Note: Please bear in mind that whilst this topic does canvass opinions, it is not a fight club. You may disagree with other posters but we do ask you please to stick to our Talk Guidelines and to be civil. We don't allow personal attacks or troll-hunting. Do please report any. Thanks, MNHQ.

to think having enough fuel in a plane is quite important if there's an emergency and most people would probably pay a bit of money to ensure their plane does not crash

(94 Posts)
kim147 Wed 07-Aug-13 08:41:29

A certain budget airline has been accused of restricting the amount of fuel planes carry to the legal minimum which makes handling emergencies and diversions more difficult.

But of course - it does save money and cut costs so that's ok.

www.independent.co.uk/travel/news-and-advice/exclusive-safety-warning-as-budget-airlines-such-as-ryanair-cut-fuel-levels-for-flights-8749046.html

Looking forward to a reserve fuel supplement coming soon to the final bill.

Tee2072 Wed 07-Aug-13 08:45:32

Yet another reason to never fly Ryanair.

TheFallenNinja Wed 07-Aug-13 08:58:08

I'm a bit confused by the article.

It says that the flight had 2 missed approaches and a diversion and landed with 956kg of fuel, 183kg less than the legal reserve.

But the legal reserve is for exactly this circumstance so a small quantity of the reserve was used?

I'm not a Ryanair fan but this seems right to me? Or should the legal minimum be increased?

Sirzy Wed 07-Aug-13 08:59:33

thats what I thought Ninja. What else is the point of the reserve?

kim147 Wed 07-Aug-13 09:06:24

You're supposed to land with the minimum amount of fuel - the legal reserve. You're not supposed to land without that. It seems that from reading the article that they were "pushing it" on the amount of fuel they were carrying.

Obviously fuel is expensive and even carrying it costs money as you've got extra weight.

But you do hope that pressure is not being put on pilots to not use their professional judgement and not face criticism if they decide to take more than the legal minimum because of what conditions may be ahead.

Sirzy Wed 07-Aug-13 09:10:19

Surely your only supposed to land with that amount when it has been a normal flight though? The reseve is for when something foes wrong.

peggotty Wed 07-Aug-13 09:14:17

God why did I open this. Flying Ryanair a week on Saturday sad

peggotty Wed 07-Aug-13 09:15:14

And already a nervous flyer.

Caster8 Wed 07-Aug-13 09:18:29

Gulp. I am flying FlyBe next week. I do wonder as regards budget airlines, quite which "savings" they are doing behind the scenes.

Caster8 Wed 07-Aug-13 09:19:33

I would have thought, as regards Ryanair, that they will do as required re this issue, for a few weeks at least.

livinginwonderland Wed 07-Aug-13 09:21:13

The reserve fuel is there for when there's a problem, though. In this case, there was a problem with landing the plane. So, they used some of the reserve fuel on the two missed approaches and the diversion. If the plane had been able to land normally, there's every chance they'd have landed with the legal amount left.

I've had plenty of flights when there's been delays with landings and we've had to circle overhead for 15-30 minutes, and I'm sure we landed with less than the legal amount of reserve fuel, because it wasn't a "normal" landing. And that was with BA.

Just another excuse to bash Ryanair imo.

TheFantasticFixit Wed 07-Aug-13 09:25:32

Peggoty - we are flying with them next month - I feel your pain. All this negative press at the moment is making me very nervous

kim147 Wed 07-Aug-13 09:30:56

It does not sound like there was much fuel left if another problem had turned up - about 15 mins flying time which seems to me to be not a lot.

kim147 Wed 07-Aug-13 09:32:23

And the article did suggest pressure was being put on pilots to carry the minimum amount of fuel to stay within legal limits.

HRHwheezing Wed 07-Aug-13 09:34:49

And you think that Ryanair pilots would like their planes to crash by not putting in enough fuel?
I wouldn't worry peggotty have a lovely time

They have been told to slow down a bit so that saves cash not by putting not enough fuel on the plane.

This story is 3 years old.i don't like how this article gives the pilots ages as well, what's that got to do with it. Ryanair are a European airline so will have pilots of different nationalities and ages flying for them.

I agree with living

flowery Wed 07-Aug-13 09:38:08

If the minimum fuel to stay within legal limits isn't enough then doesn't the legal limit need to be raised rather than criticising airlines who stay within it?

It does sound from the article as though having more would have been sensible, but if what they were carrying wasn't enough, but was within the legal minimum, the minimum needs to be raised. No point having a minimum at all if it's not considered safe to stick to it.

MrsHoarder Wed 07-Aug-13 09:42:40

kim also in the event of a landing gear failure the plane is told to get its fuel level right down before attempting landing to minimise fire risk. So more fuel isn't always safer.

livinginwonderland Wed 07-Aug-13 09:44:58

I also agree with flowery. If Ryanair sticking to the LEGAL LIMIT is considered too dangerous, then the legal limit needs to be raised.

The article really goes for Ryanair, without giving any information about what other airlines do.

Landing with too much fuel has its dangers as well - there's a balance of risks, cost and safety to consider. From memory, Ryanair's safety record is OK - if I get some free time later I might research that aspect some more.

PasswordProtected Germany Wed 07-Aug-13 09:52:47

Am going to text toyboy, who is a real, commercial airline pilot, to ask about this.

Bumpotato Wed 07-Aug-13 09:54:02

livinginwonderland did BA tell the passengers the fuel levels after the flight? Were the passengers aware of the fuel levels while circling? How, erm, exciting!

The only time I've been made aware of fuel levels during a flight was just prior to an emergency landing.

Was hearing the other day that airlines keep levels low also in order to get priority in queuing situations when landing.

DontmindifIdo Wed 07-Aug-13 09:54:05

Why does anyone fly Ryanair if there's any other airline running the route? I mean, once you've added on all your extra charges and paid for travelling to out of way airports rather than other airports for that city with better transport links, then you often are only saving a couple of quid in order for you and your stuff to be treated like shit.

They get away with it because people for some reason only look at the 'headline' rate and don't do the total cost comparasions - Easyjet does seem to manage to be much more genuinely low cost without treating people quite so badly and managing to get your stuff to the other end in one piece...

livinginwonderland Wed 07-Aug-13 10:01:26

No, we weren't told, but we were in the air for at least an hour longer than planned thanks to poor weather (which caused visibility and landing problems) so I can only imagine that it ate into emergency reserves.

Tee2072 Wed 07-Aug-13 10:07:45

The article is dated this month. It's not 3 years old.

I was on a Ryanair flight 2 years ago in December. We were supposed to be flying into Frankfurt hanh in Germany but due to terrible weather they closed the airport and we had to divert. The pilot told us this over the intercom. About 30 minutes after we should have landed he came back on the intercom to inform us that he'd hoped to land in X but he didnt have much fuel left so had to divert to Y.

I've never heard a plane so quite in my life.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now