Anorak News | Ryanair ‘Punishes Musicians’ As Cheshire Teen Takes Violin On Holiday

Ryanair ‘Punishes Musicians’ As Cheshire Teen Takes Violin On Holiday

by | 1st, September 2010

MISS Francesca Rijks, 12, of Macclesfield, Cheshire, was told by Ryanair that she’d have to buy a seat for her violin.

On a return trip from a family holiday in Dusseldorf, Ryanair cabin crew advised her to place the violin in the hold. She declined. What with the coldness and the air pressure the instrument might be damaged. If she wanted to take it on the plane it would cost her £190.

Francesca’s father Harmen Rijks, 49, says he was told by Ryanair that it was ok to take the instrument on the plane as hand luggage.

Says he:

When we checked in, Francesca was carrying the violin on her back so they must have noticed it but they let us through. But when we got to the gates they refused to let us go. They said we could pay extra to put the violin in the hold…

“This was an absolute disgrace. Their policy appears to discriminate against violinists, the vast majority of whom simply can’t afford to purchase an additional seat.”

First they came for the violinists, an undervalued group.

Says Ryanair:

“Ryanair’s website, booking confirmation page and the e-mailed itinerary which is sent to every passenger is very clear in relation to the carriage of musical instruments and states that smaller musical items, such as a guitar, violin or viola which exceed our cabin baggage dimensions may be carried in the cabin but only if an extra seat has been purchased to accommodate the instrument…

“As all Ryanair employees are aware of our baggage policies, Ryanair is confident that at no time was this passenger advised that they could bring any piece of non-conforming carry-on luggage onto our aircraft.”

He’s right.

The girl later travelled on easyjet, with her violin onboard for no extra cost.

Ryanair are “feckers” who on recent flight from Malaga to Bournemouth offered your writer nor anyone on board no drink even though the plane had been delayed and we’d sat on the tarmac for hours. But in this case are they wrong?

David Abrahams, head of legal services at Incorporated Society of Musicians puts things in sober tones:

“These airlines are punishing musicians for being musicians.”

While you ponder the marvel of the teenaged girl who takes her school’s violin on holiday, here’s a song:

Posted: 1st, September 2010 | In: The Consumer Comment | TrackBack | Permalink