Ryanair had to delay one flight by three hours when over 100 students "mutinied" over a fee. Image: Flickr / mikelo / CC-BY-SA

Ryanair is a low-cost air carrier that has a habit of making headlines. One of Ryanair’s baggage fees caused over 100 students to riot and delay a flight. One of Ryanair’s fees has been ruled illegal in Spain.

Ryanair riot

Over 100 passengers on a Ryanair flight from the Canary Islands to Belgium ended up being kicked off the flight. The “mutiny,” as one flight crew person called it, started when students were asked to pay an overweight baggage fee. The students became “disruptive and refused to comply with crew directions.” Police were eventually called, and 100 of the 166 passengers on the flight had to be offloaded and told they could not travel on that flight. The remaining 66 individuals were apologized to for the three-hour delay and later sent on their way.

Ryanair policy on baggage

Ryanair allows passengers to carry on a 22 pound bag within certain dimensions. Anything outside those limits that passengers try to carry on must be put in the cargo hold — for an additional fee. Baggage carriers who do not pay that additional fee have to leave their baggage on the tarmac, and must retrieve it later. The students felt that being asked to pay the fee while their luggage was essentially held captive by Ryanair staff was simply not a move that should be defended.

The Ryanair fee problem

Ryanair has incredibly low fares for their no-frills flights, but they are known for having wide-ranging fees that cover just about everything on the flight. Ryanair was the airline that first suggested fees such as pay-as-you-go lavatory uses. Recently, in Spain, a judge ruled that Ryanair’s fee for arriving at the gate without a preprinted boarding pass was illegal and could not be charged. Ryanair plans to challenge the ruling, which they call “bizarre.” Ryanair does not operate in the United States, but U.S. airlines are starting to restructure their fees to be more a la carte and less all-inclusive.


CNN http://www.cnn.com/2011/TRAVEL/02/07/ryanair.fee.flight.disrupted/index.html?npt=NP1

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