempts over a two day period the fax machine is not accepting the message. (I usually get a busy message for the first six or seven attempts followed by a report stating that there is no reply).

I too have written to the BBC programme Watchdog and I am awaiting a response from them.

I think it is very important that people are made aware of the dubious practices and hidden costs associated with this so called low cost airline. I have no objections to this comment being posted on your website. This was the first time that I had used Ryanair and it will certainly be the last.

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Free Flights
Submitted 30 April 2004

Have tried over the last week to get through to Ryanair re the FREE flights that was offered by taking up the Credit card with MBNA, have spent the cost of the flight trying to get on to them, but they never answer the phone. Someone is making a lot of money from these Premium rate lines, and wonder who that is.

Thanks.

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Rescheduling
Submitted 29 April 2004

My first experience of Ryan air was on a flight to Northern Ireland, when I was appalled by the rugby scrum that occurred when the plane was announced as ready for boarding. I waited to board last and complained at the gate at the lack of crowd control. A representative hurried after me to explain it has company policy and not within the control of the ground staff.

My company organizes an annual trip to a destination of architectural interest every year, This May Bank holiday 48 of us are heading for Berlin and I was responsible for making the travel arrangements. I booked flights with Easyjet, BA and Ryan Air at various times over 27th May to 1 June at the beginning of November 2003, in order to spread the costs and risks. All the flights except the Ryan Air ones are as originally booked.

These however were rescheduled, in some cases to times extremely difficult to reach Stansted Airport by public transport and reducing the time in Berlin. Our hotel accommodation had to be settled in advance and cancellation would come at a price.

I tried ringing the website contact number, never answered, but sent round in a loop so I e-mailed a response. When the next notification arrived I tried again, eventually writing the attached letter. You can be assured neither myself, the company or anyone else I know will use this airline again.

Dear Sir/Madam

As one of the largest architectural practices in the United Kingdom, we take our CPD seriously and have an annual study trip to centres of design throughout Europe. This year's planned trip to Berlin for 48 staff and guests is being seriously disrupted by the rescheduling of flights by your airline.

Changes to booking references [code] and [code] in particular are unacceptable as one of the named passengers has a physical disability (rheumatoid arthritis) and the timings and companions were organised particularly to enable her, one of our Associates, to be able to make the trip.

I replied by e-mail to the notification of this as I was unable to penetrate the telecommunications loop of your service desk to speak directly to a Ryan Air agent. I received a further notification a week later, so rang your head office in Dublin and managed to reach an agent there. However, he put the phone down on me in the middle of my explanation.

Your company seems to have an extremely poor understanding of the meaning of the word 'service'. The saving on price over scheduled flights is of no benefit if it comes with a cavalier attitude towards customers. In comparison, the bookings for our party with Easyjet and British Airways, the former at a comparative price to Ryan Air are still standing as originally arranged.

I would appreciate a prompt response to this letter and a reassurance that the above bookings will be reinstated as originally planned.

Yours faithfully

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Abandoned in Treviso
Submitted 21 April 2004

In May 2001 I took my husband to Venice. I booked through Bridge Travel who in turn used Ryanair as their carrier. We had a great time in Venice (unlike your Italian trip!).

We checked in to Treviso through customs etc. All was going swimmingly we thought until we started to hear rumours that the plane was delayed, gradually it seeped through to us that we weren't going to get that flight.

Very quickly the buffet bar pulled down its barriers, staff started to disappear home (its a very small airport) word went round that our luggage was on the runway (which my husband found to be true). Luggage that had been through customs had been just left on the runway. (One way for terrorists to get on to planes perhaps). Eventually all staff had left the airport with the exception of one or two security/maintenance men who kept a very low profile.

I'm not sure how many people were left but we had to try and sleep where we could with no food, no drink, no assistance, absolutely nobody to see how we were. We either slept on the hard floor, those hard PVC seats, with the little lip on either side to make sure you don't get comfortable, or the Customs tables with the plastic belt for sliding your suitcases through!

Next morning another rumour went round (from where we don't know), that we had to queue up at the check in desk when it opened to try, yes try, and get on the next plane. We queued but didn't get a seat and we told we might get one later.

By then of course we were getting very, very angry. We insisted to the staff at the desk, who said they were nothing to do with Ryanair, that we had to get home. A flight was just going out to Brussels so we said we had to get on to that. As there were seats they said we could go. When we got on this plane to Brussels the pilot asked us up to the flight deck. He said this sort of thing happened all the time and would we make sure we complained and that we could give his name.

When we got to Brussels we were told we couldn't go on to Stansted unless there were some cancellations, which by sheer luck there were! So we arrived home by about 4.00 p.m. in time for the party which had been arranged for my husband's birthday.

