So today I am traveling from the beautiful city of Madrid to Porto in Portugal… well at least I should be. I booked a semi-cheap flight (71.99 euros not including baggage) but as I arrived at the airport, the RyanAir baggage handling employees had gone on strike. Great. Surely there are ways around this interruption right? Wrong.
First of all, if you ever fly RyanAir, print your boarding passes before you arrive at the airport to avoid a fee of around 40 euros. 40 euros for a piece of paper? You heard right. You have to do an online check-in yourself and then print them or you can download the RyanAir app to save a PDF version, but don’t rely on that as it did not even work for me. And sorry but I do not carry around a printer whilst traveling.
So that wasn’t even a minor issue for today. When I arrived and was told about the situation, they said they had sent out emails to warn people of the situation. Yes, good but I had been too busy to check my emails and they only sent it the night before by flight was to depart.
I was then told that I would be refunded my baggage charge (additional cost of 35 euros when booking online) but as I could now only take hang luggage on board, my suitcase could not come with me on my flight. Ridiculous! The crew helping were doing all they could which I do appreciate, saying I could go and buy two hand luggage sized bags and pack all of my things into there instead. However, then I would need to ditch my suitcase and buy a new one when I got to Porto. So I would need to buy three more bags, and my four months worth of travel gear would still definitely not fit into two hand luggage bags. My suitcase is also not cheap, and costs more than the flight…
When I explained this would not be possible and asked for a refund of my fare, they refused saying they could not do that. Excuse me? So I am not able to take my luggage and hence board the flight due to a fault with your airline’s staff but I still have to pay for a flight I won’t even be on? Not okay.
I demanded to be compensated but they all kept saying there was nothing they could do. Lies.
And again, not the fault of the workers (who were not RyanAir staff but a company affiliated with them) trying to help, but the airline.
So now I was stuck, having my hostel bookings and plans in Porto for that night and the next day. They said I could reschedule a flight for the next day but the strike was indefinite and had already been going for two days. I was not trusting that.
So I left the airport, having lost out on over $100 AUD and having to find another way to Porto. The only thing I could find was an overnight train that takes over 10 hours and I am out of pocket even more thanks to RyanAir.
I understand people have the right to protest if they are being wrongly paid/treated in the workplace and hence go on strike, but this just seems to show the characteristics of the business as well.
Poor treatment of their staff and poor treatment of their clients.
A formal complaint is coming their way and I hope that this does not happen for any fellow travelers. My first experience with RyanAir and most definitely my last, unless they can do the right thing and compensate all who were affected. It is not our fault that they mistreat their staff and in turn those staff had to go on strike.
Let me know about experiences you have had with RyanAir in the comments below, good or bad.