If there’s one thing that’s sure to rile up an airplane passenger, it’s to cram them in a regular seat when they booked greater legroom. When budget airline Ryanair deprived Bob Hamilton of his extra legroom seat (which he had paid $26 for), on a flight from London to Malaga, he responded by refusing to pay his $22 drink bill at the end of the trip.
Hamilton, who is six-feet-two-inches tall, was understandably peeved when he found someone else sitting in his extra legroom seat. According to the Daily Mail, a crew member told him that the man was a Ryanair employee, and that due to “safety reasons,” Hamilton would have to find another seat. Possibly to cope with his loss of legroom, Hamilton ordered two cans of beer and two miniature wine bottles, and expected Ryanair to foot the bill to compensate him for the earlier inconvenience.
He was mistaken. Upon his arrival in Malaga, he was met by two Spanish police officers and a card machine, and had no choice but to pay up. But that didn’t stop Hamilton from seeking justice. Upon returning to the UK, he continued to pursue his refund, which Ryanair twice refused before eventually giving in.
Their concession was begrudging, however. According to the Daily Mail, a spokesperson for Ryanair claimed that Hamilton’s seat was occupied by a crew member to oversee a minor technical issue with the wing, and that he “refused” the offer of a different extra legroom seat. “He subsequently became disruptive during the flight and refused to follow cabin crew instructions so was met by police on arrival…this customer was refunded the cost of his reserved seat.”
Hamilton takes issue with Ryanair’s statement, insisting that he was never offered another extra legroom seat. “I was only given the seat at the back,” he said. “I was not disruptive whatsoever during the flight…otherwise I am sure the police would have detained me.”