My partner and I have just travelled STN/SVQ return on Ryanair. I have travelled many times on Ryanair without any problem at all, but this time I think the fault lies with the flight crew.
Due to mobility issues I took a mobility scooter with me and requested Special Assistance, all done about 6 weeks before flight departure. The O/B flight from STN went without a hitch. We dropped off our luggage, went to Special Assistance Desk and at the appropriate time we were escorted to the plane. On boarding we were seated in row 26 where the seats are designated for disabled passengers. The trays had been put down so the seats were kept for us. Excellent smooth flight to Seville where the Special Assistance team were there to meet us once we got off the plane.
On the I/B flight all went smoothly until we boarded the plane. As I had to wait until the plane had been refuelled we were the last to board the aircraft. At the top of the steps was a Ryanair steward, who I think was called Mikovic. He saw me standing with two walking sticks and told me there were only two seats available. They were both aisle seats, one being in the centre of the aircraft and the other towards the front.
I said we had been given the 'disabled seats' on the O/B flight and I was expecting the same on the return flight, but none had been kept for us. I also said to him I thought disabled pax were not supposed to sit in an aisle seat. He said I could be sat in any seat.
I was not prepared to walk half way down the aircraft, so said he would have to ask somebody to move. He muttered something to the effect he was not prepared to do this, so I repeated I would not walk all the way down the plane and would wait until the captain sorted it out. At this point he rang his colleague on the intercom and spoke to her in what I think was a Balkan language. IMHO a very rude gesture.
The female colleague then proceeded to the back of the aircraft. I explained I had booked Special Assistance and she asked for my boarding card where it was noted. She then proceeded back down the cabin. After a few moments she moved two passengers seated in the 'disabled seats' and we were seated in them. I had the window seat and my OH had the middle seat.
If the seats had been reserved in the first place everything would have gone as smoothly as the O/B flight. When we arrived at STN the Special Assistance man was waiting with two wheelchairs, so there must have been another disabled passenger on board.
By his attitude 'Mikovic' had obviously graduated with honours from the Michael O'Leary Charm School. It was such an easy issue to resolve, but it seems some Ryanair staff go out of their way to annoy passengers. One day these people may need Special Assistance themselves and they will know what it feels like to be discriminated against. Fortunately, I'm not afraid of speaking out and making a fuss, but for some disabled people this kind of treatment is embarrassing and humiliating.