Ryanair denies overreacting in sandwich incident


RYANAIR HAS denied that it over-reacted by calling police after a dispute between one of its passengers and crew over a sandwich.

However, 52-year-old Henrik Ulven from Oslo said he was shocked to have been spoken to by police at Rygge airport, 70km south of Oslo.

On Tuesday, Ryanair flight FR-8904 departed Berlin Schoenefeld airport in Germany and was en route to Rygge in Norway when Mr Ulven complained about a sandwich he had ordered. After cabin crew expressed concern about his behaviour, the pilot contacted controllers at Rygge airport and notified them that they required the authorities to be on standby when they landed.

Speaking yesterday, Mr Ulven said: “At no time did I even raise my voice with the girl. I was very calm and in control and she was very nice and not angry at all. I first ordered a hot meal which they didn’t have and then I asked for a second hot meal which they didn’t have either. I asked the girl what they actually had and I ordered a “chicken premium sandwich”, which cost €4.50 and was supposed to have been “freshly made”.

“My money was in my jacket in the overhead locker so I told her I would pay her when I was able to get up again. The sandwich looked nice and healthy but when I tasted it, it was soft and rubbery and nothing at all like it looked in the photo. I called the girl and said I was not paying for that. I asked if I could change it for a chocolate muffin. She said no.”

Mr Ulven claims the cabin crew member then said she would have to report him to the authorities if he didn’t pay for the sandwich.

“When she told me the police would be contacted, I thought it was a joke and I fell asleep for a while. She wanted to take the sandwich and menu card back but I kept them to show to the police. Three men in orange police jackets came on board and took me to a room. I was not handcuffed,” Mr Ulven said.

“Ryanair has overreacted and I can’t believe they called the police over this. They [police] released me and I don’t expect them to file any charges,” he added.

Ryanair has stated however that the police were contacted because of Mr Ulven’s “behaviour”.

A spokesperson said: “The captain on flight FR8904 requested police assistance on arrival after a passenger became disruptive in flight. This matter was addressed with the passenger by police on arrival. Ryanair crew only request such assistance when deemed absolutely necessary based on their assessment of the disruptive passenger behaviour and their reading of the situation.”