The Money Shot - September 7, 2012

Gary had beaten the check-in queues, but in his rush to the airport he'd made the schoolboy error of not printing his boarding pass....
"We think Mrs McLeod should pay 60 euros for being so stupid." Michael O'Leary, Ryanair CEO
  • | by Kristian Dando


Michael O’Leary, the ‘plain-speaking’ boss of budget airline Ryanair, is a character who splits opinion, roughly into two camps. You’re either of the view that he’s an anti-establishment, entrepreneurial maverick who cuts through the usual asinine, corporate bland-speak whilst doing fine work in making air travel affordable for millions. Or you may think that he’s a grasping, pugnacious so-and-so with more than a whiff of the playground bully about him. But, whatever your standpoint, it’s hard to disagree with the fact that he gives good quote.

This week, the man who once tossed around the idea of charging passengers on his airline to use the toilet turned his ire on Suzy McLeod, a Ryanair a passenger who’d neglected to print her boarding passes on a return flight from Alicante back to Bristol. She was subsequently stiffed to the tune of £236 to print them out by the notoriously charge-happy airline.

A miffed McLeod took to Facebook to register her disgust, with her cries of unfairness garnering hundreds of thousands of ‘likes’ and ‘shares’. She also wrote a letter to Ryanair demanding a refund and an apology as a gesture of goodwill. Unfortunately for her, she was barking up the wrong tree.

O’Leary – who once famously quipped “You’re not getting a refund so <EXPLETIVE REMOVED> off” to passengers caught up in the Icelandic volcano disruption of 2010 – was unrepentant in his response. “We think Mrs McLeod should pay 60 euros for being so stupid,” he blasted. “She wasn’t able to print her boarding card because, as you know, there are no internet cafes in Alicante, no hotels where they could print them out for you, and you couldn’t get to a fax machine so some friend at home can print them and fax them to you,” he continued, with a huge dollop of snark.

As for her request for an apology? O’Leary said: ”Thank you Mrs McLeod but it was your <EXPLETIVE REMOVED> up. 98.8% of Ryanair passengers did print their boarding passes in advance. To those who don't, we say, quite politely: ‘B***** off’.”

Anybody who has to pay through the nose for something seemingly trivial has got the utmost sympathy of the Money Shot. But the whole sorry incident serves as a reminder to anyone to check those terms and conditions before travelling, or your ‘budget’ flight might end up costing a lot more than you expected.


“Every day I’m shuffling,” boasted RedFoo and SkyBlu – aka American ‘party rock’ duo LMFAO - in their 2011 hit ‘Party Rock Anthem’. And speaking of shuffling, the Prime Minister’s re-jig of his cabinet has held up the fraudulent whiplash investigation. The Ministry of Justice undertook that on behalf of jazz-lovin’, ale-suppin’, cigar-smokin’ bon viveur Ken Clarke. He’s now being moved from his post as justice secretary and into a roving governmental ‘free role’ where he’ll presumably be tasked with dictating play and linking defence and attack, just behind the striker.

The banking crisis – what’s that got to do with the price of cheese? Well, quite a lot as it happens, according to a report which claimed that investors at Barclays Bank have been artificially inflating the cost of grub through ‘food speculation’, which we can assure you is more complicated than wondering what’s for tea.

BIBA has called for a ban on banks selling general insurance products, presumably before launching into a rousing chorus of ‘Baby, Baby, Baby.’

As the first of the shiny new 62 registration plates trundle out of showrooms, data from British Car Auctions and the DVLA has revealed that, thanks to the general economic fug, UK drivers are keeping their cars for longer than ever.


There was this bit on student finance from the frugal pen of Maxine Frances, who claims to have only gone into her overdraft twice during her studies. A must-read for anybody off to university this month.

“Rushing into getting a 62 plate car? Don’t be a mug,” paraphrased Kristian Dando.

Oooooooh, sex. A person’s sex when it comes to what they pay for various financial services products, that is. You can read all about the various MASSIVE implications the European Court of Justice’s gender ruling will have when it comes into force.

Winning the lottery might seem like a panacea for all your woes, but after reading these grim warnings from folk who’ve scooped the jackpot and lost it all – both figuratively and literally – that old “it could be you” line sounds a lot more foreboding.


American ice cream manufacturer Ben & Jerry’s is suing a manufacturer of erotic DVDs for copyright breach.

The firm reckons that a series of American grumble films with a string of titillating titles like ‘Boston Cream Thigh’ and ‘Peanut Butter D-Cup’ have smeared their reputation. The firm has requested that the masterminds behind the films, Rodax Distribtuors, cease producing the titles which they claims could cause ‘confusion, mistake or deception’.

However, the Vermont-based purveyor of sub-zero treats is no stranger to a bit of saucy marketing itself- it has, of course, released flavours such as ‘Schweddy Balls’ and ‘Karamel Sutra’ in the past.