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Published on Friday, November 16, 2012

Passengers 'banned from flights for carrying sweaters'

Passengers have been banned from flights for attempting to board while carrying jumpers and jackets, according to a new passengers survey.

Ryanair was lambasted on Twitter recently when a female passenger was arrested for remonstrating with staff after allegedly trying to board a flight carrying a book and a scroll in addition to her one permissible carry-on bag, but if the survey by Budget Airline Watch and WhichBudget can be believed, this was not an isolated incident.

It claimed that other passengers had been banned from boarding flights for refusing to throw away "excess jumpers and jackets" while others had been asked to disembark a plane and return to the gate to check a cabin bag in the sizing cage.

Other horror stories included passengers charged for going 100g over their baggage allowance - that's the weight of a bar of soap - and not being allowed to repack to redistribute weight from one overweight bag to an underweight bag.

One easyJet passenger claimed she was asked if she would mind leaving her check-in luggage behind because the flight was already fully loaded.

Two-thirds of the 340 passengers who responded said low-cost airlines offered value for money, but only a third said they provided a good service. However, budget carrier easyJet topped the survey as the best airline overall, beating the likes of British Airways and Virgin Atlantic. Ryanair was considered by 77% to offer the worst service.

Jo Chipchase of consumer advice site Budget Airline Watch said: "The results of the survey highlight our overriding concern that profits gained through baggage fees and ancillary revenues are placed way ahead of customer service these days.

"It has reached the point where passengers expect to receive lousy treatment from budget airlines and try to work around it, as best they can. In the survey, we even had reports of check-in staff refusing to help passengers and swearing at them! And, all things considered, it's hardly a big surprise that Ryanair has won the 'worst customer service' category."

More than half - 54% - of passengers said they like to pre-book seats, and 72% of respondents would like to see a free 20kg hold bag included in the price of the fare.


By Linsey McNeill


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  • Oh Please!

    "72% of respondents would like to see a free 20kg hold bag included in the price of the fare." And in other dramatic news, people would like a large pay rise and a shorter working week. Ryanair extending the network to Cyprus is brilliant news for villa holidays. A couple of brain cells are required to appreciate that cheap fares come with rules, and breaking them costs money.

    By Jon Cockerill, Tuesday, December 11, 2012

  • Biggest Fan

    I am Ryanair's biggest fan and was disappointed in the extreme when they axed their one route from my local airport. I have flown to Spain for £10 each way, no taxes, on numerous occassions for along weekend.. I have a bag which exactly fits to Ryanair's maximum size and never overload it. The flight is just over 2 hours so who cares where I sit? I take a sandwich and eat in the departure lounge before I depart and buy a drink before departure so as not to get stung on board. It all works for me perfectly. As for the talk of predatory pricing, lest ye forget, BA and all the traditional Carriers practiced puntive pricing and operated in cartels before Ryanair came along. Do we want to go back to the bad old days of £250 return flights, like it or lump it ? Not me thank you very much. And as a parting shot, which airline has the best punctuality record in the EU................you guessed it. Long live Michael O'Leary

    By neil robinson, Monday, December 10, 2012

  • Taking the P---

    Paul has a point, stick to the basic budget flying rules BUT carrying your sweater instead of wearing it?? That really is taking the p---, so you put the sweater on and then take it off again the second you have passed through the gate, this is nit-picking by the airline in the extreme and what will be the next wheeze, preventing you from taking your sweater off at all for the entire flight??? And what about not being 'allowed' to move stuff from a slightly overweight bag to an underweight bag, no one has the right to dictate what you can and can't do with your own property, if we're going to get PC about this, then that is an abuse of human rights and would be thrown out of court. Airlines are not gods, lawmakers or judges, they are just another form of transport, like a bus or train. What would you say to the bus driver who stopped you getting on carrying your sweater - probably not repeatable. By allowing airlines to get away with this, we just give them the green light to get even more dicatorial.

    By Keith Standen, Sunday, November 18, 2012

  • Budget Airlines

    We all want low fares with the extras of non-budget fares. The choice is pay more or have the restrictions. If one chooses low fares don't complain if there is no leeway. I have no complaints - I just stick to the rules.

    By Paul Johnston, Friday, November 16, 2012

  • Sadly passengers have sown the wind...

    ...of buying on price, now they must reap the whirlwind of getting no service, saving no money and having no choice of carrier. Predatory pricing always has the same result - it drives away the competition and then the remaining supplier can do what it likes - and Ryanair is doing exactly that. If you don't care to throw away your sweater then fine - don't fly with Ryanair, lose all your money and cancel your trip as there are no alternative carriers left. Predatory pricing is banned in many countries - but I assume not in Ireland.

    By Richard English, Friday, November 16, 2012

  • It's not just about price, it's about value for money

    The fact that we received 340 valid responses to our survey in two months shows that people are keen to express what they think of budget airlines, partly demonstrating that low cost airlines aren"t sufficiently listening to feedback. Unsurprisingly, today's passengers are no longer happy with just bargain priced flights but are seeking value for money. On WhichBudget, we introduced the star rating next to our price comparison results, where the rating represents overall value passengers place on an airline. Martino Matijevic Founder & CEO WhichBudget.com Flight Search

    By Martino Matijevic, Friday, November 16, 2012

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