Ryanair - Any recent experiences?

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williamsf1

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Ok .. I know many of you steer clear of LCC.. however, I am finding myself in a situation where Ryanair is coming up on top ( based on price/ airport and time) for a flight in May from Madrid to Gran Canaria.


What I am wanting to know is if anyone had has had any recent experiences on this airline ( last 12 months)? I am looking to book a " Business Plus" add on package. This package is only EUR45 on top of the standard fare, and it included 20Kg bag, priority seating / boarding / security/ free airport check in / SMS boarding pass and flexi fare conditions ... I have added up buying these things individually and it comes to over EUR80 in extras, so buying the package looks the way to go.


Anyone able to share real experiences of

1- check in

2- boarding

3- Seating comfort

4- General tips?
 

Mattg

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I flew Ryanair twice in the last two days and in fact I just got off the second flight a couple of hours ago.

I only chose Ryanair as they were significantly cheaper than all other competition. As in, I paid ~€20 each way when the next cheapest option was over €100. Ordinarily I would not use them but this was an exception.

Do I regret flying them? Well, I am undecided to be honest. I really didn't enjoy the experience but they did get me from A to B on-time with both flights and I did save a lot of money. However I didn't book any of the extras, such as baggage, food, seat selection etc. and I checked in online. Had I needed to pay for too much extra the price difference would have narrowed and I would have considered taking a "better" airline.

To answer your specific questions:

1. Check-in. DO NOT check in at the airport. The airport check-in fee is €70! If you check-in online but don't print a boarding pass, the BP issue fee is €15 - more reasonable but still crazy IMHO. The solution is simple - check in and print boarding passes before you get to the airport! You can do it IIRC up to a month out. (It may be a week - don't remember exactly but it's a decent amount of time.) Even if you pay the Business Plus fare which includes airport check-in, you will have to queue up with all the people checking in luggage. In BCN, that was a ridiculously long line. Although if you are checking in luggage anyway, that's irrelevant.

Oh, and one other thing, you will need to go to the desk/ticket office to get your passport sighted and BP stamped once you arrive at the airport if you are travelling on an Aussie passport.

2. Boarding: Boarding those Ryanair flights was NOT my idea of fun. At the very least there are allocated seats but everyone still seemed in a rush to get on before everyone else at any cost. The advertised "Gate Closes" time came and went and the plane hadn't even arrived at the gate yet. There was a very long line already by the time the plane got there. If you have fast-track boarding or whatever they call it you will get to board with all the other priority boarders - on my flights there were about 3 dozen. At least you should get overhead locker space if you do this. But it will most likely still be a scrum.

3. Seating comfort. I'm tall and found it barely tolerable. The seat pitch is pretty minimal unless you get row 1 or an exit row, which seemed okay. The seats themselves seemed okay but not the best. No seat pocket to store anything. On the first flight, the floor around my seat hadn't been cleaned properly so lots of crumbs etc. all around my seat. The second flight I ended up with a middle seat as the flight was completely full and nothing else available - frankly, it was not experience I want to repeat. Also, on the second flight they dimmed the lights for take-off and when I tried to turn on my overhead reading light it didn't work at all. Not a big concern but if they look after the rest of their aircraft in a similar way I would be worried.

I think you get the idea - I didn't really like Ryanair. They seemed to spend half the flight trying to sell things too, which I just found annoying... everything from food, to perfume, to scratchies, to bus tickets. However I would fly them again if the saving was worth it.. and the flight was short.

But TBH if you plan to spend the extra money on a "Business" ticket, you might as well just book a good airline and have a much more pleasant flying experience.
 

Anna

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I flew them last April from FAO to OPO only because they were the only airline on the route. I endorse Mattg's comments. Even though I paid extra for the priority boarding, it was still quite a scrum. Everything else was adequate, not more than that. The best thing was that the FAs refused to allow anyone who had not paid for it to sit in the forward rows. There were 3 of us in rows 1-5, I had an entire row to myself but the rest of the plane was packed.

My flight had no delays or technical hitches. I think that is where Ryanair is worst, but I can't personally comment on it because I didn't experience it. It's that that would deter me from booking them again though, if I had any other options.
 

williamsf1

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Hi Anna and Mattg !! Thanks for your feedback and tips

The business plus ticket ( with all the things included) is only EUR97 and the next closest is IB at EUR235 so the price difference is rather significant. The ticket also includes airport check in ( so I can avoid the EUR70 fee ) .

I might give them a go .... wish me luck!!!
 

Virgin Bart

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Hi Anna and Mattg !! Thanks for your feedback and tips

The business plus ticket ( with all the things included) is only EUR97 and the next closest is IB at EUR235 so the price difference is rather significant. The ticket also includes airport check in ( so I can avoid the EUR70 fee ) .

I might give them a go .... wish me luck!!!

If you'd like you can look at a recent thread I started about my first flight with them - about 2-3 weeks ago. I'm on iPhone so can't link (that I know of)
 

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I used them last April to fly MAN to DUB - queuing to get on was horrendous and although my bag was underweight for carry on they still took it as there were too many carry-on bags - yes it was cramped and all that the others have said but it was so much cheaper and it was less than an hour - I'd fly them again if the price was right and it suited
 

williamsf1

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If you'd like you can look at a recent thread I started about my first flight with them - about 2-3 weeks ago. I'm on iPhone so can't link (that I know of)

Thankyou !!

Found it

http://www.australianfrequentflyer....-photos/my-first-ryan-air-flight-65004-2.html

I do love the attitude of Michael O'Leary ... a no BS kind of guy .... as a very experienced traveller .. I know the rules of a LCC ( and the fees/ fines) so I won't fall into the "extras" pit fall ....
 

