back to article Stroppy Belgian students in Ryanair mutiny

More than 100 Belgians are stranded in Lanzarote's Guacimeta airport after staging a "mutiny" over Ryanair baggage fees. According to local paper La Provincia, 120 university students, aged between 20 and 22, arrived in the Canary Islands in two groups on 27 and 29 January for a week's knees-up. It was evidently a lively …


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  1. Annihilator Silver badge


    Budget flights are hideous enough without the multiple bell-ends who rock up late with a massive suitcase then start bitterly complaining about the charges when they discover they're not allowed on with more than one piece of hand luggage.

    Mind you, I can only imagine the dismay, quickly followed by sheer joy for the remaining 60-odd passengers who turned up for a flight, realised that a group of 100 were going to be their "entertainment" for the flight were subsequently booted off. Horror, followed by bliss!

    Maybe I'm just a grumpy old fool though.

    1. Pete 2 Silver badge

      This was the RETURN flight

      > a massive suitcase then start bitterly complaining about the charges

      Unless they had all been on a suitcase buying spree in Lanzarote, they would have taken their suitcases with them on the flight out - and presumably been charged for the privilege. So to start whinging when the same thing happens on the flight back makes no sense.

      1. Trygve

        "suitcase buying spree in Lanzarote"

        Oddly enough, it has been known for people on a cheap get-drunk holiday to acquire the odd souvenir t-shirt, straw sombrero, comedy made-in-china donkey, sackful of cheap booze, megaphone etc. etc. etc.

        It's also quite common for people to pack within half a kilo of the weight limit on the way out, and overstep it ever so slightly on the way back due to having swapped the clothes they were wearing for the ones that were packed.

        All in all I sincerely doubt these were the first group of people in the history of the universe to get charged excess baggage on the return leg when they didn't get charged on the way out. I find it hard to summon up any sympathy for them, rather than the other poor schmucks who not only had to put up with Ryanair in order to get a cheap holiday, but also had the joy of sharing the plane with a bunch of cocks.

        1. Annihilator Silver badge

          Suitcase buying spree?

          No, but very likely "20L of whatever spirit the Canaries sells cheaply rammed into the case" spree :-)

      2. Wayne

        Suitcases get 'heavier' abroad

        On my one and only flight with Ryanair, I carried an item of hand luggage and one checked item to Girona, Spain. On my return trip, my item of hand luggage was suddenly heavier by .7KG and I was forced to check it at excess baggage costs.

        My hand luggage was a sports parachute weighing in at 13:5KG. Nothing extra was added to this in Spain and believe me, nothing was removed. But on the Girona scales it was suddenly 14.2KG

        On arrival back in the UK I went to file a complaint and do the dance, and lo and behold, it was magically down to 13.5KG again.

      3. Anonymous Coward

        @ Pete 2

        Did you bother to read the story?

        > a massive suitcase then start bitterly complaining about the charges

        If you had bothered to read it before mouthing off in the forums you would have noticed the following: "and we kindly allowed them to board on the condition that they paid for the baggage they couldn't check in." Since the check-in desks were already closed.

        Now, I've no doubt this is a great example of Ryanair trying to screw the last few pennies out of people who only look at the headline cost when booking, but it does explain the charges. If you are going to fly on a cheap airline, expect to have to arrive in plenty of time...

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

          RE: @ Pete 2

          Whilst I have to agree that the students were at fault here, I'm not surprised they baulked at the rediculous charges Ryan Air probably added. In my own experience and estimation, Ryan Air are nothing short of airborne pirates, and in no way qualify as a "cheap" airline. They have a scheme bordering on the deceitful to add charges to the upfront price, until you realise they charge more than comparable mainstream national carriers. How can the "administration charge" for changing anything to do with a flight end up costing TWICE as much as the original ticket (and it's in ADDITION to what you already paid!)? And just pray you never let them lose your luggage as their "assistance" is a real corker in frustration and futility! I'd advise the students not to bother complaining as Ryan Air have a very practiced response that jumps straight to the "legality" of their business model and practices, common to many a street hustler.

          /rant mode off.

      4. Dave 15 Silver badge

        I guess theres an easier explanation

        At some airports the ryan air people are totally and utterly anal - measuring to the micron, at others they are intelligent and decide a sensibly sized bag is ok. The stupid thing here is of course that a 50st hoofer with 15 layers of clothes on and pockets stuffed to the hilt is allowed on when their bag is 0.0001" less than yours.

