Ryan Unfair.


I don’t usually follow rules to the letter, so when I do, I don’t expect to get in trouble.

When I flew with Ryanair from Dublin back to London Luton last week, I made sure my bag was the correct dimensions to qualify as “cabin baggage”. There are lots of reasons why having no bags to check-in is better, including: Not having to pay extra, not giving the airline the opportunity to lose it and not having to wait and then rescue the bag from the conveyor belt at the other end like a member of the RNLI dragging a drowning man into a lifeboat.

As I was queuing in the gate lounge to get on the plane, I noticed that a lot of the other passengers had bags that were WAY bigger than Ryanair’s official cabin baggage size limit. I wasn’t the only one who’d noticed. A lady in a Ryanair uniform started at the front of the queue, walked along and placed bright yellow stickers on large bags and told their owners that they would be checked into the hold when they got to the steps that lead to the aircraft.

Then she got to me. I couldn’t believe it, she started to put a yellow sticker on MY bag. I protested and told her it was within the size restrictions for cabin baggage. She was having none of it and said there isn’t enough room in the overhead bins for everyone’s bags so they need to make more room in the cabin. I said, “This bag is so small, it fits under the seat in front of me. Unless someone has already put their bag under the seat in front of mine, there’s NO WAY you’re making more room overhead by putting my bag in the hold!” She walked off, leaving the bright yellow sticker on my bag that marked me out as a leper.

Maybe I was tired and emotional because I’d just flown overnight from Chicago or maybe I’ve got a problem with authority but there and then I decided that, sticker or not, my bag was not going in the hold.

I looked out of the window towards the green and white Boeing 737 and noticed a baggage handler standing in front of a little wagon at the foot of the steps to the plane. He was watching passengers approach the plane, spotting bags with yellow stickers and confiscating them.

In the staircase to the apron from the gate lounge, I ripped the yellow sticker from the handle of my bag. Two passengers behind me saw what I did, so to make sure they didn’t squeal, I gave them the stink eye.

I strolled confidently across the tarmac, taking care not to make eye contact with baggage boy. I climbed the steps, found my aisle seat, slipped the bag under the one in front and fastened my seatbelt.

As we thundered down the runway and the wheels left the ground, I congratulated myself, I’d won!

The truth is, I’d done nothing wrong but I felt like a drug mule!

Craic on!

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