Ryanair call police to deal with 6ft 2in passenger over legroom row

Ryanair summon police to deal with 6ft 2in tall passenger who asked for his £17 bar bill to be waived after being refused extra legroom he had already paid £20 for

  • Bob Hamilton, 64, said he was denied a seat with extra legroom he had paid for 
  • He had paid £20 so asked cabin crew to waive his £17 drinks bill to make up for it
  • However, airline staff called the police when the plane landed to make him pay

Ryanair has vowed to be nicer to its passengers.

But one man has discovered the budget airline still has a mean streak.

After being denied a seat with extra legroom that he had paid £20 for, Bob Hamilton asked cabin crew to waive his £17 drinks bill to make up for it.

But the airline staff instead summoned the police when the plane landed to force him to pay up.

Bob Hamilton, 64, said he always chooses a seat with extra legroom and paid £20 for one on a flight from London Stansted to Malaga – but wasn’t allowed to use it by staff (file photo)

At 6ft 2ins, Mr Hamilton, 64, said he always chose a seat with extra legroom. But when he boarded a flight from London Stansted to Malaga, he found someone was sitting in his seat.

He asked the cabin crew why the man could not move to a vacant seat.

A crew member told him the man was a Ryanair employee and Mr Hamilton would have to find somewhere else to sit due to ‘safety reasons’.


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Mr Hamilton, a retired former oil broker who splits his time between Peterborough and holiday homes in Marbella and Budapest, reluctantly agreed and found a seat towards the rear of the plane.

Shortly after take-off, he ordered two small cans of beer and two miniature plastic bottles of wine, at a cost of £17.

But his suggestion that the bill be waived in return for the £20 he paid for an extra-legroom seat that he didn’t get was rejected, and he was told he would have to claim his £20 back online.

Mr Hamilton refused to pay, and on landing at Malaga, he was met by two Spanish police officers. He said: ‘The police officers were very pleasant and were laughing about it. In the end, one of the crew came out to the air bridge with a card machine and I was forced to pay up.’

On his return to the UK, Mr Hamilton tried to get his £20 refund. Ryanair twice refused, according to Mr Hamilton, before eventually buckling and paying up.

A Ryanair spokesman accused Mr Hamilton of becoming ‘disruptive’ and said he was asked to move one row forward to seat 16A – another exit seat near the wing which would have cost the same to reserve. But Mr Hamilton said: ‘This response is absolutely false. I was never offered 16A.’

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