Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Ryanair Rage

I suppose I shouldn't really be surprised, but an encounter with Ryanair staff at Stanstead Airport last Sunday typified all that's wrong with that airline.

My flight was scheduled for 20.30 but had been moved back to 19.30 and they had sent me an e-mail to alert me to this. I, being on the move in London, had missed the detail in the e-mail. And of course the small print tells you that you should reconfirm 72 hours before the flight. Legally they had me. Any road up I arrived at check-in at 18.55 - 35 minutes before departure and with only hand baggage. I was told that I was too late. I asked the supervisor to call the gate and ask would they take me. This she did in a most perfunctory and half-hearted manner. No dice, no joy, sorry mate.

The staff have obviously been trained in obduracy and hired for their hard-bitten qualities - the milk of human kindness would never flow from those dugs. As I protested to one, the others were chipping in with helpful comments such as "we are a low-cost airline and have our rules that can't be broken". I think it was the mechanical inflexibility that most disturbed me. Realising that I was getting nowhere I indulged myself in a major outburst of rage and flounced off like Malvolio in "Twelfth Night" declaring "I'll be revenged on the whole pack of you". (I actually said, "I write for the Irish Times, I'll destroy you" - tee-hee.)

I will try and arrange my life so I never have to fly with them again. I mean it's always a dispiriting experience anyway: the scramble for the seats; the hustling to sell you lottery tickets; the whole tabloid travel experience.