Ryan Air announce £5 extra charge for customers to carry parcel bombs
UK NEWS: The discovery of parcel bombs on two cargo planes in Dubai and Britain has further placed a burden on Europe’s already profit-squeezed air companies.
Apart from increased security at airports, Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary has also suggested that customers should be charged for the extra weight that explosive devices add to airplane payloads.
A modified toner cartridge can contain up to 3lbs of plastic explosive, he claimed. ‘Multiply that by a hundred and you’ve already got a small family with their duty free. Or an overweight restaurant critic.’
O’Leary envisages that customers will, in future, be asked when they book online if they intend to carry explosives with them. Any explosive that does not fit in, say, a shoe, would have to be carried as hand luggage but would attract the £5 surcharge. Customers identified as coming from Yemen, knowing someone from Yemen or simply being able to spell the name of the country would instantly attract a £50 surcharge.
Cabin crew have been warned to be vigilant – if, at any point, a customer appears to require a detonator, they should be sold one immediately. Ryanair has attracted controversy for its response to terrorism in the past. Only last month, the pilot of flight RN227 from Luton to Edinburgh refused to take off until passengers had paid up £10 each to persuade him not to fly into the Angel of the North.
Cobra, the UK’s anti-terrorism task force, sponsored by an Indian lager firm, said that the UK was on the highest status of alert or ‘OMG, this is it…this is really it…’ But it warned against hysterical reactions to the events of the last week. ‘We should all be observant,’ said Brigadier Charles ‘Not-In-The-Face’ Nightly, ‘and keep our wits about us. And try to run down foreigners in the street.’
However, Ryanair are not the only air company trying to deal with international terrorism. Only recently, Air Canada’s decision to class anyone with a belt of explosives as taking up two seats and charged accordingly, unless they were willing to upgrade to 1st class, attracted a great deal of media interest.
British Airways are working on a new device that scans passengers for signs of ‘edginess, shiftiness or inclination to want to meet 100 virgins in Heaven’ – inevitably, they say, the cost of this will be passed onto the consumer.