JD sends something from Boing Boing, of whom Wiki writes:
Y-e-e-s-s-s. Here it is on Ryanair:
Ryanair (officially “the worst of the 100 biggest brands serving the British market”) is changing its culture because the board are sick of seeing people weeping in the departure lounge and being harangued at dinner-parties by friends and relatives who hate the airline and refuse to fly it. The airline’s latest scandal: charging a neurosurgeon £160 to change his ticket home from Dublin to Leeds, after he explained that he was flying home in a rush because his wife and children had been killed in a housefire.
1. The Russians are not noted by the west for their compassion but that’s those at the top and the yahoos. Actually, they can be excellent. When my mother died, it involved all sorts of bureaucratic things – exit visas, docs in triplicate etc. I almost lived in the passport place and three days later, with much help from colleagues and friends, I was out of the country and welcome back later.
Once they knew the reason, the way the various departments came together on it was astounding to me. Compassion and a sense of family is very much there in Russia.
Pity it doesn’t seem to be present in cold, bureaucratic Britain. Or is there something else to the story?
2. We don’t know that the girl on the desk was rude or brusque or kindly and sorry she couldn’t reduce the charge. Certainly, it seems Ryanair itself was coldly inflexible – or were they?
He told the Irish Daily Mail that tears were streaming down his face as he tried to explain …
That’s the moment I thought I’d explore if Boing Boing was leftwing because there was a definite element there of emotion trumping logic.
I really did not expect them to charge me. I thought, given the circumstances, they might just let me transfer flights …
Why? Why would he expect them not to charge him? The terms and conditions, rough though they are with Ryanair, are still the terms and conditions. And how does that girl know he’s not pulling a fast one?
Also, he’s a doctor, on a tidy salary. There is a tragic occurrence, just as when my mother died. I’m stuck where I am. Not once did I expect not to have to pay for the exit and the flights – that’s why you have your emergency fund.
That doctor had his credit card and £160 is chicken feed to him. Also, what’s he doing on Ryanair, a budget airline? Also, we don’t know what it cost in the first place, do we? And how did the press get hold of it? Who went to the press? And wouldn’t you just pay up, go home, take care of business, then write to Ryanair and on the basis of that, decide to go to the press or not?
These are some of the questions many of you would probably be asking yourselves but Boing Boing does not give that side of it. Everything is about the raw emotion over a dastardly airline. I’m not disagreeing with that part. The poor doctor was probably beside himself, I can feel sorrow for his circumstances. I can feel anger at Ryanair.
But the article did not give us the whole picture and that falls into the area I’ve been railing against on this blog – because that is less than honest. It’s manipulating people’s reactions through appeal to emotion.
Let me reiterate. Yes, we can feel the emotion. Yes, it’s terrible what happened. But the way it was handled by the press and in particular Boing Boing, was dishonest.