Cavan's Max Mason is a man giving Michael O'Leary's Ryanair plenty of headaches, after a video of him serenading stranded passengers at Gatwick last week was shared widely across social media.
Max was among dozens of frazzled passengers stuck at the West Sussex International airport on Monday, July 30, patiently waiting to connect with their flight destined for Dublin that evening.
However, a re-diverted British Airways plane saw the Ryanair flight, after much toing-and-froing between scheduling desks, ultimately cancelled.
For Max, it meant he lost seats for both himself and his guitar, for which he had booked a separate seat on the flight. Max had just finished up in London playing at a charity event for JIGSAW, the National Centre for youth mental health, and was due to return home.
The viral video sees the Mountnugent musician singing Johnny Cash's 'Folsom Prison Blues', only for the canny guitarist to substitute several the words to suit the scenario. 'Well, if they freed me from this terminal, if that railroad train was mine, I bet I'd get a ferry back to dear old Dublin. But I had no money to go, so I just sailed myself. Oh Ryanair, you've been torture to me', he entertained.
With the audience in the palm of his hand Max offers to sing another. “A nice little sing along song just to calm ourselves down,” Max opens, to which someone chimes from the background: 'Show us the way to go home'.
In a further dig at the delays imposed upon him and others by the low-cost airline, Max again applied a health dollop of poetic licence in dishing out a rendition of John Denver's 'Country Roads'. 'Country roads, take me home, To the place oh Ryanair, why'd you do it, cancel on me', Max sang, eliciting even more laughter.
“It was just backwards and forwards, backwards and forwards, and there was no one there who seemed able to tell us what was happening. Tensions were running very high, there were elderly people there and families with young children. I just did it, out of boredom, but as a way of maybe distracting the other passenger as well,” explained Max, who was lucky enough to know people near enough to the airport to avoid a night sleeping on the terminal tiles.
A native of Surrey, England, Max only got back to Ireland after his dad paid close to €800 booking his son on an alternative fight the following morning via Aer Lingus.
Max, who is now processing a claim for refund from Ryanair, is stunned at how well the video has been received, and is just happy to have been in a position to entertain others in difficult circumstances. “They loved it, there were people clapping along. It was just a bit of fun really, but its funny how it took off.”