An Open Letter to Michael O’Leary

Alternative title: I Don’t Like You and Here’s Why.

Dear Mick,

You don’t mind if I call you Mick, do you? You seem like a ‘Mick’ kind of guy, and anyway after I have been screwed by a guy I feel sort of entitled to that kind of intimacy. I’m certainly not suggesting that you and I have had any hanky-panky, you screwed my wallet rather than my vagina. The latter, if it were for sale – it’s not – would cost a helluva lot more than the sixty quid I gave you today.

Rewind to the beginning. I flew home to Ireland today to see my family. My little cousin Lauren isn’t so little any more and she’s making her Confirmation tomorrow. I’m really excited to see all the family together. I can’t come live at home because of the economy you see, so I haven’t seen them since Christmas. I’m not looking for any small violins to be played for me here, just stating the facts.

I lived in Abu Dhabi for a few years before I moved to the UK, so I’m not as familiar with Ryanair as I used to be. I knew you had to check in four hours ahead so I did that last night. I don’t own a printer so I decided I would print my boarding pass at the library this morning would, but when I went there it was closed. Not to worry, I checked the airport website and it said they had printing facilities, so I relaxed.

I got to the airport with plenty of time to spare and went to print my boarding pass only to find out you can’t print your boarding pass once it’s four hours before the flight. It cost me another £4 to find out that I couldn’t, so you can add that to the above. Sixty four pounds. I nearly cried, but I’m quite proud so I didn’t.

I know you’re a busy man, Mick, so if you’re just skimming this letter, I’ll sum up the thrust of it here for you

  • That’s a really stupid rule 
  • Even if it wasn’t a stupid rule, which it is, £60 is an absolutely extortionate amount of money to print a teensy bit of paper that comes free with most airlines (even low-fare ones)
  • You are a money grabbing C U Next Tuesday

Allow me to elaborate.

Why is it a stupid rule? Well I live twenty minutes from the airport, and I need to be at the boarding gate a good hour before the flight departs. Say the whole process of getting from my lovely little house on Wells Road to Gate 11 of Bristol airport takes two hours maximum – why can’t I print my boarding pass just before I leave? What business is it of yours when and where I print my pass, unless… (refer to point 3) ? If I can magically pull a boarding pass from my sleeve, out of my anus or from the print kiosk in departures why won’t you let me? Is it because… (refer to point 3)?


Even if it wasn’t a stupid rule – sixty pounds to print a boarding pass, SIXTY POUNDS, GBP 6 0! Are you fricking joking? Mick, I get that that’s pittance to you. You would probably wipe your ass  with fifties if they were a bit soft and fluffier, but for a little perspective, here’s what that £60 means in my world

  • 1.5 weeks of rent
  • 2 weeks of groceries from Tesco or Asda
  • 16-17 vodka and tonics (slimline tonic with a slice of fresh lime if you’re getting them in)
  • Almost one month of bus transport around Bristol city
  • A pair of shoes I can afford to buy once or maybe twice a year
  • £15 MORE than the cost of the flight I was actually on. Seriously. In what universe does that make sense? Just to repeat for emphasis – you charged me more for one third of a sheet of paper and some ink than you did to fly me from one country to another. If that has any semblance of logic in it I certainly haven’t been able to grasp it.

That’s all I have to say really Mickey. It would be super if you wanted to give me the £60 back (or buy me those shoes), but I’m guessing by the time either of those things happens Ryanair will have become defunct as air travel will be dominated by flying pigs.

So for now, I’ll settle for any kind of justifiable explanation of the ridiculous contradiction set out above. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Kindest regards,

Yours sincerely,

Katie Harrington

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