Apart from Cohen blowing the gaff on TFF and his hooker, and Manafort going down for fraud, it’s been a bad day for proper news*. I’ll resort to my usual mashup technique on two stories about travel.

It’s been a bit of a torrid year for Ryanair. Since April, by the company’s own admission, more than one million Ryanair passengers have had flights delayed or cancelled. That sounds a lot, but it’s actually less than one percent of its passengers. That of course won’t be any consolation if you happen to be one in a million.


Michael O’Leary has done his usual job of blaming every other bugger but himself. Striking pilots (striking because of the company’s intransigence), bad weather (yes, really, with the driest hottest summer for years), air traffic control problems. Yeah yeah.

Now, under regulation EU261, the airline has to cough up compensation; £224 for flights up to 1500 km, and £358 for longer flights. That’s quite a lot of moolah, isn’t it? But Ryanair has managed to soften the blow a bit. It’s been sending out unsigned cheques for the compo.

If you inadvertently attempt to pay in an unsigned cheque, as one passenger did, you’ll get stuck with a charge from the bank of about 18 quid. That’s adding insult to injury, isn’t it?

Ryanair blames an ‘administrative error,’ but that story holds about as much water as the education department that sent out a letter with spelling errors because of a new IT system. Let’s face it, no Ryanair high-up spends hours signing a million or so cheques. They’re going to be printed signed. I call ‘bullshit’ on this one.

Earlier this year you may have read about the English tourists to India who wrote to their tour company to complain it was hard to find any food that wasn’t curry. Such stories always come to light again in the silly season. Visitors to Provence have been whining that the sound of cicadas is too loud, and have asked the authorities to intervene. I’d have thought that if you go to the south of France, you must surely be expecting cicadas, and asking the powers that be to nuke them out with insecticides is being a little unreasonable.

This followed on from a story last month about some city slicker moaning to the mayor of a town in central France, asking him to silence the bell on the village church in the early morning. Since the gite was clearly advertised to be the old church rectory, the mayor told her to get knotted.

*I don’t include Danny Boyle’s ‘artistic differences’ over Bond 25 as proper news.