        I've used similar stupidity myself - having to remove clothes from my small rucksack and wear them onto the plane just so the rucksack squeezes in... didn't reduce what I took onboard, and once onboard the extra layers came back off (not that many!!!!!) and occupied the same space. The flight out had been sensible, the return was anal... strage that once you're stuck abroad you get stung....

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  3. spencer


    did the students end up paying up or not?

    1. Marvin the Martian

      No, they didn't. But also didn't fly.

      Most are still stuck there, as other flights were full or too expensive.

      On the one hand, salute them for not paying extortionate non-costs (like 30quid for losing a boarding pass) --- and on the other hand, so this nice plane company lets people with megaphones in "full party mood" board the plane? Great customer satisfaction for the other people in the plane?!

      1. Is it me?

        Must be a first..

        The use of the word nice in conjunction with Ryanair.

  4. JaitcH

    Better reaction than tame British passengers

    Passengers who are bumped in a foreign country should always remember that every airline agreement permitting flights to countries contains a clause that each airline is responsible for the removal of all passengers from a country that were brought in to the country.

    It doesn't mean you will travel out on the same carrier but it does mean you will get out and, usually, home.

    It is high time passengers vocalised just how venal Ryanair is - the only thing it has in common with other airlines is that is has aircraft. They have never heard of service.

    1. IsJustabloke

      I refuse to enoble a simple forum post!

      Not that I enjoy finding myslef on RyanAirs side BUT the said students know Ryan "we will charge you for anything we can" Air aren't exactly an unknown quantity when it comes to spurious charges and I think we're glossing over the fact that the said students arrived VERY late after the flight was closed and pretty much every airline would have refused them entry to the aircraft.

      The fault here is ALL on the side of the students but don't let the facts get in the way of a good RyanAir kicking.

      1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

        Ah, thanks..

        "The fault here is ALL on the side of the students but don't let the facts get in the way of a good RyanAir kicking."

        Ah, thanks. I mean, they *ARE* crap, so I would not want to miss any opportunity to diss them, and no, I haven't been able to lower my standards enough to fly with them.

        However, the problem I have with this story is that the events differ from paper to paper. About the only thing they have in common is that there was no report of any attempt for reconciliation, but that deficiency is not restricted to just Ryanair..

    2. Annihilator Silver badge


      "Passengers who are bumped in a foreign country should always remember that every airline agreement permitting flights to countries contains a clause that each airline is responsible for the removal of all passengers from a country that were brought in to the country."

      "Bumped" means there wasn't enough room on the plane for them. Yes, under those circumstances I'd say Ryanair has a duty of care. However if they turn into idiots and abuse staff (as in this case), they're well within their rights to eject them and let them find their own way home. If that were the case, they wouldn't be able to sell single flights.

      There are some countries who have requirements on visitor visas to prove they have a return ticket, but it's not the airline's responsibility to ensure they make it.

      IANAL etc, but that's what embassies are for.

      1. JaitcH

        Landing agreements supersede dumping, denied boarding, etc

        Bumped can be used to describe any number of reasons that results in 'denied boarding'.

        Your phrase: "let them find their own way home" is EXACTLY what will not happen if Ryanair is required to meet it's obligations. What usually happens is they use a different carrier - Cathay Pacific terminated a pilot who happened to be in the U.S. on lay over and flew him back on a competitors aircraft.

        And Ryanair wouldn't get away with dumping across the nearest border, either, as present travel tracking can be used to prove a passengers intent.

        Single, as in no return flights, can be purchased for most destinations. the right terminology in 'onward' - countries can require 'onward' rather than 'return' ticketing.

        I live in a country that requires proof of onward travel, so the difference is familiar to me. Onward travel can be by any means, as well, including road, rail sea or air.

        Besides, proof of onward travel is very ephemeral with e-ticketing, since changes/cancellations can be made by e-mail these days. Whenever I fly through a drug hub, such as Bangkok, I always depart on the passport of entry to Thailand (a necessity) but land at the next destination on one of my other passports - removing any thought I might be carrying drugs. Never been challenged on this, either.

        As for seeking assistance from diplomatic sources, most countries reps aren't worth even contacting for assistance for their first line is that 'We can't help you with legal matters, only ensure that the host countries legal procedures are followed'.

  5. Anonymous Coward


    If only they had put up such a stiff resistance in 1914 and 1940 !!

    1. bluesxman

      Godwin FAIL.

      That is all.

