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Ryanair flyers trapped on Gothenburg plane

TT/The Local/vt · 9 Dec 2010, 08:49

Published: 09 Dec 2010 08:49 GMT+01:00

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Snow and ice on the wings prevented the plane from taking off for Sicily, Italy as scheduled at 5.40pm. Passengers waited for five hours on board without food and water.

"We are not getting any food or any water. There are babies here. It is totally crazy," Charlotta Raffone, who was on board along with her husband and two children, told newspaper Göteborgs-Posten (GP) late on Wednesday.

The passengers requested the cabin crew get them something to eat and drink. However, the pilot refused the requests, saying that they could not sell refreshments while still on the ground. At the same time, no one was allowed to leave the plane.

According to Gothenburg City Airport airport director Göran Hall, such decisions are the responsibility of the airline.

"When the aircraft doors close, it is the airline that decides," Hall told GP.

Attempts to de-ice the wings were unsuccessful. The passengers were finally allowed to leave the plane at 11pm.

Story continues below…

"They had to get off because the airport closes at 11pm", Hall told Sveriges Radio Gothenburg.

Passengers waited until Thursday, when the plane finally took off at 12.30pm.

TT/The Local/vt (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

08:58 December 9, 2010 by Twiceshy
Think about this next time you buy a cheap ticket on a "fake" airline. Next time fly a "major" that has learned never ever to do this again!
09:24 December 9, 2010 by Aureliano Buendia
@twiceshy it happens very seldom, ryanair is cool, dont be capitalist, poor people also have a right ti fly...
09:27 December 9, 2010 by engagebrain
Last Xmas we were stuck at Vasteras and Ryanair continuously lied about the arrival of the incoming flight - the internet established that the flight had not left Stanstead. Finally we flew to from Vasteras to Skavsta and were told to leave the plane and await another plane. The passengers refused to leave the plane we were on.

At no time did Ryanair offer any food or drink during the 7 or so hours we were delayed, even though international travel rules require that they do so.

Why they were unwilling to provide honest information is also a mystery - passengers might choose to abandon their journeys and ask for a refund - maybe that is why they lie.
09:34 December 9, 2010 by RobinHood
If you feel you are being unreasonably detained on a plane, without water; ask for the pilot to be informed you have chest pains and would like to be examined by a doctor.
09:56 December 9, 2010 by Alf Garnett
@aurelia::::::@ it has happened quite often, twice to me, 2 hrs waiting for a cable to be connected & 3hrs at Manchester airport waiting to be transported to Stansted.

Sounds to me like unlawful detention, virtually kidnapping, employment rules don't allow companies to refuse workers refreshment for so long.
10:02 December 9, 2010 by Liquidmonkey
there is a reason why the tickets are so cheap.... and this is it.

ryan air NEVER give anything for free and are only interested in keeping costs down.

personally, its not worth it, fly with SAS.
10:18 December 9, 2010 by procrustes
There ought to be a law. Imagine if the local department store decided that you could not leave their store until their daily sales quota had been reached.

Holding people against their will is wrong--period.

