Ryanair flight - Aberdeen to Dublin - September 27th 2005

Tuesday morning, I dropped my daughter off at Aberdeen airport for 8am, and hung around for a flight to Dublin scheduled for 10:50. No worries. Read the paper, had breakfast, etc.

Then the announcement - the incoming plane was late - an hours delay. No biggie. I could still make my meeting in Dublin.

Then we got on the plane. So far so good.

Numerous annoucements - "will Mr so and so please press the call button", etc.

An hour later - a roll-call. Half an hour later - "please can you show us your passports and boarding cards".

Half an hour later - "Everyone off the plane - please stand on the tarmac, and we'll count you back on board". But. "Its okay to leave your hand-baggage on the plane".

Eh ? If they *have* had an extra person on board, then that person now had the opportunity to leave something on the plane, breaking the rule of "always keep the passenger and their stuff together". Very odd.

So - 90 odd people get herded into something akin to a bus-shelter.

And then counted back on. Enterely useless.

It transpired that the ServiceAir folks who'd checked us in that morning had cocked up completely, and they'd had to redo the passenger manifest on the tarmac. Amazing. And the mysterious extra person they couldnt identify could have of course placed hold luggage in there.

The flight itself landed in Dublin 5.5 hours late (not bad for a 50 minute flight, eh ?) without further hitches. Thank god.

But this level of stupidity - where someone could well have taken advantage of the complete ineptitude to plant something - is worrying. How many times does this happen, but doesnt delay the flight ? After all the talk of making air-travel secure, how can this happen ?

See what happens when you pay folks minimum-wage ?