Ryanair ‘luggage policy’ under scrutiny again

By Doug Newhouse |


A woman was removed by police from a Ryanair flight at Valencia Airport last week – just for carrying a book and a scroll as hand luggage.

A passenger phone video captured the unpleasant incident where the woman is clearly shown to be in a state of some distress at the door of the plane which is about to set off to Madrid. She is first spoken to and then shouted at by Spanish Guardia Civil Officer police officers who the crew called to remove her for having ‘the wrong type of hand luggage’.

For its part, Ryanair tells a different story claiming that the woman had pushed past its gate staff without showing any identity documents or a boarding card and had thus breached security. It says that this is why it called the police, but The Business has subsequently discovered that the woman did have a boarding card which had been issued by Ryanair.

 

 

The online newspaper article – since syndicated around the world with the video – also claims and shows other passengers apparently offering to place the book and the valuable scroll – which she did not wish to crease – in their luggage on behalf of the woman, but this was not permitted. Sources have confirmed that the overhead luggage bins were not full.

The woman was eventually removed from the aircraft, against a background chant of ‘shameful, shameful’ by other passengers, according to an article which appeared in several newspapers, including Spanish ABC, Fox News and the UK’s Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph. A subsequent Facebook post also claims that the woman had tried to pay the €50 (£40) fine for the extra carry-on luggage, but her credit card did not work.

Besides enraging many, the video of the incident in particular has also drawn calls for a boycott of the airline by some Twitter users in Spain and its has since taken on infamous status around the world on Facebook.

Commenting on the incident, ETRC President Sarah Branquinho said: “This incident is simply another example of what is happening at our airports every day when our customers are forced to pay exorbitant ‘fines’ or surrender their goods bought at airport shops for no good reason.

“In the year ahead we have an opportunity to fix this problem for good with the forthcoming EU proposals on air passenger rights. We, as an industry, need to fight together to ensure that our voice is heard and that we find a long-term solution that will safeguard the rights of passengers who buy in our shops”.

 

For the article on Fox news, click here.

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