Ryanair is currently ranked world’s worst airline for musicians.
This just in from the violinist Abraham Brody:
I am a professional violinist based in London. I travel all the time and sometimes fly with Ryanair. Since a year ago or so they changed their cabin bag allowance so that my violin fit as a carry on. I flew roundtrip with my violin as my carry on to Budapest, Seville, and Lisbon all this year with no problems. But when I flew from Paris Beauvais airport to Barcelona on Wednesday the woman at the Ryanair check in desk stopped me immediately and said ‘You won’t fly with that’.
I showed her that my violin fit the carry on requirements, showed her I bought priority boarding which means they cannot ask me to check my bag, and told her about all my previous flights with violin. She replied ‘ I don’t care, I am the boss here and what I say, you do.’
I was at Beauvais airport far away from Paris, and I had to get to Barcelona that day, so I had no choice but to do what she said and buy an extra seat for 200 EURO for my violin, as checking it would of course be extremely dangerous. She seemed completely out to get me. She then took so long to re-issue me a boarding pass that I almost missed my flight, and when I got on the plane, it wasn’t even full, and the overheads had plenty of space for baggage.
I wrote a complaint letter to Ryanair, stating all the facts and quoting their own rules. All I got a robotic reply stating that basically the people at the check in desk can order you to do whatever they want and you have to follow it, even if the airline rules are different. I got no refund and no sympathy.
The Ryanair policy states that if your cabin baggage fits the size allowance, and you have priority boarding, they cannot ask you to check your bag (or buy a seat for it). Nowhere on their website does it say that if a violin or other instrument is within the cabin baggage size allowance that you must buy a seat for it or check it.
I want to advise all my fellow musicians not to use this terrible airline with both complete disregard for its own rules, as well as its passengers. I would also strongly advise never to use Paris Beauvais airport, where this incident happened, as the service there by staff was both extremely rude and inept. I will never again use Ryanair.