Mattg

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It's entirely up to you, but Madrid to Gran Canaria is a 3 hour flight... I'm personally not sure I would do it. Is the competition really that expensive?
 

Formal Hall

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Iberia flights between Madrid and Gran Canaria might be available as QFF reward flights; and taxes on Iberia are usually not too bad.
 

williamsf1

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I travelled on RyanAir ... and all I can say is WOW!!!!! I guess my expectations were low.... BUT .. I would say the inflight service was BETTER than my recent J QF experience SYD SCL ..... We all have different expectations of what service is , but mine are fairly low.... What I look for in service are

1- Crew that smile and look like they want to be there

2- Some general interaction with passengers ( small talk)

3- Speed of service ( waiting 40mins for a drink in J does not cut it)

mini TR
As mentioned, I booked the Business+ package with RyanAir ... and this was well and truly worth it.

Check in - MAD airport- There was a bit of a line, however it moved very fast (10-15 mins).. I had reserved 1C (I would say the best seat on the aircraft) however forgot to print my BP before departing AU .... Never fear , no EUR70 fee as a business+ passenger you are exempt( I did see a number of other PAX sent over to service desk to pay it) My bag was spot on 20Kg and I also had 1 hand luggage as well ( they offered to check it in for free but I declined). BP printed and I was on my way thru security.


Boarding- Also as a Business + guest you are given priority boarding. In this instance, we were at a remote gate so it was really the first bus. Only the first 90 bags are allowed on-board and the rest have to go underneath. I noticed the Europeans tend to follow the rules with boarding and wait to they are called rather than a scrum like other countries at first call.


On board - As mentioned I had 1C.... 1A is OK, however you have the emergency slide in the way, 1B is middle, and the armrests are fixed, so can be uncomfortable if 2 larger people siting next to you. I found the seats comfortable for a 3 hour flight. I am a size 34 waist , however if you are slightly larger , you might find a little tight. The aircraft was modern, and there was no internal advertising like others have mentioned.


Crew/ Service - The crew were all Spanish and were very well presented - not the typical LCC look(males wearing ties etc). As mentioned the crew were great, did not come across as overselling ( they did do 2 runs of the cart for a 3 hour flight) 1 Duty free run and also 1 offer of the inflight charity lottery. I purchased a coffee( was good for airline standards) a pastry and bottle of water for EUR8


OTP - The aircraft departed spot on time and arrived 10mins early.


Baggage- The bags were ready around 15mins after arrival


I also had booked a bus transfer to the hotel as part of the booking process- This was a additional EUR6 and was excellent value - Other operators on arrival were charging EUR15-20 for similar service. In my mini van it was just 1 other person and the driver was waiting for us on arrival exit.


I have read many horror stories of this airline, however most appear to be people who do not follow the rules! Play the game and you will be OK.


Strongly recommend booking the business + package if the price is not a great deal more than the " normal" seat.
 

Renato1

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I travelled on RyanAir ... and all I can say is WOW!!!!! I guess my expectations were low.... BUT .. I would say the inflight service was BETTER than my recent J QF experience SYD SCL .

Thanks, I find your experience reassuring for my upcoming Ryanair flight in several months.
Regards,
Renato
 

Duffa

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i just LIKED Ryanair on FB. Never thought I would say it but WAY better than Vueling (who fly codeshare with Iberia - be careful using points) Just flew Barcelona to Lanzarote. OB Vueling. 16 yr old Airbus. Knees hard against seat in front which other pax reclined into me. cough!
RTN Ryanair. 6 yr old Boeing. At least 2 inches clear leg room. And no recline. Pleasant 2hr 40 flight.
Vueling $200 Ryanair $110
Ryanairs new "be nice" policy is working!!! Will fly again if price is same as others.
 

blu

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We have Man-Dub in October with a Biz plus fare for seats 1AB. Travelling with JQ occassionally we find row 1 worth the extra cost on LCC.
I was aware of having to get the BP stamped at bag drop, although I don't think that Ryanair advise you to do this on the eTicket/itinerary (it could result in being turned away out at the Gate without the stamped BP).
 

williamsf1

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We have Man-Dub in October with a Biz plus fare for seats 1AB. Travelling with JQ occassionally we find row 1 worth the extra cost on LCC.
I was aware of having to get the BP stamped at bag drop, although I don't think that Ryanair advise you to do this on the eTicket/itinerary (it could result in being turned away out at the Gate without the stamped BP).

If you can, suggest changing to 1BC if 2 travelling ..... 1A has the emergency slide in the way.


I did not know about having the BP stamped, however as mentioned I did check in with bag and had a BP printed so no stamp
 
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williamsf1

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i just LIKED Ryanair on FB. Never thought I would say it but WAY better than Vueling (who fly codeshare with Iberia - be careful using points) Just flew Barcelona to Lanzarote. OB Vueling. 16 yr old Airbus. Knees hard against seat in front which other pax reclined into me. cough!
RTN Ryanair. 6 yr old Boeing. At least 2 inches clear leg room. And no recline. Pleasant 2hr 40 flight.
Vueling $200 Ryanair $110
Ryanairs new "be nice" policy is working!!! Will fly again if price is same as others.

I agree RyanAir is better ( well row 1) .... I also travelled Vueling between Gran Canaria and BCN + BCN TXL was in row 5c and 7c and the leg room was minimal. I have already previously travelled AMS ALC on Vueling on the " excellence" fare type ( row 1 and incudes all food+ drink) . I well and truly got my value in the food and drink I had on the flight for "free" in the cost between a normal fare and the excellence fare
 

williamsf1

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Thanks, I find your experience reassuring for my upcoming Ryanair flight in several months.
Regards,
Renato

My TR was based on row 1 ..... I did not go any further back ! I hope you enjoy!
 
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