Delete
Mr O'Leary. AFP
Just in case
The Music Maker opinion

Just in case

When booking on the Ryanair website, as you click your way through the morass of stuff you don't want – travel insurance, car hire, hotel rooms, penny farthings, ostrich eggs, etc. - you're reminded constantly of how big and heavy your belongings are allowed to be, writes Peter Edgerton

Friday, 24 May 2024, 14:30

Opciones para compartir

To the rapturous applause of the other passengers present, the young man tears the last of the four wheels off his suitcase and jams it triumphantly into the luggage-measuring rack provided by Ryanair to ensure that nobody flouts their strict rules.

There are two things that strike me about this video, which has been widely shared on social media. First, I'm not sure what the chap in question has for breakfast, but it's no mean feat ripping off four wheels from a suitcase with your bare hands. I find myself feeling pretty smug if I can whack up the ginger to zip the thing up.

Secondly, how did the protagonist find himself in this predicament in the first place? Ryanair might justly be criticised for any number of things, but hiding maximum luggage measurements in the small print on their web page is certainly not one of them. When booking, as you click your way through the morass of stuff you don't want – travel insurance, car hire, hotel rooms, penny farthings, ostrich eggs, etc. - you're reminded constantly of how big and heavy your belongings are allowed to be. In fact, you get the distinct impression that Mr O'Leary (I can't remember his first name) was only talked out of putting the restrictions in capital letters with exclamation marks at the very last minute by a team of public relations advisors. And yet.

Only last year I was observing a particularly long and frazzled queue at Malaga Airport waiting to board a flight to Manchester. The very patient stewardess (are they still called stewardesses?) was walking the length of the line advising passengers who apparently hadn't seen - or maybe just ignored - the gazillion warnings on the booking page that their bags would be too big/heavy. Some of the tutting from the offending customers all but drowned out the nearby aeroplanes engines. There also seemed to be some kind of wild eye-rolling competition going on. All of these wilfully indignant people were, of course, entirely in the wrong and the poor, harassed stewardess who was, after all, only doing her job, completely in the right.

One woman, who had a bag roughly the size of Kazakhstan, actually contrived to stamp her foot like a spoiled twelve-year-old before removing a vast selection of jackets from her hold-all and putting them all on to wear. In August. She subsequently waddled onto the aircraft like the Michelin Man after one-too-many kebabs.

Rules is rules. The way I see it, every passenger has three options at the time of booking: choose to take a small case, pay for a bigger one or get in training for some serious wheel tearing-off antics on the day of the flight.

Reporta un error en esta noticia

* Campos obligatorios