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Ryanair doesn't care about diabetics

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by stewpid, Aug 17, 2009.

  1. stewpid

    stewpid Type 1 · Active Member

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    Hi everybody

    I've just returned from a two week holiday and wanted to share with this forum my disgust at the treatment I received from Ryanair. It seems that all they want to do is increase the amount of money they take from passengers at all costs.

    Well this is the last time they will take any money from me - I'd rather walk in future!!

    We booked to fly from Liverpool to Limoges and were quite prepared to pay for excess baggage as we knew that we would be over the allowed checked baggage allowance of 15kg per person. The girl at check in did everything in her power to convince us to move stuff into our hand luggage, but we didn't want to be unpacking cases at the check in queue so resisted, and just asked for the bill for excess baggage.

    We paid the excees charge of £30 (2kgs at £15 per kilo - compared to £7.50 per kilo this time last year!!). At no time during check in was our hand luggage weighed or measured for size (I knew we were close to the limit but within the guidelines).

    Having paid our excess we thought that our problems were over. How wrong we were!

    When we got to the boarding gate we were met with an army of Ryanair staff ensuring that every passenger had only one piece of hand luggage and that it would fit into the size cage without any force or downward pressure. I had bought some duty free alcohol and was asked to put this in my hand luggage. When I did, it wouldn't fit into the cage and I was told I would have to check the bag into the hold and pay an additional £30.

    I politely pointed out that I was an insulin dependent diabetic and that my hand luggage contained insulin and other medication to cover a 15 day trip, and if the insulin was put into the hold it would freeze and become useless. The options I was given were:-

    1. Take the duty free back and get a refund (and lose my place in the boarding queue)
    2. Go to duty free and buy another bag for my insulin etc which I could then take on board and pay an additional £30 for the checked in bag.

    My patience was starting to wane and I pointed out that the bag would fit easily into the overhead lockers, it had been used numerous times before on Ryanair flights, and it was standard international size for a piece of hand baggage. Ryanair's response? "sorry but that isn't Ryanair standard size".

    I then resorted to "I need insulin, if it goes in the hold it will freeze, without insulin I could die, is Ryanair comfortable with that?" Ryanair's response? "sorry sir but that's not my problem".

    Fortunately a generous woman who had already been collared for an extra £30 charge to check in her bag offered to take some of my stuff in her hold bag so that my cabin bag then fit into the cage and could go on board. Ryanair weren't happy (they had lost £30) and even suggested that by putting my possessions into her bag that I was guilty of tampering with another passengers luggage. Prats!!

    The outcome:-
    1. We arrived in Limoges extremely stressed
    2. I will never fly with Ryanair again
    3. I will encourage as many people as possible not to fly with them, especially if they are diabetic, because Ryanair don't care as long as they turn your pockets inside out.

    I would have complained directly to Ryanair but they have no mechanism for doing so (and probably wouldn't care if I did complain).

    Rant over!!

    Stewart
     
  2. Katharine

    Katharine · Well-Known Member

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    I used to fly Ryanair but like yourself have had problems with them.

    Several times the plane was inexplicably cancelled due to "operational reasons".

    Fortunately enough when this happened we ALL got on the next flight. I strongly suspect that if they can get away with cancelling planes that is just what they do.
     
  3. phoenix

    phoenix Type 1 · Expert

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    Essential Medical Equipment/Supplies:

    from their website:

    For the carriage of medication in your hand luggage please bring the prescription with you to allow security clearance.

    Passengers who need to carry essential medical equipment/supplies in addition to their hand or checked baggage allowance should contact the Ryanair Special Assistance Line Click here for details of Special Assistance Lines

    Might be worth contacting them
    to ask what they think you should have done. links to here:http://www.ryanair.com/site/EN/faqs.php?sect=cnt&quest=disabilityreq
    but its no surprise to not that they charge you for calling them
     
  4. hanadr

    hanadr · Expert

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    Ryanair are famous for "ADD ons"
     
  5. suzi

    suzi · Well-Known Member

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    Hi Stewart,
    it doesn't surprise me that you had this experience with Ryanair, many have had similar in the past. On a recent flight with Easyjet from Belfast Int to Liverpool, we had the complete opposite experience, At no time was my sons insulin looked at or his prescription letter checked, so he was a child and perhaps they didn't want to make an issue of it, but they did do a body search on him. It was like that flying both ways and has restored my faith in budget airlines. We were 2kg over going in 1 suitcase and he just waved it through. i suppose that was because we were flying as a family, checking in 2 suitcases and 4 hand luggage between 2 adults and 2 kids.
    I'd give Easyjet a go next time,
    Suzi x
     
  6. lionrampant

    lionrampant · Well-Known Member

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    I didn't think anyone flew Ryanair anymore. :eek:
     
  7. viv1969

    viv1969 · Well-Known Member

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    I totally agree that you were treated abysmally by Ryanair; however I completely agree with THEM for being indignant about putting some of your belongings into the luggage of a complete stranger.
     
