Why I love Ryanair

I have read a lot of attacks on Ryanair – the European budget airline – in my time. Most recently this one from Eurotriptips, which pretty much sums up all the reasons people hate the company, believing it to be a money greedy, holiday ruiner with no concern for what we call human rights. And I mostly agree with them … mostly.

On the Runway. Credit: Rinponche

On the Runway. Credit: Rinponche

Firstly, yes Ryanair is money greedy, what company isn’t there to make money. If you are running a company and you are NOT turning a profit, well you’re running a pretty crummy company. And yes if passengers don’t follow the rules, if they don’t check their bag size or print off their boarding pass or get their visa stamped, then yes they run the risk of missing their flight and ruining their holiday.

I have flown with Ryanair almost 50 times and consider myself something of an expert, and here’s the low down.

Problem #1: The annoying website and those irritating fees

Is the Ryanair website annoying? Yes it is, undeniably so. But up until October this year Ryanair put their prices all up front. When they say £3 each way they mean it (as my mum did when she visited me Stansted – Frankfurt £6 return all fees included). Now they charge a £6 card fee, a fee that beloved Easyjet has always charged. Yes they do have pages and pages asking you if you would like insurance or baggage, but all you have to do is click no, no, no and they all go away. We’ve already established that they are trying to make a quick buck. All in all the booking process normally takes around 20 minutes, no longer than any other airlines.

I sleep in airports in order to catch 6am flights. Do I mind? Not really. I've done it for Easyjet as well.

I sleep in airports in order to catch 6am flights. Do I mind? Not really. I’ve done it for Easyjet as well.

Problem #2: Being charged 50€ at the airport and missing your flight

You have to print your boarding pass and bring it to the airport. Annoying? Yes. Unreasonable? No. When you book your flight online you are told to remember to check in and print your boarding pass before leaving. Then before you fly you receive 2 further angry looking reminder emails with bold, capital letters reminding you of your duty. After all that, if you still forget to print it off, well that I think is unreasonable.

As for the bags, yes I have seen women screaming at the airport, no, they didn’t follow the rules. Like the boarding pass forgetters, I have no sympathy for these people either. Along with the printing warning, Ryanair frequently posts their dimensions, weight and number limitations, online and in their emails, and they even have scales and luggage sizers before check in so you can check your baggage using the same sizers that the staff use themselves. Still can’t figure out what 1 bag weighing under 10kg and smaller than 55 x 40 x 20cm means? … well maybe you don’t deserve cheap flights.

Problem #3: But they want to charge for the toilet?!?!?!

Anyone who researches this idea for a second would see that they weren’t trying to charge £1 for toilets for no reason. People using toilets on flights costs airlines a lot of money and severely damages the environment, as all this waste needs to be dealt with safely and carefully. Ryanair wanted to reduce the number of toilets on flights under 2 hours (which face it unless you have a medical problem you should be able to hold it in for) to increase the number of seats on the flight, lowering the cost of flights, decreasing damage to the environment and yes make some money themselves. Does that make them evil? Maybe but personally I don’t think it’s such a bad idea.

Yes you have to walk to the plane. But you'll live. Credit: Sean MacEntee

Yes you have to walk to the plane. But you’ll live. Credit: Sean MacEntee

Now here’s some facts for you. Ryanair is the number one on time airline with 90% of their flights early or on time and 98% on time or delayed by less than an hour. Ryanair is the cheapest European budget airline by a substantial margin, with most flights being less than half the price of their competitors. Do they fly to airports miles outside of cities? Yes, but they don’t hide that fact. Are their flights sometimes at 6am in the morning? Yes, but so are most of their competitors. Should we stop using them or name and shame them because people can’t follow the guidelines correctly? Probably not.

Without Ryanair I wouldn’t have been able to visit half the European countries I have over the years. My mother could not have afforded to visit me on my year abroad, I would not have been able to come home for my birthday, Morocco for £35 return? Yes please, and I definitely couldn’t have afforded to go to Helsinki to see one of my best friends.

