RyanAir — the discount Irish airline — lost a reporter's prescription shades, and refused to compensate him for them, citing abusive fine-print on their tickets and other legal mumbo-jumbo. The reporter took them to a UK small claims court and they fought it (spending far more than they would have had to to settle his £100 claim) and then, when the judge ruled against them, argued that they needed extra time to raise the £100! (Ryanair's present valuation is £4.2 billion).
I reported the loss the next morning, via expensive phone calls (Ryanair's number is a premium-rate line) and then faxes. Ryanair refused to consider my claim, aiming a double-barrelled shotgun at me. Bang: I had not filled in a Property Irregularity Report at Stansted, detailing my loss. Bang: I should not have packed "valuable" spectacles in my checked baggage…
The judge did, however, quite like my rhetorical rejection of Ryanair's valuables argument. Where, I wanted to know, did the lawyers pack their no-doubt valuable suits, if not in checked-in luggage? The judge upped the ante. What about the value of an Armani suit packed in a suitcase? In any case, said the spectacle-wearing Solomon, loads of people pack a pair of spare specs in their checked-in luggage as a matter of course. What's more, there was no mention of spectacles among the "valuable" items excluded from compensation in the Ryanair bumf.