In the ongoing saga of airline fees and crowded planes, things are getting pettier.
A passenger is calling out budget airline Ryanair for refusing to waive a £17 (about $22) drink bill that he says he accrued after the airline refused to give him the extra legroom seat he paid £20 (about $26) for, the Daily Mail reported.
Bob Hamilton says he was told he could not have his extra legroom seat because another passenger, who was also a Ryanair employee, was sitting in it. The airline, meanwhile, says they could not offer the original seat because of a technical issue.
“This customer (in seat 17F) was asked to move to seat 16A (an over wing exit seat of equivalent value) as there was a minor technical issue with the over wing seat which was occupied by an additional cabin crew staff member in line with procedures,” a Ryanair spokesperson said, according to The Independent. “This customer refused and took a different available seat (22A).”
Hamilton disputes the offer of an equivalent seat, but does confirm he ended up in a less roomy seat at the back of the plane. Hamilton then ordered two cans of beer and two mini bottles of wine during the flight, reportedly suggesting to crew the drinks should be comped for his trouble.
However, the airline crew never offered Hamilton free drinks. Instead, he was instructed to get his refund for the extra legroom seat online.
“He subsequently became disruptive during the flight and refused to follow cabin crew instructions,” the Ryanair spokesperson said.
At that point, the crew called the police: “The police officers were very pleasant and were laughing about it,” Hamilton told the Daily Mail. “In the end, one of the crew came out to the air bridge with a card machine and I was forced to pay up.”
While Ryanair described Hamilton as “disruptive,” he claims he was “extremely calm and polite … Otherwise I am sure the police would have detained me.”
Hamilton eventually received his refund.
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