After some period of time (one hour?) people should be free to leave the airplane.
10:39 December 9, 2010 by McChatter
Ryan air = Reichsbahn?
10:42 December 9, 2010 by alingsaskev
I have been travelling back and forward between Säve and Stanstead with Ryanair for about 7 years now. When Ryanair first started out the experience was quite a pleasant one - it was no frills, cheap, a bus if you like but convenient and a great service. Sadly Ryanair have lost their way over the years and now treat customers like cattle. The service is appalling, the costs have spiralled and more and more srories like this one are emerging. There is an alternative. Easyjet fly from Landvetta to Gatwick, are comparable in costs, the service is better, they aren't unreasonable when it comes to hand luggage and if you need to get into London, it's cheaper from Gatwick than Stanstead. So if you are one of those people that needs to get from Gotenburg to the UK, vote with your feet. Fly Easyjet and show Ryanair that yes we don't want to have to pay SAS a fortune to fly, but we would like to keep some dignity too!
11:07 December 9, 2010 by Enzooo
i always thought their advertising slogan should be "RYANAIR DOESN'T CARE"!!
11:38 December 9, 2010 by WelshSwede
Norwegian are also flying between Arlanda and Gatwick. Can get some good deals too.
12:07 December 9, 2010 by Gletta
Can anyone answer why they could not de ice the aircraft correctly?
12:25 December 9, 2010 by markusd
I think there's an extra fee for de-icing.
12:36 December 9, 2010 by svenskdod
The company is run with profits in mind alone. They will lie, cheat and steal just to make an extra 2:- and that is a fact. It is the mentality of the owner to get as much as he can from everyone and everything. Profits MUST increase and they are forever trying to find new ways to make more. It gets to a point where they think just a bit too far outside the box (standing passengers anyone?) and some of these ideas would have happened if not for the powers that be.

You can only get so much pork out of the pig...
14:20 December 9, 2010 by rba
I'm happy that I don't have to fly with these fools any longer.
15:18 December 9, 2010 by peruzzijay
@rba. Sounds like you just bought for urself a new jet?? Or hw to you now fly????

Its a low cost carrier, so what do u expect????
15:44 December 9, 2010 by Kalyissa
Easyjet did exactly the same thing to us last year when I flew home to the UK for a flying visit before christmas. We boarded the flight at 9:30, they didn't let us off untill 2am when they finally gave up. What's worse is the airport by that time was shut so they refused to give us any food and we only got juice and blankets since they had turned most of the heating off. Though it would have also been helpfull had the airport given us enough blankets. :S

So Easyjet aren't much better.

I hope we don't get stuck again this year. Though this year there will probably be hotels. There was none last year because of the Climate conference.
16:31 December 9, 2010 by mamoakie
ryan...offers you a range of troubles... its departure and landing time(very odd-mid night or close to the day breaks), its terminal-airport choice being far from the usual, baggage restrictions and earthly costy extra charges(more than two fold of the actual fare), unreasonable administrative and overhead costs( more than the fare), poor in flight service...just bad:(
19:03 December 9, 2010 by karhu100
Yes but, you do get this!

20:52 December 9, 2010 by hunnysnowbee
Have to say in all fairness to SAS, I flew with them last christmas from Birmingham to Copenhagen. My flight should have left at 10:35am but was cancelled due to very bad fog, (even the drive to the airport from Wales was quite hairy at times the fog was so thick). I was stuck in a queue trying to find out what would happen next as I had never been in this situation. I asked one of the employees how long it would take as I was traveling alone with my then 2 and half year old and wondered how I would keep my place in the very long queue, (other flights had been cancelled too), and also be able to go to the loo, get food/drink for my son. Well they couldn't have been more helpful! The lady took my boarding pass and then returned a little while later with my boarding pass saying we'd been booked on the 7pm and also gave us some vouchers to get food and a drink with. I was then free to leave the queue and able to take care of all my sons needs hassle free. I think they were brilliant once they knew I was alone with a small child.

