It’s fair to say air travel has lost much of the glamour of decades past, and much of this has to do with the restrictions imposed on passengers with airlines aiming to squeeze as much space and profit as possible from their aircraft.
Irish airline Ryanair has a particularly poor track record for customer service, with travellers being charged for non carry-on luggage and almost every ‘luxury’ that isn’t the padding in the seats.
The airline’s reputation sank to a new low today, after a racing driver was forced to wear a crash helmet throughout his flight as it did not meet the dimensions imposed on hand luggage.
McLaren GT3 driver Alexander Sims had hoped to simply stash his expensive bonce protector in an overhead compartment, though was turned away by cabin crew.
Not wanting to pay Ryanair for the privilege of potentially having his £4,000 race-spec helmet damaged by baggage handlers, he was made to don the headgear before taking his seat.
Sims took to Twitter to air his frustration:
I'll never chose to fly Ryanair again. Made to wear helmet onto plane as helmet bag didn't quite fit required dimensions. Pathetic company!
— Alexander Sims (@AlexanderSims) September 1, 2013
Rather than feeling perturbed by a man wearing a full-face crash helmet sat in the seat next to them, fellow travellers – many of whom had come to grief with the airlines restrictive luggage policies themselves – saw the funny side, and appreciated it more as a two-fingered salute to the penny-pinching airline.
Other tweeters sympathised with his plight. Fellow racer Nick Yelloly commented:
@AlexanderSims haha had to do it myself before mate, that or £50 to get it put with the luggage and thrown about!! Stupid..
— Nick Yelloly (@nickyelloly) September 1, 2013
Some took to Twitter to voice their concerns over the company in general.
@alexandersims Ryanair are a truly awful company. Only organisation I have used where I have felt genuinely scared while in flight.
— Leigh M O'Gorman (@LeighOGorman) September 1, 2013
Quite whether Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary will be bothered by this latest round of bad publicity is yet to be seen, though given his penchant and undeniable talent for insulting anyone he addresses – the Norwegians have borne the brunt of it in his latest press conference in the country – we’d wager this latest incident won’t concern him too much.
We approached Ryanair for a comment. They have yet to get back to us.
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