A Ryanair flight which left ‘London’ at 8.16am and arrived in ‘Dublin’ at 8.18am has been condemned by the 125 passengers onboard after it left them hundreds of pounds out of pocket and ‘barely a stone’s throw’ from where they’d set off from.
“I was livid”, claimed Mary Tumbleston, a mother from Tottenham. “We arrived at the new ‘London North’ airport in plenty of time, even though the terminal was actually closer to Birmingham. We went through a rigorous security check, browsed the duty-free sunglasses, and then they whisked us through the departure lounge and out onto the tarmac, through a door marked ‘Welcome to Dublin’. We didn’t go near an aeroplane, or get to vomit in a bag. And we could still see our car through the chicken-wire fence, where we'd paid £40 a day to park in 'London'.”
The confusion has been blamed on Ryanair’s decision to rename ‘Birmingham International’ as both ‘London North’ and ‘Dublin East’, a move described as ‘slightly misleading’ by consumer groups. “We would urge travellers to check the small print carefully before booking a flight online”, said Janet Hurblet of the Consumers’ Association. “As well as the big print, where it says ‘Ryanair’.”
Despite spending nearly £350 on tickets for her family of four, Tumbleston still needed to spend a further three hours in a taxi and ninety minutes on a ferry, before reaching her destination half a day late. Overall, Ryanair’s ‘Sun Saver Special’ had cost nearly £1.00 an inch.
While Ryanair admits that the new ‘flight’ is largely just a walk through a shed in a field next to an airport, they are proud of the service’s low carbon footprint, and believe the marginally above-average safety record speaks for itself.
Tumbeston isn’t so convinced. “We can accept that the ‘flight’ didn’t start or end quite where we’d been led to believe, and while it would have been nice to have left the ground, I suppose that’s a technicality. But what I do find harder to accept is that in our two short minutes with Ryanair, they still managed to lose most of our luggage.”