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RyanAir & EasyJet – Scrooge and Bedlam in One: Bad, Mad and Driving me Nuts

Tom Winnifrith
Wednesday 22 August 2012

At one level you cannot fault RyanAir and EasyJet. Fuel prices are high, overall passenger volumes soft and while the flag carriers report dire numbers, these companies continue to make vast profits. Crack out the nasty sparkling white wine at 9 euro for a small plastic bottle and let’s party. But at another level, as a customer, I use them because it is cheaper to do so but hate them more every time I travel with them.

The Daily Mail today brings you a couple of reasons to hate EasyAir and I bring you another. First we have the case of the lady who was admittedly travelling with Monarch Airlines but since it operates a similar sort of service I lump it in with the general pile. This poor lady (who seems to have a penchant for covering herself in hideous tattoos and so I shall spare you the link) told Monarch staff that she was cold and asked for a blanket. Sadly this was against Health & Safety Regulations and so she had to shiver. Ten minutes later staff wandered round offering all passengers a pack of an eye mask, blow up pillow and er…a blanket for just £5. But i thought you said something spurious about Health & Safety?

A second poor lady forgot to print off her RyanAir boarding pass before arriving with her kids and aged parents at Alicante to fly back to the UK. No problem said the helpful RyanAir staff we can print them off for you because you cannot travel without them. That will be £236. So the staff have the records on the computer. The lady has all her passports. The staff have a printer there and so at a cost to RyanAir of 5 pieces of paper it bulks up its revenues by £236 and its profits by c£235.95. That is what I call customer service.

And me? I was flying EasyJet yesterday as one leg on my long journey home. I always book speedy boarding as by the time you have paid for having a rucksack etc on a normal ticket it amounts to pretty much the same. But I was not at the gate right at the start and so my Speedy status meant that (since all other SB’s had gone through) I had to go to the back of the line. So I pay more for the obligation to turn up early at the gate so that I do not end up being last on the plane? Okay, I was too tired to argue.

On the plane we were then all informed that there was a wide range of (disgusting) food and drink offerings on sale at ludicrous prices but because there was someone with a severe nut allergy on board there were no nut based products for sale. Moreover if we had brought any nut based products on board we were to leave them in our bags lest we cause a problem. Needless to say Health and Safety rules were cited. Perhaps there is a doctor reading who might enlighten me. If I am sitting in row 50 and open a bag of peanuts, is there any way at all that this can cause a passenger seated in row 1 who has a severe nut allergy to come out in frightful purple spots, start choking and as he or she rapidly expires to cause a Health & Safety related incident for EasyJet? Really?

I just do not believe there is an issue. It just strikes me that all these airlines regard the creation and implementation of ever more ludicrous rules as a way of persuading us that we must hand over more and more £5 notes or 2 Euro coins to them on ever more spurious grounds. If they can make us buy into the nut allergy fantasy then when they charge us an extra £2 for special loo paper ( the toilets will always be free of course) which complies with EU H&S regulations our resistance will be so low that we will not complain.

And so I loathe EasyAir and Monarch and all of the cheapskate “peanut airlines” ever more. But with which airline have I booked my next flight? No prizes for guessing.

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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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