Look at it this way - September 27, 2013

Michael O'Leary

Michael O'Leary

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Oh brother, do I miss the old Ryanair link to Gerona from Blackpool Airport – axed in a highly publicised hissy fit by airline chief Michael O’Leary some years ago.

It’s the closest airport to my brother’s home in the south of France. Flew there from Manchester Airport last week. Terminal three.

A sprawl of a complex so vast St Christopher, patron saint of lost travellers, would need a St Bernard dog to guide him.

Forking out upfront for priority boarding meant joining a queue which seamlessly merged with that for fast food en route - with attendant hassles from sales assistants and customers jostling for both. At least it means you can buy your panini in the priority queue so long as you remember to cram it in your case.

Travelling with an ailing oldie didn’t win any sympathy either. When I asked if she could use the lift to spare the trek down several flights of stairs an attendant said “you should have mentioned you needed special assistance when you booked.”

Special assistance? We just needed her to press a button to summon the lift.

Air travel becomes more darned difficult with each trip and it’s not all down to security procedures.

Ryanair has reduced the size of carry on luggage to more minute dimensions than before.

This clearly came as a shock to passengers who hadn’t read the small print about handbags and laptops having to be placed within this one, smaller, bag. Or else pay a premium. I can part with technology but my handbag? Never!

A woman’s relationship with her handbag is a sacred bond of trust for it harbours her secrets and, in my case, make up older than some of the people with whom I work.

Can’t Michael’s missus intervene on our behalf?

In fact the only woman unlikely to be troubled by the policy is the Queen who has lackeys for such things and a divine right to passage on far posher airlines.

I can’t see HM queuing for a cramped loo or quibbling that Ryanair’s Pina Colada tastes like Milk of Magnesia – even at £7.50 a shot. The irony is Ryanair expects passengers to reunite with cash pretty fast once airbound – leading to delays on boarding as passengers retrieve handbags and wallets before stashing cases above.

And while I’ve whinged in the past that I could be halfway to the Isle of Man in the time it takes me to retrieve luggage from our local airport carousel, it’s far better than the trek at terminal three.

It’s equivalent to striding forth from Squires Gate to Starr Gate and back - via a detour to shout at the luggage trolley dispenser which a) hasn’t dispensed a luggage trolley and b) has replaced the £1 coin you put in with a Euro. Leaving me 10 cents out of pocket and still lugging cases – and flying with Jet2 out of Blackpool for my next holiday.