A good while back I wrote about a fella I went on a stag to Latvia, irritating Ryanair by leaving his seat to go and empty his bladder as the plane was taking off, thus causing the scheduled take-off to be aborted; and after taxi-ing back to the terminal, the cabin crew were heard to ask Johnny his name and then tell him they were recommending he be given a life ban from Ryanair.
While browsing the BBC website the other week I came upon another example of passengers upsetting Ryanair. It was reported that there was a significant number of late trying to enter the U.K. on false South African passports. This carries a fine of £2,000 from the U.K. authorities for any airline flying in such passengers. To counteract this, Ryanair introduced a language test in Afrikaans to all passengers with a South African passport. Should passengers fail to complete the test, Ryanair will not permit them entry on board their aircrafts and instead will refund them the price of their ticket. This policy, we are told, has subsequently offended the sensibilities of South African passengers with genuine passports; specifically those who don’t speak Afrikaans – only 13% of the South African population do – and those who were forced to learn the language during the Apartheid years and now don’t wish to have any dealings in it.
As well as a fear of having to fork out for fake passport usage, I’m also aware of another cost Ryanair have an aversion to shelling out on – a personal customer service department. Last November I emailed their customer service to say I couldn’t take an upcoming flight I’d booked with them in December owing to the British Government changing the rules and making it mandatory to do a PCR test upon entry to the U.K. I enquired if it was possible to get a voucher for this flight. I received an instant reply with a reference number stating my enquiry had been logged and they’d be in touch shortly. Nearly three weeks later – and roughly two weeks after the flight had taken off without me – I received another email from them with the same reference number stating they’d like to thank me for the feedback I’d sent concerning my recent journey with them, and confirm they’d passed it on to the relevant department which would investigate it and take appropriate action – at the time of writing I’ve still to discover the outcome of that investigation.
Now instead of these two automated correspondences, had Ryanair simply responded with a ‘…not a hope…’ missive, I wouldn’t have minded so much; and probably wouldn’t have subsequently given up on their service – like I imagine those South African non-Afrikaan speaking passengers.
From what I can make-out, it is quite difficult to receive the personal touch from Ryanair, and you may have to follow in Johnny’s footsteps and head to the jacks during take-off; or else follow the forgery path and display one at arrivals to get it.
(c) Poraic Cahill
About Odd Life:
From a German man accusing his ex-girlfriend of attempted murder by use of her 38DD breasts, to a 107 year old having a shoot-out with the Arkansas SWAT police, the author Poraic Cahill chronicles the strange & bizarre he encounters in Odd Life.
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