  8. kegstore

    kegstore · Well-Known Member

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    Well I reckon you get what you pay for, and wouldn't touch low-cost airlines with a bargepole. Mind you, I've also heard one or two nightmare stories about diabetics and British Airways. I never use them either any more, albeit for different reasons...
     
  9. lionrampant

    lionrampant · Well-Known Member

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    Why? There's no security risk, and no additional demands being placed upon the aircraft or flight crew. They play hard ball with you, it's only fair you fire it straight back at them.
     
  10. viv1969

    viv1969 · Well-Known Member

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    How do you know there are no security risks?
     
  11. lionrampant

    lionrampant · Well-Known Member

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    Common sense? The ability to read? I'm capable think coherently? Any of the above really, but let me explain it to you:

    They're at the gate. They've passed through security. Anything they bought in duty free is already considered safe. Whether it's in his bag or hers it's still the same item. The only risk is that he doesn't get his booze back at the other end, and that's his problem not theirs.
     
  12. viv1969

    viv1969 · Well-Known Member

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    Nice attitude to a straightforward question.
     
  13. lionrampant

    lionrampant · Well-Known Member

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    It seemed more like an example of the rampant paranoia our society allows the air travel industry to indulge in. Paranoia which incidentally makes flying more expensive, and more troublesome than it should be. You touched a nerve with me as a result.
     
  14. stewpid

    stewpid Type 1 · Active Member

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    Hold on people!! I posted this to share my experience not to start an argument.

    I did see the comment re security but chose not to respond as I didn't see how it would be a problem, but perhaps I'm not cautious enough.

    The lady was a complete stranger, but one who could be seen to be a perfectly respectable, honest, upstanding, reasonable person, and I trust she was able to see that in me. It all comes down to is trust - a quality sadly lacking in todays world - or am I guilty of not being cautious enough again?

    {By the way I got my booze back as soon as she got off the plane!].

    Stewart
     
  15. lionrampant

    lionrampant · Well-Known Member

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    Relax, it's not an argument it's a debate. And debating is one of the cornerstones of knowledge.
     
  16. Sweet3x

    Sweet3x · Well-Known Member

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    It's most likely staff without the ability to take initiative. Jobsworth, if you like :) you get them everywhere, unfortunately. The only thing you can do is as they request of you, no matter how annoying it is.

    I fly regularly with EasyJet between Paris and Liverpool, and Bristol. I have also use BMI from Paris to B'ham. EasyJet have always been friendly, polite and reasonable. From Paris out, I have never been stopped despite taking two pieces of hand luggage (a teeny overnight case plus a reasonable sized handbag which contains food, insulin, blood testing kit, drink and a book). One the way back, from Liverpool, I usually get asked to put one inside the other (not a problem since I'm now expecting it, and make sure there is room), and once through the checks, it comes out again. I did once have a problem (hence why I now ensure I have space), but when I explained it was insulin and food for emergencies they were lovely, and waved me through with no argument.

    BMI weren't so good - they were stricter on the amount of handluggage, and about how much I actually took on the plane.

    I flew RyanAir once, years ago. I disliked the attitude of the staff and the service they provided to all their 'customers' and vowed never to use them again. I never have :)
     
  17. copepod

    copepod Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Seems the problem was caused by the addition of duty free alcohol, not by the initial hand baggage which contained the medication. From a security point of view, I've always thought glass bottles were great potential weapons, particularly if boken, but a litre / kg of liquid in bottle could also do a fair bit of damage if brought down on a head either on purpose or if bags shift in overhead lockers. To me, it seems fair that duty free purchases are included in a passenger's carry on hand luggage allowance. Personally, I've never had any problems flying with diabetes kit with any airline, including budget (Ryanair, easyJet, BMI Baby), regular and charter.
     
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