Checking in the Ryanair way…with one in the ‘I’ from Michael O’Leary

2 Jun

RIGHT, I admit it. I’m paranoid about Ryanair. And it’s not fair on my pet cheapskate airline…or on me.
My tongue-in-cheek account of my flight to Manchester two weeks ago was, I now confess, a little over the top. I even blamed them for the ‘lobal’ warfare between my handbag strap and left earring at the security desk before I had even set eyes on anyone from Ryanair.
And the paranoia resurfaced last Thursday when I spent at least an hour trying in vain to check in for my return flight to Alicante. The check-in section simply would not accept my reservation details…and my warped mind decided there was only one possible reason. They had turfed me off the flight because of all the negative coverage I’ve been giving Ryanair in The Courier.
Either that or they had hatched a plan to charge me an extra 60 euros at the airport because I hadn’t checked in online.
Yes, this was Michael O’Leary versus Donna the Old Deary – and the Irishman had decided there was only going to be one winner.
You’ll gather from that last sentence that at this point I was also suffering from delusions of grandeur. Yes, Michael O’Leary actually had someone as insignificant as me in his firing line.
And he was now taking the Michael – for deliberately mixing him up with the other silver-tongued O’Leary who used to present the X Factor.
My reservation details listed the booking reference as QY312V – two letters, followed by three numbers and another letter. Quite simple and clearly noted at the time on my mobile phone calendar.
However, every time I attempted to ‘manage my booking’ in order to check in, I got a message saying the details did not match their own…and that I should re-enter them correctly.
On Friday morning, the problem persisted, so I took a deep breath and called Ryanair on their unexpectedly cheap reservations line. Within two minutes I was actually talking to a human voice with a body attached to it. A male one.
I had expected to be hanging on for 20 minutes and probably to run out of patience before I got through and slam the receiver down. But this was NOT the sort of treatment I had expected. I hadn’t even had time to work myself up into a very minor frenzy, never mind get angry.
The operator wasn’t interested in my name. He just asked me for my reservation reference . “I have it down as QY312V,’’ I said. “Q – Y – three – one – two – V.’’
‘’I tink you may find that is incorrect,’’’ came the reply. (No, he wasn’t Irish, I accidentally left the H out of think and don’t have time to go back). “It actually says QY3I2V, that’s Q – Y – three -the letter I – two – V.’’
I can see Dermot, sorry Michael O’Leary laughing at my stupidity. That’s one in the ‘I’ for me, he’ll be saying. What else can we do to annoy her?’’
Annoy her, paranoia… help, I need to see a psychiatrist!

Published in The Courier (www.thecourier.es) June 1st 2012

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