Ryanair: hates Belfast and violins

31 August 2010

PD*25836917Ryanair are never far away from some negative publicity are they? That's because, when they're not being baffling, they're being irritating. And, right on cue, they're at it again.

First off, they're pulling out of Belfast City Airport (aka The George Best airport with jaundiced views out of the windows). So says Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary in a press conference held at the Europa Hotel in Belfast.

He says: "It is very disappointing that the promised runway extension at Belfast City Airport has still not materialised more than three years after we opened the base at Belfast City. It makes no sense for Ryanair to continue to invest in Belfast City, operating restricted routes with less than full payloads between Belfast and other UK airports unless there is clear and immediate prospect of Ryanair being enabled to safely operate longer European routes from Belfast City Airport, and for this we need the runway extension."

This is bad news for Belfast City Airport as a third of their business came from the company (possibly leaving another budget airline to go and steal the customers?). It certainly looks like O'Leary is throwing his toys out of the pram because he can't get his own way over the new runway.

If you have any flights booked with Ryanair after 31st October, it is worth getting in touch with the airline. And whatever you do, don't try and sneak on one of their planes with a violin. 12 year-old Francesca Rijks had planned to take her instrument on as hand luggage, however, Ryanair workers told them that her that she'd need to buy an extra seat for it to the tune of £190.

This is not the first time Ryanair have narked musicians as the Daily Mail reports of a group of violinists had to pay £1,340 for extra seats for their instruments on a flight from Frankfurt. Sounds like there may be a musician's boycott on Ryanair flights if they're not careful.

TOPICS:   Travel


  • Michael O.
    The real issue is that the girl with the violin was ginger.
  • The B.
    Very odd as I understand Mr O'Leary is a big fan of music, in particular the pink oboe.
  • lightning101
    Exactly, all gingers lie, cheat, steal, and stink of piss - FACT !!!!
  • darkspark88
    And knowing how BW articles are written, there wasn't an issue with violin, but the Cello she tried to sneak on as well :D
  • Gunn
    Like how the girls Dad said they were discriminating against Violinists lol. I say if you can afford an expensive Violin you don't need to be flying Ryanair, it's the choice Airline for those who play Recorder.
  • Steve J.
    The more I hear of O'Leary the more I like him. Sure he's a complete wanker but the fact is he's willing to stand up against political tosspots etc and he's usually got good reason. The fact is that there needs to be investment in NI, but the government are willing to tax tourism and not put any money back into it. Then they get less tourists and therefore less money and therefore becomes poorer. He's willing to stand up and tell them to fuck off, which is exactly what needs to be done.
  • Laurz121
    I think its about time that BW stopped being so biased against Ryan Air to be honest. They moved to Belfast with the assurance that a long runway for long distance flights would be opened so that they could operate more flights from there. The airport has failed to do this so Ryan Air have decided to move to an airport that actually follows through on its promises and will allow the business to grow. Be honest BitterWallet, if this wasn't Ryanair you would have no problem at all with any company doing the same thing. As for the Violinist story. GOOD. A violin is larger than the maximum baggage dimensions allowed on a Ryanair flight so it would be discriminatory to allow her to bring it on as hand luggage. If they said that musicians can bring on items as big as they like but the regular paying public can't then it wouldn't be fair at all so I say good on them for applying their rules fairly across the board. By the way, the violinist KNEW that they wouldn't be allowed to put it in overhead lockers as 'baggage' when they bought their ticket as it is quite clearly in their terms and conditions which they agreed to when paying. From the Ryanair website.... "Items such as a guitar, violin or viola which exceed our cabin baggage dimensions may be carried in the cabin if a seat for it has been reserved and the appropriate fare paid." If somebody is too stupid or ignorant to read the terms and conditions when they buy something online who is really to blame?
  • issac h.
    The Daily Mail also reported, having bought the extra seat, they missed the flight and flew by Easyjet, who accepted the cursed violin as hand luggage and now they are trying to get a refund from Ryanair.
  • Mp3 B.
    [...] Ryanair: &#1211&#1072t&#1077&#1109 Belfast &#1072&#1495&#1281 violins | BitterWallet [...]
  • Al
    Really? Is it that hard for people to understand? Ryanair have a maximum size for cabin baggage ... if it's over that size you either stick it in the hold or buy a seat. I'm glad that O'Leary enforces the rules ... I'd be annoyed if I had to pay for my bag while some ginger kid didn't have to because they think they're 'special'.
  • ShakesHeadSadly
    Wow. Think I'm siding with Ryanair on both of these. What the HELL is going on?!?!??!?!?! Now please stop talking about Gingers. I'm feeling quite ill....
  • violinist
    Gunn: Since you clearly do not know how the professional violin world works, let me educate you. Many people who play expensive instruments do not actually own them, they are graciously lent instruments by wealthy collectors and aficionados -- who, nevertheless, do NOT pay for their plane tickets, or utility bills, groceries, or anything else. Others go into debt much as you would for a car or house (took several years to pay mine off, and it's even below the bottom of the usual price scale for an acceptable professional instrument, which is typically not less than $10,000; I got very lucky). Having an acceptable, much less great, instrument is part and parcel of expecting to have any career. So no, very often we can NOT really afford to buy an extra seat. Laurz121 and Al: I do not think I am "special." However, when it comes to my violin, you're damn right it is. Sorry but why should they not discriminate between the expensive, fragile, irreplaceable thing that is my lifeblood and the bread on my table, having tested twelve others before finding the right one, and your socks and sweaters? Besides, this claim about it not fitting is nonsense. I have flown on some truly tiny commercial planes with the violin in an oblong case, about the biggest style you can even buy, and it fits in the overhead with room to spare. The average full duffel bag frankly takes up more space -- a violin case may be longer but it makes up by being much thinner. Some airlines let you stick it in the closet where there is generally room. Putting it in the hold is not only the surest way to have it broken, I recently learned it actually voids insurance. Ryanair, et al. can make excuses all the way to bankruptcy court if it keeps up its terrible customer service.
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