RICHARD ORD: Ryanair insist on wearing masks, like most highwaymen

No frills flying with Ryanair was an eye-opener … as well as a wallet-drainer.

By Richard Ord
Wednesday, 20th April 2022, 12:00 am

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To be fair, the budget airline makes no secret of its determination to keep costs down for the passenger but to charge them for everything above and beyond the basics.

So much so that it was a relief to see the aircraft had its full complement of wings when we boarded. “Oh, you want to fly on a plane with wings? That’ll be 100 Euros extra, thanks.”

We bagged ourselves a bargain flight out of Spain for about 40 Euros. So hats off to the company for doing such a good deal.

But they managed to recoup some of that bargain by clattering us with a check-in fee!

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In what turned out to be an error in short pants with a catapult sticking out of its back pocket, we forgot to check-in online. “That’ll be 30 Euros, thanks!”

The Ryanair check-in fee was almost as much as the cost of the whole flight. But then, checking-in is an onerous job. I watched the woman at the counter do the task, to give me an idea of what I was getting for my 30 Euros. She appeared to do no more than scan my passport.

Ah well. Lesson learned.

Other cost-saving exercises from Ryanair appeared to include the onboard safety manual.

Instead of hiring a professional graphic designer, the ‘what to do in the event of crash’ artwork appeared to have been cobbled together by a nursery school art class.

I was particularly intrigued by the designs reprinted here, showing what to leave behind on abandoning a stricken aircraft. The high heels were an easy spot. The glasses too were obvious (though I’d have thought being able to see where you’re going would be useful in an emergency).

Accompanying the glasses however was what looked like a sandwich. Do you really need to be told to leave your sandwich behind?

On closer inspection, I am convinced it’s not a sandwich, but false teeth. So you can take your sandwich when abandoning an airplane, but not the teeth you need to eat it!

The last image of the three had me stumped for about an hour. If you thought Wordle was hard, try deciphering that graphic.

It looks to me like a cartoon duck. Under no circumstances should you try to leave the aircraft with your, or anyone else’s, duck. Leave your ducks behind. Seems like a reasonable request.

Our best guess, though it has yet to be confirmed, is that the final items to be left behind are earrings. I’m sure there’s good safety reasons to leave behind glasses, high heels and earrings though the cynic in me suspects Ryanair would be scooping them up and selling them on eBay.

To their credit, however, Ryanair do operate a strict mask wearing policy on their flights while other airlines allow passengers to go mask-free.

They have been praised for putting passenger safety first with the policy, though I can’t help thinking they heard the word ‘free’ and said: ‘No way, we don’t do anything for free.’