Stranded Ryanair passenger forced to pay £700 to continue with business trip

A business owner who missed a work flight when Ryanair’s luggage belt broke had to fork out around £700 to fly to a different country then drive to his destination.

Mat Mccallum arrived at London’s Stansted Airport early with three colleagues for an 8.30am flight to Bratislava, Slovakia.

The 39-year-old, from Nottingham, was the last of the group to drop his luggage off – which happened at the exact moment the airline’s system went down across the country.

Mat, who runs a live streaming sports event business, claims he had to wait 90 minutes at the customer service desk while his co-workers boarded the flight, which took off before the issue was resolved.

Speaking to he said: ‘I got up at 2am to get to the airport on time. Mine was the last of the four bags on the luggage belt. I was just waiting for the tag to print and boom, the system goes down for everybody unlucky enough to be me or after me.

I queued at customer service for 90 mins to be told it’s Ryanair’s fault – but their policy is only to replace with a flight to the same country.

‘The next flight to Slovakia with one available seat is tomorrow. They would not put me in a hotel, I would have had to sleep in the airport or paid for a hotel.

‘I really need to be in Slovakia today with the rest of the team. It was not an option to wait’.

Mat, who founded his business CTRL this year, needed to be in Bratislava this evening to live stream a racing event for RC Racing TV.

He forked out £280 to be put on the waiting list for a flight to Brno, Czech Republic, and had to wait until boarding to find out if there would even be a seat free.

He’s also had to hire a car to make the two hour drive to Bratislava – despite already paying for a hire car in his original destination.

He said: ‘I paid £280 to be on the waiting list for a flight to Brno this afternoon.

‘I’ve had to hire a car to get to Slovakia. I don’t get that money back. The other problem is my return flight is from Bratislava so I don’t how how I’ll get the car back to Brno either.

‘It will all cost me around £700 at least. I  think the original flight was £70.

‘I think the flight should have waited. I couldn’t believe it just went. There was a lot of uproar at the airport.’

Ryanair’s system went down early this morning, preventing passengers across Europe from checking in online and dropping their luggage off.

Dad-of-two Mat said things had started to calm down by the afternoon but that the morning was ‘manic’ with lots of frustrated and stranded passengers.

Before boarding his flight to Brno, he claims he was told he would not be guaranteed a refund if he didn’t get on it, and his only other option would be to pay to be on the waiting list for a flight to Vienna later that day.

He claimed he’s had no apology off Ryanair and would think twice before relying on them for any business flights in the future.

He said: ‘I don’t blame the customer service people because I think they have a rough time. It’s the company that’s to blame.

‘If it’s a stag do or hen do or something it’s not the end of the world. Things like this can be devastating for a small business. I think the moral of the story is Ryanair isn’t a good choice for business flights .You need travel you can rely on. ‘

Ryanair have been contacted for comment.

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