Ryanair… Where do I begin on how much I despise this airline…
I appreciate the fact that this is a charter airline. However, they need to either leave the industry or vastly improve not only their requirements, but also their staff selection. If they want to meet the quality standards of some major airlines, then they need to re-think their approach… oh, wait – they don’t. They think they are better than any other.
As much as Ryanair is considered “cheap,” its staff and airplanes may be, but their final travel prices are not.
There are LOADS of high-priced hidden fees and they unpleasantly surprise you on things, which most airlines don’t do, and you end up spending more than a major airline would offer to travel to the same destination. At least you get better service and food on a major airline for the same price you will end up paying for traveling with Ryanair.
For example, while booking online, they do not make it very clear that you are required to check-in online (regardless to whether or not you can find a computer and printer prior to arriving at the airport). If you do not print your boarding pass prior to arriving at the airport, you will not only be forced to leave the line you waited so long to get through (average hour wait for “check-in”/bag drop), but told to go to their customer service desk far away from the “check-in” area, where you will also be made to pay £70 for your boarding card (measly piece of paper that couldn’t have cost them more than £0.01, if that – and can go up to £140 in some global airports) and £60-£150 [depending on the season] for each bag you check.
NOTE: There is a 99% chance you will have to check a bag or two, as their hand-luggage requirements are very stringent, there is zero space for luggage on-board, and you are required to pay for any checked luggage, regardless to where purchased (when booking your ticket or at airport) – you are only allowed a maximum of 2 checked, <15kg bag at a minimum of £30 each or maximum combined weight of 35 kg for two bags if pre-booked online only during booking the ticket and not after.) Also, there are either no kiosks to check-in through, before hitting the line at the airport, or there may be one that is surprisingly always out-of-order. It just seems like they are purposely trying to cheat you.
Also, as a warning, Amanda (who is usually at the gate for boarding) at MAN Airport is the worst airline representative I have met thus far in my 30 years of airline travel – and I have met some doozy’s. She is not only unpleasant and rude, but she will often make disrespectful and insulting comments loudly in front of everyone towards you when you least expect it. And does not care and/or will not let you on the plane if you don’t meet not the airline’s requirements, but her own. Obviously, this woman does not have a sense of humour either, so don’t even bother to lighten the mood. Maybe she was having a bad day when I watched and met her, but that’s no reason to bring discomfort and tension to the people who are indirectly paying her salary – especially when undeserved. But enough about her.
If you want an assigned seat, even if within 24-hours before flight time, there’s another fee. Otherwise it’s first come, first serve. I have even seen families get split up, because of this (and sometimes due to no one else being willing to trade seats, but that’s something else entirely). You basically are on a bus and sent back to grade school. The one flight attendant I had on my flight said one word to begin the routine safety announcement and stopped talking all of a sudden. I looked up at him (since I was nearby) and he had the mic in his hand, placed within his crossed arms, and a disgruntled face, peering out into a loudly laughing group of passengers who were talking to each other – as if they were naughty children (meanwhile mostly being between 30-50 years of age). The steward absolutely refused to start the safety announcement until there was absolute silence, which in turn delayed the push back of our plane as well, but did he say anything to this affect – nope. He just stood there. Seriously?! Who does that?!
There is barely any space on this plane, since they want to cram as many people as possible on them, and there are hard plastic seats, so do not plan on being comfortable.
Then there is the on-board food and drink menu – even though you wait a lifetime before being served (and can’t call a steward/ess from your seat either). Be prepared to bring loads of money or hit Duty Free and sneak some “not allowed to drink on-board” outside alcohol. It’s also amazingly cheaper to buy food in the airport to bring on-board than to purchase something on the plane (and most of us know how expense airports can be). Nothing is free on this airline, not even water. They even proposed putting in £1 coin slots for passengers to be able to use the toilet available – or removing one of the two toilets all together to make more space for additional seats.
Another method of attracting money from you is their in-flight lotto ticket sales. With these scratch tickets, they offer that you could win a refund of your flight cost. However, I have yet to hear of more than a handful of people actually winning off of them.
Unfortunately, they are sometimes the only airline one can fly direct to where one would need to go for holiday, especially in the EU, but now – after my experiences – I have decided that I would much rather spend more time traveling and have a connection with a reliable, trusted, major airline instead of a direct flight with this airline.
If you could care less about customer service and hidden fees, go right ahead and use this airline, but I would not recommend it.
Side note, but astonishing to think: Was watching the news the other day and the messed-up, pompous, arrogant CEO, Michael O’Leary, announced that he would like to continue his push from 2011 offering more expensive in-flight porn viewing via passengers’ iPads – this is insane! Would you want to sit next to someone watching porn on their iPad inflight?! And with the first come first serve seating, how would one know whether one of these pervs would be sitting next to a child that could easily peer over? Plus, what is the sexually tense passenger supposed to do to release themselves?! Makes you wonder on the future condition of the planes’ toilets. Maybe there’s a reason for proposing the £1 toilet usage.
O’Leary once publicly asked Businessweek, “Why does every plane have two pilots? … Really you only need one pilot. Let’s take out the second pilot. Let the bloody computer fly it.”
Other cost cutting proposals from the deranged mind of Mr. O’Leary:
- Standing room only seats starting at £1. Regulators obviously nixed the idea in spite of Ryanair founder Michael O’Leary’s statement, “if there ever was a crash on an aircraft, God forbid a seatbelt won’t save you.”
- Making flyers pay to use the bathroom during a flight. (The coin-operated toilet idea was thankfully dropped in 2011)
- Making planes with just one big door allowing two people through simultaneously to cut down on boarding and de-boarding time
- Charging a “fat tax” for overweight passengers. This was rejected by Ryanair in the end “because it is not collectible” and would cut down on its quick turnaround service.