    2. ScioScio

      Er....because they did?

    3. Is it me?


      not a fan of Secret Army then, or know about Eban-Emal.

    4. disgruntled yank Silver badge

      they did

      Not sufficiently Beligiarant for you? They did fight pretty damned hard in 1914. Their king did them a bit of no good in 1940, and Eben Emael was a bit of a fiasco, but I don't remember the BEF's performance as anything to shout about.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @disgruntled yank

        >don't remember the BEF's performance as anything to shout about.

        Pot meet kettle. From what little history I know it seems that the Yanks didn't join the party until it was just about over, sort of like a bull fighter going into the ring when the bull has already had all the stuffing knocked out of it.

        To (almost) quote Corporal Jones, "The only thing the Americans charged was interest on the reconstruction loans"

        1. Not That Andrew

          @Anonymous Coward

          Get your facts right. disgruntled yank is referring to the force sent to France during the "Phony War", which was also known as the BEF. And you have to have to admit they didn't exactly cover themselves in glory (but neither did the French). The evacuation was the only part of the campaign that they actually accomplished successfully.

  6. Mike Richards Silver badge

    If RyanAir want to get their own back

    They could always divert the flight to a tiny, ill-equipped airport in the middle of nowhere, hundreds of miles from the intended destination - oh hold on.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Once again we are back to slagging off an easy target without reading the article. These morons turned up late after the gate had closed and they should not have been allowed on the plane. Ryanair used their discretion to allow them on under certain conditions, namely they pay for their baggage which couldn't be checked in. Thier friends on board... Oh, FFS RTFA

    They weren't bumped they were ejected and have no right to a seat on another carrier. Ryanair have probably banned them, yes I know you'll all say they won't be disappointed but as if I could care less. Given their mass defiance it might be a while before they find another carrier willing to take them.

    I've no experience of Ryanair so won't join in the communal slagging off which is most probaby based on sheep mentality.

    1. kissingthecarpet

      No it isn't sheep mentality

      It's that Ryanair are shit.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Down

        Yes, they really are shit...

        Beyond belief.

        Avoid like the plague.

      2. mccp

        No, they're not shit.

        You just get what you pay for, and as has been mentioned already, they'll make you pay for anything they can get away with.

        Mostly, there's an alternative (more expensive) carrier to Ryanair destinations. If you don't want to give Ryanair your money, stop bleating about them and use the alternative.

        Just a thought.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        You get what you pay for.

        I've never had a problem with them. You can carry a weekend's worth of clothes and your food in your hand luggage and not have to pay for unnecessary fripperies. More beer money for the break.

      4. Anonymous Coward

        Are the two mutually exclusive?

        A bunch of monumental bell-ends tried to disrupt a flight run by a shit airline.



    2. Marvin the Martian

      Read your own first paragraph.

      "A handful arrive late & extremely noisy."

      Ryanair decides to let those on!? Waste 100+ people's time, and let then them have a plane ride with free megaphone entertainment by drunken student?

  8. Adrian Jones
    IT Angle

    One bright point

    At least the passengers who did fly would've been spared that bloody annoying fanfare when they landed. :)

  9. My Alter Ego

    It's not often I side with Ryanair

    Actually, this has to be the first time, and I'm feeling pretty nauseous about it.

  10. Prodigal Rebel
    IT Angle

    Belgian Resistance

    Maybe fought as hard as they could... Maybe they were underarmed against a very experienced and well equipped opponent... And maybe the largest share of "privates" were dutch speaking and the VAAAAST majority of the command structure was french speaking... ie commands were given in french and then said "et pour les flamands le meme chose" (and for the flemish the same thing)...

    Maybe you should study your history a little bit better before you said something... Also the European superpowers int he 1800's had promised to protect Belgium in case of an attack by one of their own... Remember early 1800's there was Napoleon etc etc

    On topic: they were t0553rs who were in the wind and figured there was power in numbers and should be prosecuted for wanting to board an airplane when in the wind (if they had been tested of course).

    1. Exiv96

      Belgian Resistance

      Ah, that old chestnut ! The poor Flemings sent to the war by the evil french speakers of Belgium. There should be a flemish version of the Godwin law, really. Whenever Belgium is mentioned in a story on an english-speaking news site, there will be a comment about our language problems - especially when it's completely irrelevant to the original subject - and that so-called origin.

