The RyanAir Effect

This weekend I had the fortune of being taken away on a suprise mini-break to Ireland, I had a great time however there were a series of things which made me think about Ryanair.

ok, we travelled on ryanair because it was the cheapest and they happened to fly to an airport we wanted (in ireland). I think they’re okay but if I had to line them up in order I’d place them above some package holiday flight operators and below easyjet. One of my key factors is the fact that they have to keep on telling people how great they are. If they really were that great we should really know.

It starts with the fact that as soon as you get to the gate you get told “You may only have 1 bag as your hand luggage, any food/etc you have bought must be contained within the same 1 bag”. This is repeated numerous times.

Then you get on the plane, and then realise that the seat pocket which would usually hold a safety card has been removed (probably because that costs money, money they have to avoid to keep the flight cheaper) and the safety card has been moved to a sticker in front of your face. Where its not a massive problem it does leave you wondering where to put things somewhat.

The overhead storage on my flight had london tube like ryanair avertising saying “Worlds Best Airline, Cheapest Flights Guaranteed” etc/etc. It really did feel like I was on the tube. Is this completely necessary?

Then as soon as I landed I’m played an announcement saying “Yet another on-time flight, ryanair have the most punctual service of any other airline”.

My impression is that Ryanair tend to fly to smaller airports and are mostly short haul, therefore its fairly unlikely that these small airports are going to have problems with air-traffic, so quite frankly this statistic doesn’t make me more likely to buy another ryanair flight, if anything the continual announcements are less likely to make me have a higher opinion.

ok their pricing model has removed all hold luggage (I can only assume they mostly cater for people travelling light), but I wonder whether this really works.  Families must make up for a fair proportion of travel and they surely dont all travel without luggage. But ryanair is the company who considered charging to use the toilet and also have considered charging obese people more to fly. How long until we get a tax for being ideal weight (your thin, so we use less fuel to fly you so you can have a discount!) or something equally mental.

I think I prefer pain and simple and I would probably consider flying with Easyjet if it was a matter of a few pounts difference, probably just to avoid the announcements!

Irish Airports, grr.

somehow I get the impression Shannon Airport must be being operated by Ryanair!

Airports are annoying at the best of times, but Shannon airport in Ireland really annoyed me today. I arrived, then waited at the departure lounge (not really knowing if it was one of those airports which had no chairs the other side or not), then when the gate was announced I made my way through security, hmm. I’d thrown away the re-sealable plastic bag that gatwick gave me when I arrived, so I asked for one. The reply I got was “You can buy one from the machines over there”, looking slightly bewildered I walked over to what looked like a gum ball machine, which was infact dispensing resealable bags for €1 ! Realising that I’d packed my money and didn’t knowingly having a €1 coin, I told the person that I didn’t have one and could I use another clear bag, the answer was No, either find a euro or bin the items. Great Attitude. So I unpacked my bag, and progressed to search for a coin, fortunately i found one else I think I probably would have got fairly annoyed. It was one of those bits where you’re not sure if you can go back to the terminal or not.

Oh for those who are interested, there is another lounge on the other side which is reasonably sized! although the gates appear to have enough seats for 2 people! so dont go too early else you’re going to be standing up for a good half an hour or more.

The annoying thing is; its the airports that require that I have toiletries in bottles smaller than 100ml and that they are placed in a clear plastic resealable bag. Now I accept that if i want to take toiletries that I will have to buy them but quite frankly offering a 1c plastic bag wouldn’t harm anyone, I’ve done my bit buying overpriced tiny toiletries anyhow.

I guess they need to pay for the giant gum ball dispencing machine, and the fact that each bag is housed in a giant tough plastic ball, to me it was a giant money making expense which made me think that Shannon Airport are penny pinchers. So if you’re travelling from Gatwick to Shannon dont forget to keep your complementary resealable plastic bags, or better still take a tonne from Gatwick and give them to Shannon airport to hand out!

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