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has anyone here flown Ryaniar and it NOT been hell?

(41 Posts)
dipitydoyou Tue 24-May-11 20:36:27

have just booked flights for myself, DH, DD 4, my Mum and my Brother too as going away for a big family holiday to Spain in 2 weeks.
We are really looking forward to it, and Ryanair we're the cheapest option for us. I know they're basic but after 'googling' am now breaking into a nervous sweat! soooo has anyone had a good experience ? or should I just prepare for the fact that its going to be a total nightmare?

coastgirl Tue 24-May-11 20:40:58

Flown them a few times and it wasn't hell. Just don't expect any special treatment because you have a child, be prepared to be spilt up from each other on the plane (best bet is you count on one of you sitting with DD and the rest apart - it'll just stress you out if you fight to all sit together) and think of it like a bus journey not a flight. The cabin crew are brusque, the snacks stupidly expensive and the planes not over clean or modern but it's all safe, efficient (in my experience they overestimate flight times so you get there early, and they rely on doing a quick turnaround so its in their interest to be on time) and cheap!

Getting on and off the plane tends to be a bit of a scrum. Don't fanny around in the aisle being precious about overhead luggage and you'll be fine and doublecheck baggage small print, too.

orangina Tue 24-May-11 20:56:51

Isn't there an easyjet option? I find then 1000 times better than Ryan air (won't fly w them again)....

orangina Tue 24-May-11 20:57:04

(sorry, find THEM....)

Hulababy Tue 24-May-11 21:07:32

Yes, twce. Booked with them both times as by far the cheapest option. Most recent time was this Easter from Birmingham to Majorca.

The bad bits:

* Their hand luggage is maller dimensions than most - check. But stick to it and you are fine.
* In Majorca there was a nightmare queue to do luggage drop as there were 6 planes leaving and only a few dess open. However, they were not the only airline having these problems on the day.

Tips:

* Travel hand luggage only if you possibly can
* If you want to definitely sit together, either pay for Priority or get someone to queue up in the non priority lane asap
* Take snacks for the plane as food onboard is expensise; ditto drinks, esp water
* Keep to the luggage dimensions and weights

We had no problems sitting three together. But we were pre preapred to have just one of ius sit with DD and the other sit elsewhere. There was no pushing or shoving either time. It was pretty much the same as most other flights I have been on bar seat numbers.

The cabin crew seem very very busy. They genuinely never seem to stop working compared to on other flights, although granted I have done more long haul recently so more time. But they were, ime, polite and courteous. TBH I don't find Easyjet any different having used them a few times too.

They are what they are. A cheap airline. Treat it more like the bus and you can't go much wrong.

And one other thing, which to us is a massive binus - they are virtually never late arriving, unlike almost every other airline I have used!

wannaBe Tue 24-May-11 21:20:30

I would go without a holiday rather than travel with Ryanair.

We booked to go with them to spain two years ago. Their terms and conditions explicitly stated that if you have a disability (any disability) you have to tell them. So dh rang to say that I was blind but that we didn't require any special assistance since I would be travelling with dh and am perfectly capable of boarding an aeroplane. He was told that two seats would be reserved at the front of the plane for me and my travelling companion and that I would be required to board the plane last. When dh informed them that we would be travelling with ds who was then six he was told that they could only reserve two seats and that ds would have to sit on his own. I was told that because I have a disability I could not have priority boarding. When dh asked what would happen if we'd not told them they said that they would have refused to let me travel. hmm

The morning of the journey was that fateful weekend at stansted when too few desks were open, we queued for 1.5 hours only to be told when we got to the front that check-in was closed (despite no-one calling the flight, they had called others) and that we would be unable to fly. No refund, no weekend in spain (we were going to a wedding) nothing.

never, ever again.

dipitydoyou Tue 24-May-11 21:30:56

Thank's everyone for your replies

wannaBe thats terrible! I can understand why you feel that way.

orangina yes there was but it worked out more expensive, we have to fly on a Sat, my DH wants an early morning flight, my Mum wants a certain time coming back hmm
tbh I'm begining to wish that i'd paid the extra but am just going to make the very best of it now and look forward to the holiday the other end!

hulababy thanks for the tips, they were really helpful, I paid for priority boarding so we'll see how it goes. Yes no delays is definitly a bonus!

Hulababy Tue 24-May-11 21:33:19

If you have priority booking it is unlikely you'll be split it ime. On ou last flights there was less than 10 people (not groups) who'd paid for priority! We hadn''t but we were prepared to get on the queue early enough.

dipitydoyou Tue 24-May-11 21:39:51

oh thats good to hear thanks Hulababy

MirandaGoshawk Tue 24-May-11 21:40:08

Have travelled many times with Ryanair. You'll be fine if you are used to travelling on manky buses!

They usually arrive on time. They do this by over-estimating lenght of flight - eg. flight is scheduled to take 1.5 hours but actually only takes 1hr 10 mins. so they have 20 mins leeway & can claim to be on time. But I'm not complaining about that.

They might have a 20 min turnaround. This means boarding as soon as the last lot are off & no time to clean the plane. Therefore you can get dirty nappies left on seats hmm It's true - there was one on my flight to Alghero. Nice.

