Ryanair responds – says its my fault

I received a response from Ryanair about their thievery.  Hilariously it starts by saying that I can only reply to the email by fax, which is a different number to the one I sent my complaint to, and is not listed on their website.

Essentially it says that because I didn’t open my bag and check that nothing was stolen before leaving the airport, that there is nothing they can do, and that I should claim it from my travel insurance.

Unfortunately, email replies to this address cannot currently be accepted, responses can be sent by fax to Ryanair Customer Services on +353 1 5081702

Ryanair baggage response header

Private and Confidential

Mr Jacob Hawkes
4/41 xxxxx Rd
xxxx Park

Our Ref. 289334/DFNQHE

Dear Mr Hawkes,

I acknowledge receipt of your letter dated the 9th of December 2009.

Unfortunately as no loss was reported to our representatives immediately upon collection of your baggage, I regret that we are not in a position to proceed with your claim.

Perhaps generally it would be helpful if I referred you to the Ryanair General Conditions of Carriage 15.1.1 where it states:

‘Acceptance of Baggage by the bearer of the Baggage Identification Tag without complaint and without completion of a Property Irregularity Report at the time of delivery, is prima facie evidence that the baggage has been delivered in good condition and in accordance with the contract of carriage”

Given the above, I regret that we cannot consider your claim. We would suggest that any compensation be claimed from your travel insurance policy.

I am sorry that I cannot be of further assistance.

Yours sincerely

For and on behalf of
Ryanair signature
Maciej Ostrowski
Customer Services

Robbed by Ryanair Baggage Handlers

December 9, 2009

Ryanair Customer Service Complaints Department
PO Box 11451 Swords, Co Dublin
Fax +353 1 8121676

Reservation Number: XXXX
From: Dusseldorf (Weeze)(NRN)
To: Sevill (SVQ)
Flight: 8622
Depart: Dec 8, 2009 16:55
Arrive: Dec 8, 2009 19:40

Luggage Tag Number: 00006XXXX
Excess Luggage Reference Number: 0000XXX
Excess Luggage Fee: EUR120

Re: Theft of item in Checked Luggage

To Whom It May Concern: I am writing to report the theft of a personal item that was inside a piece of checked baggage on a recent flight from Weeze to Seville.

The ryanairbaggage.com website does not include an option to report this.

The item in question was a 125mL bottle of Davidoff Cologne, valued at EUR40, and was taken from my shaving kit. It was obvious that the thieves inspected the camera case that was also in the bag, but not finding a camera, took nothing.

Both the camera bag and the shaving kit were left opened. I have attached a photo of the inside of my bag as I found when I opened it after arriving at my hotel.

It is extremely upsetting to have ones bag interfered with, as anything could have been taken or added.  In these days of heightened security concerns, this is a gross violation of personal security.

I demand an apology, replacement of the stolen item, and a reimbursement of my full fare, including the excess baggage charge.  To think that I paid extra for the privilege of having my baggage rifled enrages me to the extreme.  You can be sure that you will never see me on your airline again, and I intend to make this experience known to as many people as I can.

Yours in extreme dissatisfaction,
Jacob Hawkes
December 9, 2009

Ryanair Luggage Theft Markup
This photo was taken after arriving in the hotel, and opening the bag for the first time since the flight.  The black shaving kit is opened, as is the blue camera case.  The cologne was taken from the shaving kit.  Both were left open.

iPod Touch + bluetooth + 3g phone != internet access

Well, that’s sad.  I’ve been considering an iPod Touch, but I just found out that you can’t use it’s bluetooth to connect to the internet via another phone.  Why not? Probably because if you want to do that, you should buy an iPhone.  Which is not an option, since I have to carry a Blackberry for work, and I’m not about to carry 2 phones.

Update: Well, nowadays you’d probably just use the Wifi Hotspot feature of iOS 4+.  This is supposedly coming to the latest Blackberry OS too, but we’ll have to wait and see on that one. 2011-11-13

Update Well, nowadays you’d probably just get an iPhone. 2014-11-24

Shorter flight seemed worse

The flight back from Madrid to Calgary seemed harder than some of the marathon flights back to Australia. You’d think a (relatively) short flight would be easier, but a 5am start in Madrid (yawn), a 4 hour stopover in Frankfurt (blerg…) and a 9 hour flight on AirCanada (groan) all add up.

