Budget airline Ryanair has been forced to apologize after it forced a group of seriously ill children and their families to repack their luggage before a dream trip to EuroDisney.
Michael O’Leary’s cheap fare carrier has been heavily criticized in the Irish media after the children from the Share A Dream foundation were treated appallingly at check-in at Dublin Airport.
A spokesman for Ryanair has told the Irish Independent that the airline ‘regrets causing inconvenience’ to the ill children and their families after their luggage was found to exceed weight limits.
But the airline also said: “We are pleased the group “avoided any excess baggage charges.”
The children all have life-threatening conditions and were recipients of National Children of Courage awards last weekend.
They were on a trip to Disneyland in Paris with the Share A Dream Foundation when they were told their checked-in luggage - which contained the children’s medicines and other important items - exceeded weight limits.
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The paper reports that the families of the seriously ill children said they were annoyed and humiliated after they were forced to unpack some of their bags and repack belongings in other bags.
One parent told the Irish Independent how their suitcase was 6kg over the 15kg limit and they were facing a €120 excess fee. Two other parents then stepped in and offered to take items, including medicines, in their luggage.
The Share A Dream Foundation has branded the incident a ‘disgrace’.
The Ryanair spokesperson said: “The families were given the opportunity to repack their bags so that they could avoid paying excess baggage fees.
“We sincerely regret any inconvenience, but are pleased that they avoided any excess bag charges.
“These families agreed to Ryanair’s very well-known checked-in baggage policy of one checked-in bag per person of no more than 15kgs in weight at the time of their original booking.
“As their checked-in bags this morning were overweight, they were offered the opportunity to repack their bags rather than pay an excess baggage fee . . . and as a result these families avoided any excess bag fees.”
The families have vowed to put the incident behind them to ensure the children enjoy the Christmas atmosphere at Disneyland.