WE’VE all faced the dilemma when preparing for a flight. How much hand luggage can we get away with taking on board.
If your airline is Ryanair, it seems, you’d better be extra careful.
A female passenger who fell foul of their regulations was marched off a jet by police officers moments before take-off, it has been claimed.
Video posted online showing a Spanish Guardia Civil officer ejecting the woman from the aircraft at Valencia airport has caused outrage.
Spanish newspapers said she was judged to have broken the airline’s rule of only boarding with a small package, as she was carrying a scroll, which would not fit in her case, and a book.
Footage shows the Spanish woman begging to be let on board.
Passengers are heard asking how they can help and if they can place the item in their suitcases for her.
They can be heard shouting “shameful, shameful” at the officer as the woman is led off the plane.
The video was posted on Facebook by a user called Soraya Pla, who said the woman shouted out as she entered the cabin that she had tried to pay an oversized luggage fee with her credit card, but it had not been working.
She added: “Look at what we have just witnessed on a Ryanair flight, I am crying with impotence. They took her forcefully, because of a simple book and a scroll that did not fit in her bag.”
The clip has gone viral and led to calls from Spanish Twitter users to boycott the airline.
Ryanair rules state only one item of hand luggage, with maximum dimensions of 55cm by 40cm by 20cm and weighing up to 10kg is allowed per person.
Oversized baggage will be refused at the boarding gate or subject to a £50 fee and placed in the hold.
The airline defended its actions, claiming the woman had become disruptive and “pushed past its gate agents without showing any ID or her boarding card”.
A spokesman said: “This passenger was in breach of airport security regulations, and having become disruptive was properly removed from the aircraft at the request of Ryanair agents.”
Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary was at the centre of a storm in September when he described passengers who forgot to print their boarding passes as “stupid”.
Passenger Suzy McLeod was charged £236 to print out five boarding passes before a flight from Alicante to Bristol.
She claimed she had already checked in online but hadn’t printed out the boarding cards at home. But Mr O’Leary responded: “We think Mrs McLeod should pay 60 euros for being so stupid.”
He is famously outspoken, once saying about customer service: “People say the customer is always right, but you know what – they’re not. Sometimes they are wrong and they need to be told so.”
Ryanair has courted controversy in the past with plans to sell standing only tickets for flights, charge passengers to use the lavatory and install bunks in aircraft hulls.