22 Aug, 2009 @ 08:41
1 min read

You’re taking the p***

RYANAIR passengers were given a desperate dilemma when they were faced with the number one ultimatum: Fly with no toilet or do not fly at all.

Customers were asked to cross their legs if they wanted to take the 21:15 flight from Sevilla to London Stansted recently.

They were told they could either fly without the loos working, or take the next flight ‘in a week´s time’.

 However, any potential accidents were avoided when the flight was eventually cancelled, three hours after the scheduled departure time.

It had been forced to wait on the runway for an extra hour due to a further hitch.
It led to passengers warning the crew that the longer the airline procrastinated, the more difficult it would be to control their urges.
Eventually, the brave customers who opted to sit tight for the three-hour journey (only a small percentage refused to fly) were told to wait for a replacement flight the following day.

 One told the Olive Press how they were left in limbo in the early hours of the morning without any help or advice.

In fact they were told by the airport´s security staff that they would have to leave the airport at 1.30am.

“There was no list of hotels, no Ryanair representative and no help at all. We were left high and dry,” said passenger Les Burrows.

Burrows, 65, from London had feared that he and his wife were going to have to sleep in a nearby field.

“We had no transport and no way of getting back home or to a hotel. We honestly thought we were going to have to sleep rough.”

Eventually they found a hotel room thanks to a receptionist at the fully booked Ibis hotel.

“He took pity on us and rang a friend in another hotel, where we shared a room with a complete stranger, also on the flight and got to bed at 2.30am.

“We had no transport and no way of getting back home or to a hotel. We honestly thought we were going to have to sleep rough.”

According to Burrows a number of other passengers actually did sleep rough that night.

The exhausted travellers were eventually able to fly back to Stansted the following day on a Ryanair replacement plance at 11:30 – fortunately this time with no threats to the availability of the plane’s toilets.

He continued: “ Ryanair clearly has no customer care procedure for unexpected events, not because it has overlooked them but because it simply does not care.”

Jon Clarke (Publisher & Editor)

Jon Clarke is a Londoner who worked at the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday as an investigative journalist before moving permanently to Spain in 2003 where he helped set up the Olive Press. He is the author of three books; Costa Killer, Dining Secrets of Andalucia and My Search for Madeleine.

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  1. Ryanair did this to my 19 year old daughter flying Almeria-Stanstead in 2008. No compensation, no help, only a single member of staff to deal with the 150 passengers. She was offered a flight two days later, take it or leave it. Their attitude was agressive, and they refused to even cover the bus fare into Almeria centre. I had to return to the airport at midnight (90 minute journey each way) to collect her and then take her back for the delayed flight after 48 hours. She incurred £30 penalty car parking charges at Stanstead, I used €90 of excess fuel. Why bother to save a few Euros when you could get huge excess charges? Easyjet, Monarch or FlyBe for me from now on.

  2. Try flying Iberia. I managed to fly Granada-London anbd back for 30 € less than the Ryan Air Price. Real Plane, Real Seats,35 kilo baggage allowance and landing at Heathrow, a real airport. All you have to do is spend some time onm the internet. The end of the “Cheap”? airlines is coming soon. People will only accept so much rudeness and discomfort.

  3. I wouldn’t fly Whineair for all the tea in China. Ever.

    As your earlier correspondent points out – can be less expensive elsewhere. And with better customer service.

  4. Thanks to my brother driving at midnight to pick up two young Spanish teenagers and booking them into a Hilton at Stanstead they would have been stranded all night by Ryanair and totally vulnerable. They were to join an onward flight to Ireland and missed that due to Ryanair delays from Bilbao.

    Cost as I recall was 80 pounds per night each which had to be loaned. Plus driver’s return journey from Bucks and back. Ryanair do some really naughty things.

    I was double-booked by them once and had to await next flight. The booking attended suddenly said “You can catch that flight now if you run. Go for it!” It was her neck I almost went for. Retired arthritic passengers can’t run. No one should ever be double booked and left to fend for themselves in such a casual way. Shame on you Ryan Air. ..and your website which almost forces one into buying unwanted insurance.

    The loo thing is absolutely ‘a bridge too far’. Just make one realistic price and stop the gamesmanship. People are tired of it. And not fooled.

  5. Agreed. After delays and rudeness on 2 flights I took with Ryanair.. I will NEVER again fly with them.. and I plan to spread the word like mad. I hope they go out of business or change their procedures. they are horrible. It isn’t worth the cost of ‘saving’ a few euros.


    RA are not alone. There is some very bad practice with a number of these airlines which takes the breath away. I’ll try to get some things which people have written to me up on this line. A Spanish internal airline from Malaga to Barcelona took the biscuit recently . Name begins with Vue…g.
    Friend booked a one way flight and had to confirm seat day before flying. Confirmation Response : “Not booked in”. Why?
    Her flight was 70 eu. She had had 100 eu in her bank. She had not read the small print which said Vue…g would just extract twice the cost of the fare fare and refund her – after one month,- the second fare if she did not fly back! As she had only 70 eu and not the 130 eu the company had taken, she was stranded. Fourteen hours and one coach later she arrived exhausted in Malaga. Be warned folks!

    Invoking consumer rights and writing effective letters can be helpful – if they get read. But voting with the feet is always best. Alas there is the factor of flight suitability to consider. In the case of the friend and Vue….g she threatened a denuncia for malpractice and her administrative fee back on threat of exposure to the Press.
    She got it but the flight had gone…..

    In the case of RA. Three hours for elderly passengers without a comfort facility?

    What are these people thinking of? Do as you would be done by is a fair philosophy I always think.

    Get the director, tie ‘im up for three hours with no option to wee and don’t look in his direction or acknowledge his need. Betcha that would get results. We must never forget. We get tyrants when we accept tyranny. Good for Olive Press to disclose the truth!

    Next time should you have to fly RA order a wheelchair with commode in advance! You would probably be entitled to that under Human Rights, the Spanish Constitution, United Nations and any future Statutes for inter-stellar space flights. Best get writing now. Mars is reputedly a long way off!
    NB (Possibly why space persons are always depicted as asexual! RA has been there first and established only non- loo-users may fly in space.

    Or maybe that is why we see very few spacemen. All may be in the loo in foreign planets after their RA flight too embarrassed to return.

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