Could I have seen the sea from Helsinki without Ryanair?

Could I have seen the sea from Helsinki without Ryanair?

Yes there are many things about Ryanair that are less than luxurious, but when you are paying £6 for a 2 hour flight can you afford to complain?

P.S I was going to write a Ryanair survival guide but The Savvy Backpacker got there first and did a pretty good job of it.

About these ads

11 thoughts on “Why I love Ryanair

  1. Yeah, RyanAir will try to profit from situation that people forget their tickets or take a too big luggage with them, but those situations are preventable. I like RyanAir if I want on holiday for a very cheap price, but for comfort or accuracy you mustn’t take RyanAir… I mean, where-else can you find a ticket for destination X for 19 euros?

  2. THANK YOU. It seems like the people who complain the most are the ones who usually do something wrong — they don’t read through their confirmation e-mail, or don’t read something on the website, or whatever else, and then they get really defensive and want to blame someone. Which I do understand to an extent — we’ve all done that about something. And sometimes a company will actually make a mistake or screw you over, and I’m sure Ryanair has done that to someone, somewhere — but so have a lot of companies, particularly airline companies, so I think it’s unfair to blame Ryanair for all of it just because they are the most well-known discount airline. You just need to follow their rules and then you won’t get burned — same as anything else in life!

  3. I’ve been on buses that take longer than 2-3 hours and come with no refreshments or toilets and charge way more. I’m in Korea at the moment and often has been discussed the absence of Ryan air/Easy Jet/Jet 2 prices. Hate having to pay a bomb over here to fly 2 hours.

    Good read!

    • And they are far less comfortable than Ryanair. I’m moving to Japan in October and I am totally going to miss them and cheap impromptu holidays. Thanks for the compliment. So jealous of Korea been wanting to go there forever!

  4. I LOVE Ryanair and am bemused by all those travellers who complain otherwise when they arrive at the airport with their overweight bags or no boarding card!!!! For goodness sake, that is why the tickets are so cheap. You get a cheap ticket in return for playing by Ryanair’s rules. Everything works like clockwork. The flight is rarely late and you don’t have to buy expensive drinks on board. OK we can pick holes but you can with every airline but none is so cheap. And Michael O Learly is hilarious and a great business man. I can travel with my 3 children at affordable prices and giggle as people attempt to squeeze fat bags into spaces that are too small, blame the stewardess when they have to put their bag between their legs (Usually because big bags have managed to get on the plane). I feel sorry for the very patient staff continuously abused by people who do the wrong thing then try to blame someone else!!

    • Totally agree Ryanair has the number one on time flight record, and they do NOT cancel flights, only when the airports close down. Never had a problem with a ryanair flight only with “proper” airlines. In particular KLM worst airline in the world.

  5. Ryanair’s rules and so on regarding Boarding passes (don’t care), and Small Carry On sizes..(don’t really care – most of the time their staff aren’t SUPER-fussy unless you’re taking the piss ; and if they are being super-fussy, well it’s a bit annoying but rules is rules.

    No, by far the Most annoying thing about Ryanair is their website(!) : Really Ryanir(!) you really think you wouldn’t make more if you just charged £10 or even £6 per flight ea way, and then made the booking process 5 times simpler (default to ONE terms and conditions box you have to tick, and everything else defaulted to OFF (and one Separate, optional pop-up box listing the Insurances, Car Hires, Cut Price Phone Cards, Airport Transfers, Luggage Offers and so on..)

    The second most annoying this (!) : The Eye and Brain hurting bright yellow seat back (Michael O’Leary you’re a cunt for this alone!!)

    The Third most annoying thing (!) is the fact that they turn the temperature way up while people are boarding – so much so that it’s invariably horribly uncomfortably stuffy — and I’m positive it’s just to get people to buy drinks!

So what do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s