I complained to Ryanair who did reply and said we had booked through Bridge Travel. Bridge Travel said they were sorry and would not be dealing with Ryanair again. I then wrote to Ryanair again but never received any more replies, I battled with Bridge Travel who eventually gave me some small token of compensation.

As I read the story back to myself of course it doesn't sound as dramatic as it was at the time. Ryanair's attitude was appalling, their attitude to their customers is disgusting. There should be some sort of laws to stop them just dumping people in far flung foreign places. We should have swapped names and addresses with other passangers but didn't.

My husband and I said we would never use Ryanair again so luckily you have stopped me in my tracks, I was weakening and thinking of travelling to Dinard in Brittany, France. I will now disconnect from the site and travel by ferry as I usually do.

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Lost Luggage
Submitted 5 February 2004

Contratulations on an excellent website. Ryanair are a shabby company who are the unacceptable face of capitalism. They lost my bag containing £350.00 of possessions and gave me - after 7 letters and over a month - a measly £93.59 in compensation - Warsaw Convention minimum. They refuse to give email addresses and insist they be contacted on their sex lines.

Keep up the good work!

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Money Taken Without Confirmation
Submitted 21 January 2004

On 12th December 2003 I attempted to book a flight over the Internet for 8 passengers from Teesside to Dublin on February 14th 2004. I entered all of my details as I have booked flights on their website before and when coming towards the end of the transaction was informed that there was not enough availability on that flight. No confirmation of a booking was given therefore I presumed that no money would be taken from my account.

Because the Teesside flight was full, I then attempted to book a flight on the same day from Newcastle airport. I was successful with this booking, however when I received my bank statement I discovered that I have been charged for both the Teesside and the Newcastle flights. I contacted the call centre and was given the reference number for the Teesside flight and fax details as there is no telephone number for the Refunds department. I requested that this situation was looked into and a refund of £239.76. I have since received the standard letter informing me that I am not entitled to a refund as the booked flights were not leaving from the same airport. This would be quite difficult considering there was no availability from Teesside!!

I have contacted Watchdog, just a standard e-mail response. Consumers Advice who have told me to contact my bank to attempt to recover the money as they have taken money for which no service has been provided, which I have done. I have also been informed that I need to contact the Consumers Advice in Ireland as the company comes under European law. I have done this and am awaiting a reply.

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POETRY

Ode to Ryanair
Submitted 10 January 2007

My joined me in the UK (from Australia) last month, and took her first ever flight onto the Continent with our friends at Ryanair.

I didn't know which airline she was flying......until after she'd booked and paid. She has written a quick poem to mark her experience......

ODE TO RYANAIR:

We were introduced through a friend,
She warned me, 'it starts well, but wait for the end'.
I didn't listen, I only saw the bright side of this,
I thought I'd found perfection, it was such bliss.
First the early mornings, and then the long lines,
But as they have always said, 'love it blinds.'
My friends begged me, 'move on let it be',
But I justified it as you asked for so little of me.
The memories... the shame.. my brother driving me in the night...
I knew you to be unforgiving if I was late for my flight.
Then you turned nasty, the smile left your face,
You left me in some middle of no-where airport, some god forsaken place.
At that moment I knew it was the end,
I should have listened to my friends.
It dawned on me, and then I knew,
There was always something wrong between me and you.
What you gave me, the saving in fee
You made me pay with human dignity
Well, I've had enough, It's time you know Ryanair...
This is the end of our short lived affair.

Plane Simple Logic
Submitted 7 February 2007

Responsibility has to be taken with the air

Yolks of our gluttony must alter

As control runs rife in the domains

Neglect is the "ordinary holidaymakers" halter

As the white papers fly onward

Insecurities garment drags with stress

Respect and reliability will only clear the mess.

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Ryanair Poem
Submitted 20 September 2009

Ryanair wings is achievement to be made a career
Traveling the world seeing beauty it seems,
To hear with ears it never seems
Investing in scamming is what you do mean
A company like Ryanair scamming our children with which ever means.

Cunning like a wolf ryan think we don't know,shattering dreams,shattering lives is all that they know.
Stealing at 35,000ft from our angels pockets,
Scamming our children in lining their pockets.

No guilt or remorse how do they all sleep,
Bonderman and O'leary no crying in your sleep.
Bonderman and O'leary you never had a heart,
Tin man the same but never broke  hearts.

The cycle was broken from a fathers love,
His daughter and angels will have his true love,
To do what is right is the only way forward
so ryan take note we are all going forward,
Scamming our children from day to day, at 35,000ft they need not pay,
Scamming scamming is not the right way so Bonderman and O'leary you must pay

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