Ryanair passengers go through hell for the hell of it

Bitterwallet - Ryanair new plane liveryOn Friday we reported on Ryanair's latest customer service enema, when they treated their passengers in a similar way to, in our opinion at least, domestic cattle in a shit-filled wagon on a cross-county drive at the height of summer. So not very well, then.

A French air traffic controller's strike grounded a flight at Glasgow Prestwick for six hours, after the passengers had boarded. Nobody was allowed to leave the plane, but more controversially, the Ryanair staff refused to offer water to passengers; eventually passengers called the police, who bought water and chocolate and then boarded the plane to hand it out.

A couple of updates on the story for you; first, Bitterwallet has heard from Hannah Collins, a passenger on board the flight:

Ryanair seem to feel they are not accountable to anyone least of all their customers. We waited from 1.30 until 5pm without any possibility of water. Behind me in the second row was a disabled child who had come on board in a wheelchair; he screamed for at least 3 hours unable to understand his situation and there was nowhere and no way to help him – no-one could leave the plane.

When the police were called on the crew said that they had called Dublin and could not open the bar nor allow people to leave the plane. It is outrageous that in 2010 the police are called to a plane and the plane sits full of passengers on the tarmac for almost 7 hours without the possibility of support from the airline. I will certainly never fly Ryanair again.

So back to the real question - why didn't Ryanair serve water to passengers? We couldn't think of a reason other than tight-wallet syndrome, but Ryanair spokesdouche Daniel De Carvalho told the Sunday Herald that the law prevented the airline from doing so:

“The problem is that the moment you break the seals of the bars, you break the law. Customs forbids this. You can’t open the trolleys on the ground.”

Which in turn appears to be either a) a wildly incorrect interpretation of Customs law, or b) utter, utter horseshit from an airline so tight they'd rather shaft their passengers in every hole, because this is what a Customs spokesperson had to say on the matter:

“Whether an airline chooses to start serving food and drink from the bar boxes at this time is a commercial decision.

"The issue for us is where you have bonded stuff such as alcohol, but water or orange wouldn’t be a problem from a Customs point of view.”

The cynic in us wonders whether Ryanair do this sort of thing deliberately to revel in the negative press, and keep their brand top-of-mind for consumers considering cheap flights. Awful.


  • Matt
    Very Odd. I was on a Jet2 flight on the tarmac in Manchester once, a plane made an emergency landing and skidded off the runway. Took 3 hours to clear. The Jet2 staff were great. They opened the bar and served all drinks (had to pay, but still) and normal in-flight service whilst we waited!
  • klingelton
    seems that ryanair are just fuckwits. (the de-capitalisation of ryanair was deliberate as I don't beleive they warrant a capital for their name)
  • StauntonLick
    After my harrowing experiences travelling cross country via our dilapidated train network this weekend, I can only conclude that public transport in all forms is dead and if you want to get anywhere in a reasonable time span you have to do it yourself. I'm saving all the money I'd otherwise spend on budget airlines and hopefully I'll be able to buy my own private jet by 2235.
  • basicmoneytips
    I thought we were somewhat behind these days where they would leave passangers out sitting like this. They really have you over a barrel, no doubt about it. It seems like if they cannot let you de-plane, they could wheel out some refreshments to at least help with the situation.
  • james d.
    7 hours? Seriously after that amount of time I think I would be willing to assault someone to get some water. I'm amazed that didn't happen.
  • THE D.
    was about to book tickets for the whole team I think ill choose more wisely
  • Peterod
    I suspect if the £1 charge to use the toilet had been running they would of being selling water to you by the barrel.
  • Peterod
    Another possible solution for anyone thinking of travelling with ryanair and worried about being thirsty in the eventuality that they can't open trolleys on the ground is over at http://www.yankodesign.com/2009/05/05/making-pee-drinkable/
  • Karan
    Daniel De Carvalho seems like even more of a halfwit when you read his full statement.
  • steve m.
    This shitfest of a company never cease to amaze me with their top quality customer care. Disgruntled customers who have issue with any one of their controversial practices should vote with their feet and simply dont fly with them again. I certainly have!
  • Blondie
    Slightly inaccurate as usual it was actually the airline staff that called for the police as they were scared of a riot on board! Not surprising really, as a Glaswegian myself, I certainly would have been very scared of that crowd quite rightly kicking off! And good for them!
  • kev
    +1 @ Blondie, Glaswegians have a tendancy to completely blow things out of proportion
  • jamjar
    “The issue for us is where you have bonded stuff such as alcohol, but water or orange wouldn’t be a problem from a Customs point of view.” Have you not noticed, when you get served on a flight, the water/ orange/whatever you want to insert are in the same trolley as the alcohol.
  • Jonny S.
    “Whether an airline chooses to start serving food and drink from the bar boxes at this time is a commercial decision. Or they can do as they please.
  • jamjar
    Yes but your taking that out of context now read the second paragraph, Ryanair bars DO contain alcohol. so customs would have issues with them opening bars if they made the "commercial decision" your highlighting surly.
  • Uncle C.
    Come on, you have to ask yourself ... if morally-inept ryanair makes economies on minor stuff like handing out water to passengers, what sort of economies are they capable of making on expensive stuff like airline maintenance? Personally, I'm concerned every time a ryanair plane flies overhead.
  • Nobby
    For me the important sentence is ... And their anger turned to rage when staff were seen drinking, and water was apparently brought on board for the pilot. So the farmer looks after his staff, but not the animals that are being transported.
  • Trapped B.
    [...] remember our story from June, about passengers trapped on board a Ryanair flight at Prestwick for six hours, during which time the staff refused to serve any water? Well, if Prestwick had been in the middle [...]

What do you think?

Your comment