      ...When actually, in the 19th and early 20th century, the high ranks of the belgian army were rather upper class, and in those days, the upper class spoke French, whether it hailed from Antwerp, Liège or Ghent. No wonder there were communication problems between the toffs and the rest of the battlefield.

  11. Timfy67

    I was going to comment...

    ... but then realised that it would cost me an extra £30 plus taxes.

  12. Anonymous Coward

    We are the budget flight, resistance is useless.

    True, perhaps, that most British people take a passive line than Belgian studentry in the face of such impromtu baggage fee extortion - but you can bet they'd be writing a stiff letter to Points of View when they get home.

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      RE: We are the budget flight, resistance is useless.

      Don't laugh, but I once had a very interesting dinner conversation with a consultant that specialised in customer relations. I asked her what was the worst thing someone could do that was really upset about the service or product they had received, and her suprising answer was "lying". As she explained, companies are reliant on customer feedback to know when they are over-pricing or under-delivering or just not hitting the right point in the market. They actually want you to complain, because they want to improve their services and because they want another go at taking your money. They really couldn't give a brown smelly thing about making you feel better unless it also means there is a chance you will buy their services/products again. So complaining tells them what they are doing wrong and gives them a chance to fix it so they can take more of their customers' money. Nothing is more frustrating for a company's management than to see a decline in sales and not know why.

      With that in mind, I'd just like to tell any Ryan Air employees that may be reading that I love the service you provide, I think your prices are great and any additional charges are fair and understandable, and there is absolutely no truth in the rumour that I'd like to see your company go into liquidation and your senior management to all develop unsightly personal aflictions. Honest!

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    most likely scenario is that both sides were as bad as the other......

    In my experience, and I've had rather too much of Ryanair sadly when I was flying with them twice per week, the ground staff have sometimes had a much more aggressive attitude to customers that I would have expected.

    On one occassion, when a customer was being told to stop being aggressive to staff, I found myself pointing out to the staff that it was them being aggressive to the customer.

    I didn't know the bloke who was being threatened with not being allowed to board, but as I was at the front of the "couldn't be bothered to pay for priority boarding queue" I had heard the whole exchange and all he'd asked was a reasonable question - I don't know why the Ryanair employee went straight for the nuclear option, perhaps they'd had a bad day, but it was totally unacceptable behaviour no matter how much or little the punter had paid for the ticket.

    Last time I checked the terms and conditions it didn't say they could pick a fight with you for asking a question and then threaten you with not flying unless you backdown.....

    It can't be easy working as Ryanair staff (I can only imagine how it's employees are treated based on how the company treats it's customers), but they should remember that if they have a bad experience with 1 customer, they can't take it out on another one...and the customer satisfaction factoid I remember being told is that a customer who has a bad experience is 7 times more likely to tell someone about it than someone who has a good experience, but based on the comments that are already up, Ryanair is for most people a lost cause / necessary evil at best.

    Devil icon due to O'Leary.....

  14. Vic

    Gratuitous YouTube link...

    If you've ever flown RyanAir, you'll enjoy this :-)


  15. Deano2099

    Of course Ryan Air are awful

    But worth remembering for an often tiny price they put you in a metal box that *flies* you to a different country. Sure, the customer service is atrocious, the baggage limits are a pain, but it's easy to take for granted the actual transportation bit. Where you're travelling hundreds of miles in a flying metal contraption. For £50.

  16. Chris Harrison

    Most seem to be missing the point here.

    Surely what this article is saying is that, with most airlines you're either on time or late and you miss the plane, but with Ryan air if you're late you can still board if the price is right.

    The idea of being told I've missed my flight, but if I dip my hand in my pocket and empty my wallet they'll find a way to get me on board is quite a revolting form of customer service.

    Basically these are the rules, unless we can get a bit more money out of you.

  17. Patrick R

    The point is in your own head.

    If late for a flight I'm offered to the choice between missing it or to pay a few quids for baggages that I have not checked in, I'll be glad to pay. Those partying students (they disturbed the first flight as well, you missed part of the story) are supposed to be the future of the nation. University will teach them what a thesis, a hypothesis and a demonstration is, Ryanair shows them what cause and consequences are.

    1. Trevor Marron

      Paying a few quids?

      A few quids? The charge is £20 a kilo!

  18. This post has been deleted by its author

  19. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Must have cost a bit

    Obviously, I would say the Belgian students were in the wrong. But, it probably cost RyanAir far more to run a flight with over 100 empty seats than it would have cost them to not charge all those exhorbitant baggage fees.

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