Ryanair charged grieving man extra to bring his wife's clothes home

It’s not the first time a company has fallen short when dealing with tragic circumstances

Updated: 
barcelona  spain   december 11  ...

Bryn Roberts, a photographer from Shotton in north east Wales, had already suffered enough, when his wife tragically wife died on a holiday to Ibiza. The last thing he needed on his traumatic return home was a jobsworth from Ryanair insisting he paid extra in order to bring his late wife's suitcase home.

Bryn (63) told the Daily Star that just one day into the holiday, his wife Sandra fell ill during dinner at their hotel in San Antonio. 72-year-old Sandra was admitted to intensive care suffering from septic shock from a perforated bowel and died the following morning.

The charge

Bryn returned home alone later that week. The couple had only taken one suitcase on holiday between them, and Bryn only brought one back, but for some reason the suitcase had been allocated to Sandra, so Ryanair slapped him with a 30 euro charge for bringing the case himself.

The Daily Mail reported that Ryanair has since apologised by phone, refunded the fee, and repaid the cost of Sandra's return flight They also offered him their condolences.

However, according to the Star, this has not been enough to make up for their earlier insensitivity. He told the newspaper: "Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary needs to hang his head in shame for having anything to do with this company. How this guy can sleep at night knowing people are going through this I don't know. Does he really make the rules to an extent that a dead person's spouse has to pay to bring her clothes back?"

Company failures

The company has blamed a misunderstanding of the rules by an outsourced baggage service, and says they would never charge under these circumstances.

However, it's not the first time that such shocking insensitivity has been displayed towards a grieving family member.

In 2013, Ryanair was in hot water again, after refusing to refund the family of a 78-year-old woman, who died four months before her planned flight to the Canary Islands. The company rejected a refund request, because in the small print it states it will only offer people their money back if they die within 28 days of the flight. After press coverage, they changed their mind.

A few months earlier it had been Virgin Media who displayed shocking insensitivity. It sent a bill to a deceased man, fining him for a direct debit that had been refused. The customer services team had ignored the notes on the bill that showed clearly that the direct debit had been refused because the man had died. The dead man's son in law posted the bill online and it went viral. Virgin Media apologised for the mistake.

There are, however, some people who find a way to triumph over even this kind of adversity. Last year a woman from Llandudno had already bought her wedding dress, when her husband-to-be died unexpectedly, just two months before the wedding. The dress company said they couldn't refund the money but offered her a £300 credit note instead, so she raffled it and not only made £300, but made another £350 for charity on top.

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