Wish me luck, I’m heading off on a Ryanair flight today. This is despite vowing two years ago, after a miserable journey from Pisa, never to travel with them again.
Back then, I said I would happily pay whatever extra it costs to avoid being buffeted along by the elbows and shoulders of sweating, wheezing fellow travellers, as we were herded to a shock yellow seat for the joy of flying to the appalling shrill of in-flight advertising over the Tannoy. What a way to treat your customers.
But what did it for me with Ryanair was the baggage weight charade at check-in at Pisa. My relatively minimal holiday baggage had beefed up a touch, thanks to a paltry, single case of fine Tuscan red I had sourced from a small vineyard outside Montepuliciano. To take it home, I would have to pay excess baggage which negated any previous saving. The Artist and I shuffled off and re-arranged the bags to sneakily spread the load into our hand luggage. It felt cheap and pathetic, yet while we did this, we watched several people check in without a hitch after us despite clearly having eaten their life’s quota of pizza and pasta while on holiday.
Tell me, where is the fairness in penalising passengers who might be, hmmm, on the slimmer side for carrying a few extra pounds in a bag, when Mr and Mrs Golightly are packing an added, say, ten stones between them around their midriffs and derrieres?
Well, I’m heading off on Ryanair for this weekend break because no other airline goes to this destination at anything near a reasonable rate. To avoid putting bags in the hold and to keep within the hand luggage weight, I have studied the baggage dimensions and restrictions on the Ryanair website like a swot in A-level week. God help me. Consequently, I am travelling lighter than ever in my life. Robair – no frills indeed.