Ryanair cabin crew left in tears
One flight attendant says she found this out the hard way after starting a job at the cut-price airline in September last year.
Out of her salary - sometimes as low as £700 - she paid £1,400 for training and £25 a month to hire her uniform and have it dry-cleaned. She was also paid nothing for being on standby.
But Catherine, 25, from Liverpool, was prepared to put up with these hardships because things would improve when her 12 months of training was over.
But on September 9 this year she was sacked.
"I'm devastated, I've not stopped crying," said Catherine, who's last name we're not revealing because she's looking for work with other airlines.
"I never had any problems, I was never spoken to by a superior about the way I was working. I never took a day off sick.
"In fact, when I was dismissed I was doing my superior training, which would have led
to me being in charge of other cabin crew.
"I got a letter dated September 1 saying that my onboard sales were below average - there's
a lot of pressure on us to sell food and drink on the flights.
"I was called to Dublin on September 5 and dismissed on September 9, so I had no chance
to improve my performance."
Although based in England, Catherine's contract is covered by Irish law which allows for a one-year training period not protected by full employment rights. "They just terminated my contract immediately," she said.
We've heard a remarkably similar story from 19-year-old Martin, another cabin crew member flying out of Liverpool with Ryanair.
He too was dismissed just before the end of his 12-month training period.
"It's shocking to be treated like this, I've wanted this job since I was a kid,@ said Martin - again we're withholding his last name because he's after another airline job.
"I had no warnings about my performance, I was never advised to change it in any way." He too had to pay for his own training and one month was paid just £520.
"You only got paid for your time in the air. You didn't get paid for the 45-minute pre-flight briefing or while the passengers were boarding. My flight from Alicante was once diverted
to Blackpool and we didn't get paid for about three hours while it was sent on to Liverpool."
Ryanair dismissed what Martin and Catherine told us as untrue and "simply complaints from disgruntled employees", adding that it always sacks those who do not maintain its "very high standards".
The airline insisted that both earned on average more than £1,000 a month and that Martin had received written warnings over time-keeping and Catherine over on-board sales.
The airline would not supply us with copies of the letters.