Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Ryanair charges champion boy €50 to take trophy onboard

Newly-crowned world champion Michael Avetisian was told by 'budget' airline Ryanair that he had to pay €50 to take his trophy onboard a flight... or leave it behind.

The 12-year-old kickboxer, who is a student at Scoil Mhuire National School in Blakestown, Dublin, was told he couldn't take his new trophy onboard unless his parents Armen and Hamik paid the excess baggage charge for it.

Michael's parents were thrilled when he won the cup in Italy but were horrified to learn that they had to fork out for an excess charge as they didn't have enough cash to pay.

Poor Michael was left in tears at the thought of having to leave his prize behind.

"I explained to them I had spent the last of our cash in the shop and my credit card didn't work so I couldn't pay the charge," said Mr Avetisian, originally from Armenia, told The Irish Daily Mail. "But they just told me I had to pay the fee or I couldn't bring the cup on the plane.

"Thankfully my card did work - it was the credit card machine in the shop that was faulty - and I was able to pay the charge."

A spokesman for the airline said Ryanair allowed strictly one item of cabin baggage per passenger.

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