Ryanair mutiny

Lots
of people fume over airline fees, but one group of travellers became so enraged
over having to pay extra charges that they were kicked off a plane.

Dozens
of Belgian students became “disruptive and refused to comply with crew
instructions” on a Ryanair flight from the Canary Islands to
Brussels, Belgium, on Saturday after some of them were told to pay an oversize
luggage fee at the gate, the ultralow-budget Irish carrier said in a statement.

The
airline allows each passenger to carry on one bag that weighs up to 10
kilograms (about 22 pounds) and falls within certain size dimensions.

Any
oversized baggage is refused during boarding and can be placed in the hold of
the plane for a fee of about $47.

But
the fee obviously didn’t sit well with the students.

One
local newspaper described the situation on board as “mutiny.” Things
became so bad that the pilot requested law enforcement assistance as she was
preparing for takeoff.

When
local police arrived, they “required the entire aircraft be offloaded,
each passenger identified. Following further disruptive behaviour, the police
required for security reasons that this entire group be refused travel,”
the airline said.

One
hundred people were not allowed to fly after the disturbance. Ryanair
apologized to the remaining 66 passengers who endured a three-hour delay while
police dealt with the “disruptive group.”

Ryanair
is famous for its low base fares and variety of fees. It also gets a lot of
publicity for some of the notorious fees it has suggested implementing, such as
coin-operated lavatories.

Last
month, a Spanish
judge ruled
that one of the carrier’s extra charges — applied when passengers arrive for
their flight without a pre-printed boarding pass — is illegal. Ryanair said
its Spanish lawyers will appeal the ruling, which it called “bizarre and
unlawful.”