Also I think this story is dispicably how Ryanaire treated these people and all of them should complaine!
21:49 December 9, 2010 by Texrusso
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
00:56 December 10, 2010 by marco78
Now then, people need to understand a few things here. 1st of all I very much doubt there was any problem de-icing the aircraft. The proceedure Ryanair use will be the same as every other airline and the de-icing service it normally provided by the airport handling company. It is more likely the aircraft could not depart due to the weather conditions for the take off roll. 2nd you can always be off loaded from an aircraft but you wont be allowed back on. 3rd the reason you can not just get off and then back on is that the pilots where probably waiting for a small break in the weather to allow the departure. If all the passengers get off and start getting food and drink in the terminal then should the weather improve for 10mins the aircraft needs to start its engines straight away and go. I dont know about Ryanair being gready or un-reasonable but if you check the prices that some of these people will have paid to go to warmer Sicily it will be 3 euros! Check the prices 5th,9th,12th,16th,19th,23rd Jan 2011 onwards. Now you seriously cant expect Ryanair to supply you with food and drink that may cost them 5euros when all you have paid is 3 euros and still expect them to fly you for 2.5 hours to Sicilly. People have to understand flying is a privilage, to fly at 40,000 where the air is too thin to breath, cold as -60oC and fly at nearly the speed of sound this service should cost more than 3 euros. So you cant complain that you wanted a bottle of water when in the interest of your safety the airline decides it is not safe to take off. The last thing Ryanair would want is to have the aircraft stuck in Gothenburg, they would be as keen as the passengers to get going. Not everything in life should be viewed as what can I get out of someone or some company that has not delivered what you paid for.
17:43 December 10, 2010 by bobbychyldd
@marco78 thanks for putting another angle on it. I'm not saying that Ryanair is fault free, but people tend to villanize quickly.

Everyone is in business to make money. The bottom line plays a big part in life. I'm not saying that charity, thoughtfulness, and respect shouldn't exist nor shouldn't play as big a part, but they do coexist.

I also think that many of us tend to be quite selfish.

We are pretty fast at holding others to high expectations and judging them, while at the same time allowing ourselves wiggle room when we screw up, because after all, we're only human.
18:57 December 10, 2010 by james7
Ryanair has committed so many customer service violations that the European Union should have grounded them long ago. That won't happen because the authorities are probably being paid off. Those that patronize Ryanair get what they pay for.

How come this NEVER happens on a Scandinavian airline such as SAS or Norwegian?
20:47 December 10, 2010 by ingka
I'm a very frequent flyer both private and business. Business wise my company has long time ago decided not to allow us using Ryanair, although we have a low cost policy. The costs of solving the several problems occuring were bigger then the wins. Easyjet is only to be booked on routes where there alternatives available in case of emergencies.

Privately I've stopped the Ryanair nonsense as well. I used Växjo-Dusseldorf almost every fortnight, but pricing, service and the huge costs which land in your lap when a flight is cancelled is not worth it.

Now I'm using Norwegian or Cimber-Sterling. Not exactely on the same route but door-to-door at just a couple of tens (euro) extra. It's worth it. The other day a fligth from Norwegian got cancelled and we were promptly booked in CPH Hilton, including dinner and drinks. The next morning there was an extra flight to deal with the stranded passengers.

Low price doesn't need to come at a cost, there are several companies showing that. Ryanair goes gready and then don't give a toss about their customers and their experiences. On the long term they will not survive, simply because more and more customers will not accept that. which is a pitty ... the concept is good, the execution sucks.
04:32 December 11, 2010 by visitorfromnowhere
Got screwed by Air Berlin this summer. Plane was supposed to leave Iceland at 11:30pm. We checked to see if it was on time and found it was delayed until 8am. Whoa! Then when we went to the airport, it was delayed another three hours. The whole while they acted like it was a 30 minute delay. I was livid. We got some rebate credit thingie. But I'm pretty sure they just cancelled the plane because there weren't enough seats sold.

Ryanair is repulsive because of the damned sales pitches. Drinks? Perfume? Lottery Tickets? WTHeck?
07:06 December 11, 2010 by Rick Methven
The responsibility for de-icing equipment is down to the airport authority. When an aircraft has been de-iced it must take-off within 15 minutes before the treatment looses its effectiveness. If passengers where let off the aircraft there would not be time to get them back on board before the aircraft was frozen up again. I was once stuck on a BA aircraft for 3 hours waiting for de-icing in Moscow. Do not blame Ryanair blame the airport
08:51 December 11, 2010 by Twiceshy
@ Aureliano Buendia - no they don't get real!

@ingka - so very very well said! Many thanks!

