Ryanair boss flies off the handle over 'idiot' critic

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The Independent Online

Ryanair's chief executive has lambasted a passenger who took to Facebook to complain about being charged for printing out five boarding passes, branding her "an idiot".

After a flight last month from Alicante to Bristol, Suzy McLeod of Newbury took to Facebook to vent her anger at paying €60 each for boarding passes for herself, her parents and her two children. "I had to pay €300 for them to print out a piece of paper," she wrote. "Please 'like' if you think that's unfair."

More than half a million people have clicked their support.

But Michael O'Leary yesterday ridiculed her failure to print out her own boarding cards. "As you know, there are no internet cafés in Alicante, there are no hotels in Alicante that would provide print-outs and no fax machines so that some friend or colleague at home could print them out and fax them down to you. Within a day, she generates 500,000 'friends' and fans on Twitter, all of whom hate Ryanair."

Mr O'Leary said that 99.98 per cent of Ryanair passengers print their boarding passes in advance: "To those who don't, we say quite politely: 'Bugger off' ". He added that Ms McLeod had written to him requesting compensation and "a gesture of goodwill", and he had responded by saying: "It was your fuck-up".

Attempts to contact Ms McLeod yesterday proved unsuccessful.

Mr O'Leary also waded into the London airport debate, dismissing the Mayor of London's proposals for a Thames Estuary airport as "Boris's bullshit that he dreamed up in a pub some Friday night". He told The Independent he expected the next runway in south-east England to be built at Stansted.

"Stansted already has planning permission for a second runway," he said. But Carol Barbone, campaign director for Stop Stansted Expansion, said he was mistaken. "We don't have permission for a second runway," she said.