Ryanair agm 804

Ryanair's fair hike an own goal

[caption id="attachment_67435" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Michael O'Leary."]

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Well, maybe if the airline could guarantee a win at the other end of the flight there would have been less of an uproar.

But not even Ryanair's mercurial and results driven chief Michael O'Leary can organize that kind of, well, result.

So he has been benched by angry soccer fans who stared in disbelief as Ryanair fares soared over the bar after the draw that pitted the Republic of Ireland against Estonia is the qualifying shoot-out for next year's European Championships.

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Reported the Irish Examiner: The delight of drawing Estonia, perhaps the easiest team to face to reach Euro 2012, was quickly replaced with anxious glances to bank balances as the cost of flights to the Baltic capital quickly began to skyrocket.

The paper reported that Ryanair was "feeling the fury" as fans and politicians claimed that the airline had increased the cost of return flights to the Estonian capital, Tallin, fourfold, from €70 to almost €280 virtually overnight.

Fine Gael's John O'Mahony said the airline was exploiting Irish fans.

"Not for the first time, Ryanair is penalizing Irish soccer supporters by increasing the cost of flights. Less than an hour since the draw was made to determine who will face who in the championship match on November 11, Ryanair fares to the capital of Estonia, Tallin, have increased dramatically," he said.

Added the Examiner: "For its part, the self-proclaimed low fares airline announced it has scheduled an extra return flight from Dublin to Tallin for the match against Estonia. The flight will depart on the morning of November 11 and return the following night. However, yesterday evening the prices for the flights ranged from €326 to €401.

A Ryanair spokesman told the daily that the airline had been "swamped" with inquiries after the Irish team had been drawn against the Estonians.