It is clear people will buy cheap seats if there are there so it is up to the EU to slam this scam airline and MAKE them do what is right!
13:45 December 11, 2010 by alingsaskev
@ Marco 78

I take your point and you are right that flying is a privilege and that that in this day and age we are spoilt with the choices of being able to hop on an aircraft and be in our destination for a few Euro.

However, Ryanair's pricing policy is such that yes you can get a flights for a few Euro if you are one of the first to book, if you book closer to departure time you pay a premium. This is a tried and tested pricing policy and works for Ryanair, their flights more than cover their costs. They wouldn't make such large profits if that were not the case.

In this case there was nothing stopping the flight crew from selling their on board menu whilst on the ground. Ryanair don't give away food whilst in the air and no-one was expecting them to do it on the tarmac either, the dispute was that they were not allowing for the provision of refreshment whether paid for or not.

From a marketing point of view keeping customers happy must be a companies primary concern. If a customer is happy they will return to use a service and will tell their friends what great service they got.

Customers in general are not fools. They will not blame a company for circumstances out of it's control, (ie. being grounded due to bad weather) what they will complain about is how they were treated as a result. Being locked into a metal tube with no water for 6 hours showed that Ryanair simply didn't care - and that is just bad business.
21:21 December 11, 2010 by maxbrando
It is obvious that the Swedish government needs to go after Ryanair and its CEO, Lynch (walsh??) whatever. His arogance is becoming intolerable and, the airline practices I think, illegal. What are you Swedish cowards going to do about it? You wimpy females who run that country are cowards, given to tsk, tsk, and nothing more.
21:49 December 11, 2010 by alingsaskev
@ Maxbrando.

There was absolutely no need for that rant thank you very much. Swedish cowards? Wimpy females?

Firstly, Ryanair's CEO (or Managing Director as we call them over here) is Michael O'Leary - and secondly it's hard to imagine just quite what the Swedish Government could do to the Irish Director of an Irish Company.

Should they also take on Continental? What about QANTAS? Hey why not go the whole hog and have the Swedish government take on the airlines of the world if any of their aircraft get grounded due to adverse weather whilst on Swedish soil!

If you are as ill informed as you sound, can't be bothered to even check the name of the person that we should "go after" and just really want to have a rant at "wimpy females" as you so idiotically put it - then do us all a favour and restrain yourself next time. Go be crazy somewhere else - we're all fed up with it here!
03:50 December 12, 2010 by CEIW
I am prepared to believe anything from RyanAir. The only way you can retrieve any money that you, according to their representatives and their website, are entitled to is by taking them through the small claims court in Ireland. Who has the time for that sort of rubbish? Most just give up. RyanAir are lying, thieving scumbags.

The specific problem I refer to is that you cannot check young children in online. They specify that you can get a refund for the check-in fee at the airport because of this (which of course affects everyone on the same booking, so if you for example travel in a group of four with one two-year old passenger, you pay 4x the airport check-in fee for each leg of the journey).

I printed out the error messages from trying to log in online, and the page that stipulates that you can get the money refunded. I carefully found out where to send the refund claim. Heard nothing back. Contacted them after three months, and they claimed to have emailed me, which is a bald-faced lie, as I carefully check everything that ends up in the junk inbox. Did some research on the many complaints forums, where they said you have to take them through the small courts on Ireland to get refunds of this (or any other) kind.

And they are quite the surliest, most unhelpful airline ever. Apart from being lying, thieving scumbags, that is.

Fly with Norwegian or EasyJet instead. Cheerful, fly from Gatwick, good value, helpful.
15:36 December 12, 2010 by Layman
Competition from the RyanAir business model is the only thing that has made European air travel affordable to the public at large and keeps governments and their legacy "flagship" air lines honest. Remove RyanAir from the Swedish market and then see what SAS does to the price of a seat.

I have no financial interest in any airline but I wonder who some of the ranters are working for.
12:12 December 19, 2010 by wardmanstuart
Never fly Ryanair they are the worst Airline i have ever flown with,

BYE BYE Ryanair should be on there planes?
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