Monday, September 19, 2011

RyanAir


One of the greatest benefits of living in London is all the traveling you can do. And so many times it can really be on the cheap. One available option is to fly budget airline RyanAir but if you want to enjoy your holiday, I don’t recommend it. It’s really incredible; I’m going to try to explain the total experience but you’ve gotta fly them yourself to believe some of this stuff.

First, let’s talk about what happens before you even get on the plane…booking. There’s a fee to check in online and a fee to checkin at the airport. Either way, you’re paying a fee. Oh, there’s also a fee to pay by credit card, yet there’s no other way to pay. And if you forget to print your boarding pass at home, that will set you back an extra 40 pounds (60 US Dollars)!  Checking luggage? That’ll be another fee. I didn’t pay to check luggage when I initially bought my ticket, but later decided I needed to check a bag. That’s right….another 40 pounds. And after paying that much, I still had to carry the bag down to the side of the plane. RyanAir claims to be “the low fares airline” but yikes, suddenly this budget airline no longer fits my budget.

And in true low-budget fashion, RyanAir flies out of the farthest airports and from the farthest gates.  Between the booking process and then the ordeal to make your way to the plane, you’re guaranteed to be pissed off before you even board.

Next: the plane itself.  The seats don’t recline. And they’re very, very thin. No entertainment onboard whatsoever.  Not even a magazine, but that’s because there’s nowhere to put it. There’s no pocket on the back of the seat in front of you. That means there’s no safety information card. Instead, they’ve turned that into a sticker and stuck it to the seat. Great. Oh and there are also advertising stickers on the overhead bin doors. Every single one of them.

And here’s where it starts getting good: the flight itself.  Drinks and food will cost you, of course, and the beverage service kicks off with a radio-like ad for some drink that is no doubt paying RyanAir an advertising fee. Tea or coffee? Isn’t that the famous flight attendant line? Well tea or coffee will set you back too. I had a glass of cheap merlot for the “low fare” of 5.95 (9 dollars). Ouch. Oh, and my all-time favorite…..a RyanAir exclusive: after they push the duty free shopping down your throat, then they sell lottery tickets on the flight!  Yes, you can buy a lottery ticket from 30,000 feet.

On top of all this, both legs of my recent flight to Rome were delayed by over an hour.  On the way out, the reason was due to a discrepancy between the number of people and the number of bags.  For an hour and a half they screamed the names of Italians over the intercom. The passenger then had to run to the front of the plane with boarding card in hand.  I don’t think they ever figured out the problem but we finally left anyway. Seriously, get it together.

I guess there’s one thing we can all be grateful for. They haven’t yet implemented their latest & greatest new ideas:

  • Charging to use the bathroom. Can you imagine?
  • For shorter flights, using seat-less planes. Instead, they’re tossing around the idea of little triangle type benches you could rest against along with a cuff that dangles from the ceiling that you would strap into for takeoff and landing. I can only picture a combination of standing rollercoaster ride and house arrest. Luckily the FAA wouldn’t allow this one. Yet! 

2 comments:

  1. hahaha! 4 comments:
    1. when i lived in europe, ryanair actually was cheap and fee-less.... ah, the good ol' days...
    2.Fact: it is impossible to be at an italian transportation hub without delays and without someone screaming in italian.
    3. does the FAA have jurisdiction over RyanAir? love the rollercoaster/housearrest analogy.
    4. in other budget airline suggestions: Condor Airlines (a Lufthansa sidekick with questionable check-in procedures, but great fares): Frankfurt to Anchorage DIRECT in like 9 hours, May to October... think about it...

    ReplyDelete
  2. All very true...

    However, this post seems like it belongs in Dom's RanDOM Rants :)

    ReplyDelete

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