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gambling with Ryanair

Just when you have learned how to tick all the boxes while booking your Ryanair flight.

You have declined to buy a Samsonite suitcase. You don't need an SMS message to remind you of departure. You have searched through the list of countries to find the bit that says you don't need travel insurance. You click on the barely visible bit of text to say no you don't want insurance really, honest, thank you, because your bank already gave you a "free" all-year policy that is useless because of the £100 excess and is only any good for getting you back from Torremolinos in an air ambulance or a coffin.

You don't require to hire a car from Hertz. You don't want to book a hotel. You don't want priority boarding because the 100-metre dash across the runway is the only exercise you get.

Just when you tick the box and lie about having read all the terms and conditions, Ryanair has a new question. It is called Play and Win. For a small extra fee you can enter a draw to have all the costs of your flight refunded.

Some folk complain that travelling with budget airlines is a bit of a lottery. Ryanair should make it more of a game of chance by offering passengers more than boring scratch cards to wager on outcomes during the journey. A simple app similar to those of William Hill and Betfred would make it possible to gamble on such issues as:

Will your carry-on bag, carefully calibrated at home to be under 10 kilogrammes come up on Ryanair scales at 11 or 12kgs? Will you be able to get your bag back out of the measuring cage?

Will passengers start to gather at the boarding gate one or two hours before it opens?

How drookit will you get at Prestwick between the gate and aircraft steps? Will Prestwick airport still be in business by the time you come back from holiday?

Will Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary say, "Can I help you with your bag and let me buy you a drink?"

It costs £3 to gamble on getting the money back for a flight costing up to £150. Ryanair say there will be 150 lucky winners each year. They carry about 80 million passengers annually. You work out the odds.

Contextual targeting label: 
Finance

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