People are driven to travel for all sorts of reasons, relaxation; adventure; business, the forced transportation of narcotics; or, most importantly, to flee some deep trauma within themselves. Perhaps you are seeking to gain some distance from a crazed ex-lover; perhaps you are trying to escape justice after accidentally drowning a cat… owned by an ex-lover, whether it be for these or any other reasons, we are all trying in some way to escape from our own emotional baggage through travel.

Well good news! Ryanair who, have never been ones to shirk the opportunity to benefit financially from the misery of others, today announced plans to introduce an extra add-on charge for passengers’ emotional baggage.

Speaking at a press conference today, Michael O’Leary, the physical personification of an endearingly clumsy shrew in a Disney movie, had this to say, “We think it’s a fantastic opportunity to further improve our range- no… our repertoire, of mandatory services available to our passengers. We will now be employing a team of psychologists at each airport to assess all our passengers at check-in and calculate the added tariff.”

The proposed scheme has undergone some refinements since its inception. Initially it was proposed that each passenger would have to call Mr. O’Leary personally and he would individually assess them. However, he soon realised that it was an untenable model saying, “I sort of underestimated both, how many people actually use planes, and frankly how emotionally damaged our customers are. Honestly if it were up to me, the majority of you wouldn’t be allowed leave a padded cell, let alone the country, Christ.” Since this initial trial period, the company have settled on the announced model of a team of psychologists stationed at each airport.

Think of it not as us trying to get more money out of you,” continued Mr. O’Leary, “Instead, think of it as our attempt to help you discover things about yourself, and it may just so happen that one of the things you will discover about yourself is that you owe us money for the service.”

Ryanair Baggage

“I’m sorry ma’am, but after checking the system, it appears you’re so deeply disturbed that we’re going to have to put all your emotional baggage in the hold.”

At the press conference they gave prices for some of the announced charges. Amongst those detailed were; €10 per divorce; €15 per affair; €20 for a secret love-child and €45 for having accidentally killed someone in a school sports day javelining accident. A full list of the charges can be found on their website.

Dublin Airport is one of the first airports where the scheme is being rolled out and speaking to passengers, most were not happy with the changes. Lance Purview, a man in his 20’s setting out on a solo bag-packing trip to Vietnam said, “It’s an absolute joke, but not a funny joke, the sort of joke where when you get to the airport to finally embark on the trip you’ve been planning for six months you get put in one of those psychiatrist chairs and a man asks you a few questions and then says you have to pay an extra €145 because you’ve got ‘serious father issues’. One of those kinds of jokes.”

Throughout our talk Mr. Purview wore a single sandal on one foot; the other was clutched in his hands. He had drawn a sort of elderly face on this other sandal, and below it was written the word ‘Keith’. Mr. Purview wrung Keith between his hands. “It’s ridiculous, I’d been planning this trip to finally discover myself, and then this? Honestly, I tried to ring up my dad to try tell him what happened, but he didn’t answer. He never answers, I… I can never get through to him.” A single tear dripped down Mr. Purview’s nose onto the impassive face of Keith.

The scheme will be implemented in all airports currently being served by Ryanair.

Rory McNab