Flying by the seat of your pants

Last week, the Sunday Independent front page carried a Ryanair story.

Michael O’Leary addressed a conference on innovation, the newspaper reported, where he outlined how the European Commission invited him to Brussels, but refused to pay for his flight because it was booked through Ryanair.

And he said he was told “there is a ban within on low fare flights within the Commission.”

It’s a great story, but no one from the Commission was asked for their side of the story, so I thought I’d check it out.

“The Commission of course allows for its own staff and for visiting experts to use low cost flights,” a spokesperson told me. “If they use low-cost airlines, speakers, experts at Commission events are entitled to reimbursement on the presentation of original supporting documents.”

“The misunderstanding that has arisen in this case is because the Commission for this specific event asked a travel agency to handle the transfers and accommodation for the speakers.

“Since low-cost flight bookings require immediate purchase by credit card at time of booking to guarantee the actual fare and since these fares are heavily restricted in case of changes or cancellations, the travel agency does not provide this service.”

Image via MorgueFile

By Gerard Cunningham

Gerard Cunningham occupies his time working as a journalist, writer, sub-editor, blogger and podcaster, yet still finds himself underemployed.


  1. That’s standard practice for a lot of businesses; they use airlines that allow for tickets that can rebooked or rescheduled for little or no fee. This does mean the plane ticket can cost a lot more.

    Sure, O’Leary’s just full of sh*te, and while his airline may have heralded cheap airline travel in Europe I do feel that much of the time they’re not worth the cost as many of the airports they fly to are in the middle of no-where and to costs to much and takes to much time to actually get to your destination.

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