This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Keeping track of Ryanair on social media normally leads to posts from disgruntled passengers about baggage fees, nightmarish diversions and questionable customer service. But one recent post may have the airline, and an Italian airport, in some seriously hot water.

A post that hit social media last week shows ground crew at Brindisi Airport (BDS) in Southern Italy de-icing an airplane using a set of stairs and buckets of hot water.

Anyone who has flown out of a chilly destination during wintry conditions would be familiar with the standard de-icing procedure. It normally involves boom trucks spraying down the control surfaces of the plane with a mix of chemicals to remove ice and keep it from reforming for a period of time.

Winter Travel Delay: an airplane getting de-iced at the airport during a blizzard snowstorm.

According to The Sun, the airport operator said, “The captain was aware and satisfied. The procedure was to remove a little residual snow. It was a perfectly safe procedure.” The airport operators added that guidelines say, “buckets of hot water at 60 [degrees Celsius] are allowed when the air temperature is 0 [degrees Celsius].”

But a former de-icer who worked at Philadelphia International (PHL) told TPG that, “regardless of whether or not it’s legal, it’s not a good idea. The risk is that the water they’re using to de-ice could become ice itself.”

Ultimately, it’s the decision of the captain to determine if the aircraft is safe to fly. But Ryanair’s unorthodox approach to dealing with ice on this plane has lead Italy’s Civil Aviation Authority to send inspectors to Brindisi, according to a local news site based in the Italian port city, to find out exactly what happened.

Even tiny amounts of ice built up on control surfaces can have devastating effects on the aerodynamic characteristics of an aircraft. There are normally clearly defined guidelines on chemical mixtures and time limits between deicing operations for aircraft, based on outside temperatures. Most airlines spend a lot of time and money developing their de-icing programs.

Featured image by Carl De Souza/AFP/Getty Images.

American Express® Gold Card

With some great bonus categories, the American Express Gold Card has a lot going for it. The card offers 4x points at US restaurants, at US supermarkets (up to $25,000; then 1x), and 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines or through It is currently offering a welcome bonus of 35,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 in the first three months.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. restaurants. Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on
  • Earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with The Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Shake Shack, and Ruth's Chris Steak House. This is an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.
  • $100 Airline Fee Credit: up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year for incidental fees at one selected qualifying airline.
  • Choose to carry a balance with interest on eligible charges of $100 or more.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
Regular APR
See Rates & Fees
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.