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Organ Transplant Child Who Arrived Late Refused Boarding by Ryanair

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“Ryanair refuse to fly organ transplant child after family arrive too late” was the headline of this Independent article that popped up in my newsfeed (h/t: uggboy on Milepoint) and I wondered what new evil Ryanair had been up to. Two years ago they made news when they enforced huge changes fees for a grieving father who’d lost his family in a fire and was trying to get home sooner.

Upon reading the article though, I found the headline a little misleading. I had assumed the family had tickets but arrived at the gate a few minutes too late and Ryanair turned them away.

Instead, the family had rushed to the airport as soon as they heard the surgery was possible and attempted to buy tickets for the first flight out. That flight was on Ryanair and after calls to the Ryanair head office, they were not allowed to board because it was too close to departure time. I’m assuming by “board” the article means “buy tickets”. Apparently they were able to get on another flight 70 minutes later.

This raises an interesting question though — what moral obligations should airlines have for potential passengers or even society at large? Should they waive the usual rules for special cases like this one? Or should they prioritize existing passengers who have followed the “rules”?

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1 Comment

  1. M.Mx

    March 19, 2015 at 6:21 am

    I believe once in a while the rules can be bent under special circumstances. I know there are rules, but why no give a hand to this young kid trying to live, I could not read the article (apparently I have problems loading the site).

    I saw a site (can’t reme which) where there was a note of a guy going to study abroad (I believe on Emirates) but her girlfriend passed away and his father in law triend to change the flight for a later one but there wasn’t any available seats so he had to buy another one on another airline and Emirates placed itself in the customer’s shoes and refunded the value of the ticket.

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