The local government of Spain’s Balearic Islands have called for an ‘urgent’ meeting with Ryanair over the carrier’s decision to try to charge passengers for the privilege of bringing a traditional Mallorcan pastry known as ensaïmada onboard as hand luggage.
The row erupted after two passengers tried to board a Ryanair flight with some ensaïmadas, which were in addition to their usual hand luggage allowance.
Ryanair’s ground agents attempted to charge the passengers €45 each to bring the additional piece of hand luggage onboard, prompting them to simply abandon the ensaïmadas.
Local officials and the pastry makers association fear Ryanair’s strict interpretation of its own hand luggage rules could damage ensaïmada sales because visitors to the island will no buy them to take home with them.
An ensaïmada is a traditional sweet bread which likely originated from the Arabs and which forms a coil shape. At breakfast time, ensaïmadas are often dunked in hot chocolate, but they are also consumed as a mid-afternoon snack.
The president of the Balearic Islands pastry-makers association said other airlines allowed passengers to take two ensaïmadas onboard with them and it was only Ryanair that appeared to have an issue.
“It’s only a problem with Ryanair, but we’re talking about a lot of flights, especially to the Spanish mainland, which is the destination of most of the ensaïmadas,” Pep Magraner told The Guardian.
According to the newspaper, the ensaïmada row is part of a larger disagreement between the local government and airlines about what exactly comprises hand luggage.
Balearic island officials have demanded fines against several airlines, including easyJet and Eurowings, over their hand luggage policies, although the case is still being considered by the central government in Madrid.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.