Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Ryanair don't care

I had a very special birthday present from Ryanair on Sunday, of an extra 5 hours and 40 minutes in Germany. The bad news is that they were spent at Baden airport!

I had priority boarding and got on the plane, due to leave Baden at 17:10. About half the passengers got on board before everything ground to a halt. The cabin crew were rather baffled and tried to get some information. After a few minutes the pilot told us that we were going to have to get off the plane. Another plane, two stands down from us had been struck by lightning and they were transferring its passengers onto our plane! To add insult to injury, it appeared that once the other plane had been OK'd by an engineer, we would fly out on that one! I’ve only just recovered from being a rather nervous flyer after many years. I can honestly say that this news did not inspire me with confidence!

We were taken back to the terminal building and all staff promptly disappeared. A while later a disembodied voice informed us that the delay would be indefinite as they were waiting for the engineer.
Two hours later the voice said that they didn't know how long it was likely to take and Ryanair were now offering passengers who didn't want to wait, the option of either getting a full refund or leaving on the next available flight....
I joined the queue at the information desk, prepared to take the latter option, but while we were queuing, we were informed that Ryanair were sending a plane to take us to Stansted which would arrive at Baden just before 10.

Eventually we took off at 22:50 and I got home shortly before 1am.

At no point were we offered any food, drink or communications facilities even though airlines have an obligation to do so with such a delay. Having had to arrive at the airport two hours before take off, I had been there for a full 8 hours before our eventual take off.

I bought myself a small something to eat and drink, used my mobile phone to call those who were expecting me and duly faxed my complaint to Ryanair yesterday. I received a reply today giving me a pathetic 5 Euros refund. I am not impressed, to say the least.

A memorable birthday, but for the wrong reasons.

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