Frankfurt is a dismal airport. Nowhere to sit, a bad smell seemingly everywhere, and unless you want to go through security a hundred times, nothing to eat.

AirCanada – well, I guess they are trying, but really, I ran out of movies to watch, the flight tracking has never worked, there are no games to play, the TV selection is a joke. Not the mention the general rudeness of the staff.

Still going to Spain

We are still going to Spain, but it is taking longer than we thought.

The bureaucracy deepens, and we were hit with further paperwork requirements while we were in Calgary. Unfortunately, these are going to take a ridiculously long time to fulfill.

The Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade have only one office that can authenticate a document. This is the act of stamping a document with an official seal that says that the notarisation of the document is legit. If you take the document to them in person, they can do it while you wait, otherwise you mail it to them and it will take 5 weeks, plus postage time.

Oh, but it doesn’t cost anything. Except if you are in a hurry, then it will cost you a flight and a hotel room.

Relocation to Spain: Its On. Finally.

After a few false starts, and much waiting, I am finally announcing that we are relocating to Seville, Spain.

I will say now though, that until I have actually arrived and signed a rental agreement, I’m not going to guarantee anything, but I’m putting out the good vibes.

We sold the fridge today, and that makes it real. We fly out of Perth on July 10, an over night stopover in Singapore, a 2-3 day stopover in Hong Kong, and then on to Vancouver, where we hope to meet up with friends for a night or too. Then on to Calgary.

We will stay there about 6-8 weeks, and I will work half of that time, the other half will be vacation.

Then, around the end of August, I will go to Seville ahead of Lisa and get started on the basics.

FAQ answers

  • Work is paying for the move
  • We don’t yet have a place to stay in Seville
  • I got a promotion, which needs to be done from Seville
  • The relocation is for 3 years
  • We have no idea where we will live after that
  • Yes, we loved Perth, and will leave many good friends behind
  • Yes, you are all welcome to visit in Seville. We are purposely going to get a place with a guest bedroom

Right then. Back to cleaning and packing!

Severe adrenaline after shock

Last day in Kuwait.

I had just finished the marathon system introduction conversation, and I was asked when my flight was. It wasn't for another two and a half hours, so I was invited to come and see something “cool”.

Now, this could mean anything, but in Kuwait it means you should expect just about anything. I literally can't even begin to tell you what kind of things you should expect in Kuwait.

It turned out to be something pretty conventional by some standards. It was a shooting range.

We paid our money, handed in our drivers license, and selected our weapons of choice. I of course had no idea, so just let the other guy do all the choosing. We had a choice of about 8 weapons, a selection of handguns and rifles, all the way up to some sort of fully automatic machine gun. My partner told me was there is no fun in shooting those type of guns because there is no skill involved, just the act of moving of lead through the air, and shredding your target.

Having decided which weapon we wanted, a 357, we then decided how many bullets we wanted to buy, and away we went.

Into the range then, but before you go in, you must wear hearing protection. They wont let you in otherwise. Even with the ear muffs on, the first couple times someone fired, I became airborne. It is so loud. Louder than I imagined. And there is no long reverberating recoil like in the movies. In fact, there is very little in common with the movies at all. It is just a short, sharp BANG that you feel in your chest

“Have you ever fired a 357 before sir?”

“No, I've never fired anything before.”

“OK, it's quite easy. Safety first: you always point the weapon down-range.”

“Got it.”

And on it went. I got my 1 minute safety induction, and had a few dry runs. I practiced cocking the hammer (in order to make the trigger lighter), aiming, and gently squeezing the trigger.

As I loaded in the first 6 bullets i found myself contemplating how weird this all was. In a few short hours time, I would board a flight to Dubai, and here I am lading a 357 handgun, and strongly resisting the urge to say, “…. well do ya? Punk?”

The first couple of discharges with real ammunition was an overload of sensations: the fierce bucking of the gun, the sparks and flame out the front, and the huge noise.

The most surprising thing of all though was the act of pulling the trigger. Because we were cocking the hammer prior to firing, the trigger was very light. So light in fact, that it was really quite impossible to tell exactly when it was going to go off when you are squeezing the trigger as gently as possible in order to keep your aim. This fact alone gave me the feeling that I wasn't in complete control of it.

In spite of all of this, I did quite well. All my shots where in a pretty tight group in the top left of the target, which I brought home with me.

My hands shook for hours afterwards, as I burned off the adrenaline.