Late news

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The Independent Culture
FOLLOWING my whinge about being denied boarding on a Ryanair flight at Dublin airport after I arrived 17 minutes before departure, I came across a story in the Sligo Champion. It told of a reader who, similarly tardy, was denied boarding on the only flight of the day from Knock airport. She arrived home a day late, and says her Ryanair ticket, for which she had paid pounds 85, ended up costing her pounds 187.

In defence of Ryanair, Mr D Cox writes from Dunstable: 'As an airline employee of long experience, I can assure you there are several reasons why late-reporting passengers may be refused carriage.'

For example: 'If fuel is cheaper at the departure point than at the destination, it is sensible to uplift the maximum fuel possible once check-in has closed'. Having fuelled the aircraft to its maximum take-off weight, no extra load can be accommodated.

On routes where this is not the case, some airlines let passengers try their luck. If you get a boarding pass marked HAG, this is no reflection on your appearance. It stands for 'have a go' and is airline parlance for those of us inept or unlucky enough to arrive late.

It is hard to envisage a foolproof method of avoiding traffic jams and train delays on the way to the airport, so can anyone suggest entertaining ways to fill the time if you routinely arrive six hours ahead of departure?

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