As someone has said, take your own food (we always buy sandwiches & drinks in Boots in Stansted before we board)

One thing not to expect - customer service. We're talking Poundland levels here, though why it's hard for someone to look you in the eye when they take your ticket I don't know.

lucykate Tue 24-May-11 21:40:39

we flew with ryanair from east midlands to girona and all went fine. one tip, when printing out your boarding passes check them against what you see on screen and make sure the barcodes are printed correctly (our black ink was playing up on our printer so all the barcodes weren't able to be scanned at the airport).

there were 5 of us flying, and like hula, there were only about 10 groups with priority boarding, we sat together both ways, plus dh got to sit near the emergency exits, so had extra leg room (he's tall).

bellavita Tue 24-May-11 21:45:14

We flew Ryanair last year from Leeds Bradford to Malta. Was one of the best flights ever (to Europe) for us. All sat together both ways - only about 20 people priority boarding before us (we were normal boarding) and we were are the front of the queue too. All the passengers walked in an orderly fashion across the tarmac onto the plane and we even landed 20 mins early in Malta.

Hulababy Tue 24-May-11 21:48:44

Unlike Miranda, and as I mentioned, we found the staff polite. Infact the man checking our boarding passes was having a little chat and joke with DD. Onboard, even though they were super busy, they were always polite and friendly.

EduStudent Tue 24-May-11 22:33:56

I flew to Ireland with them last week and found them absolutely fine. We managed to get a group of 6 of us sitting together with no problems (Normal boarding), although I would recommend getting to the gate as early as you reasonably can.

The staff were polite and friendly, the plane was clean but, well, just not super shiny and nice.

Definitely double check the boarding passes and the hand luggage allowance.

MirandaGoshawk Tue 24-May-11 22:34:01

This is my experience of Ryanair customer service:

Two years ago we were in departures at Stansted and DH & DS went off to the bookshop. I told DH to be back at the time we had to leave to go to the gate. However, he didn't turn up, & I couldn't find him in any of the shops. By that time it was getting late so I hoped he'd gone straight to the gate, but when DD & I got there, he wasn't there & there was an announcement telling people to start boarding.

The announcements were coming from a desk in the middle of the gates with three Ryanair staff, so I went over. They ignored me & carried on with their conversation. Eventually (I was frantic, hopping up & down by now) one turned her attention to me. I told her the prob & asked her if she could send out an announcement. She said "No, but you can go back & look for him if you like". Derr! I said it was too late, they were boarding, and could she PLEASE make an announcement? She said that the announcements couldn't be heard in the departure lounge. I realised this was true, but why not explain that to me first off? But then, she CURLED HER LIP at me. It was exactly the same insolent expression as my 15 yo DS used to give me. I wanted to punch her.

Then DH came running up. smile

MirandaGoshawk Tue 24-May-11 22:39:17

Not sure that Priority Boarding always works: it's been known for the priority boarders to go through first, then get on the bus to the plane & have to wait for everyone else, so everyone gets to the plane at once & general scrum! (Not from Stansted - coming back from foreign airports).

Also, FIL flew to Limoges last summer and said that everyone was Priority Boarder!

dipitydoyou Wed 25-May-11 10:01:51

MirandaGoshawk well she sounded like a pleasant individual i'm not surprised you wanted to punch her!

I'm pretty much resigned to the fact the customer service is going to be basic. I can live with that, I paid cheaply so I don't expect too much that side really although i'm not too sure how react if I get a lip curl!

I will make sure to check check and double check our baggage as i've been warned they a pretty strict on that and get their early.

I was just hoping to avoid a scrum to get on the plane with our daughter.
I'm not too worried about my Mum and Brother, as they can fight look after themselves. We flew to Paris with DD last yr with Easyjet and they were fine, we were allowed to get on first and had no problems that end at all. I was kind of hoping priority boarding with Ryaniar would give us that but it seems not. Oh well i'm going to hope for the best and just think of two weeks in the sun afterwards!

Thanks so much everyone

TrillianAstra Wed 25-May-11 10:03:49

I've flown Ryanair and had it not be hell.

I wouldn't say it was pleasant, but neither are most bus or train journeys.

No kids though.

going Wed 25-May-11 10:07:18

I've flown with them and it's been fine.

Last time we were put in the queue behind those who had bought priority boarding tickets as we had young children. DIdn't expect it but they did it for us both ways.

BrigitBigKnickers Wed 25-May-11 19:22:02

We have flown with Ryanair quite a few times to Faro.
Seemed fine to us but maybe we've been lucky.
Very similar to Easyjet but even with all the extras they charge you for much cheaper.
Leg room is the same as EJ and the only annoyance is that there are no pockets on the seat in front so nowhere to store your mags and books!

The success of priority boarding depends on where you fly to and from.

At Faro they never seem to get the queing right and ends up being a bun fight for seats no matter what group you fall into...

MotherMountainGoat Wed 25-May-11 19:48:54

I've flown Ryanair twice and it was deeply unpleasant both times - never again. The first time was many years ago, Dublin-Bristol. It didn't help that it was the first time I'd been on a discount airline and the first time I'd flown alone (without DH) with DD1, who was a year old, so was a lot more nervous than now (hardened to EasyJet and flying alone with the kids). I was screamed at by an insolent stewardess when boarding because I'd dared to ask what to do with the buggy, then when I got on the plane with DD1 in my arms I couldn't find an empty seat - Friday evening flight, full of tired commuters - and got snapped at by another stewardess for not sitting down. Er, where? They made no attempt to help me to find that one elusive seat, just stood there and snarled at me.

Then when we got to Bristol, on a direct flight that I had checked in for in plenty of time, they had lost my suitcase. I was flying in for a wedding the following day, so had to borrow a load of fancy clothes, and we had to buy some stuff for DD1 as well. It was incredibly difficult to find anyone from Ryanair to report the loss to, and then they said it would take until Tuesday (another four days) to get the case to me - but as I flew back to Dublin on Tuesday AM that wouldn't have been much use! In the end I threatened to sue them, go to the press, whatever and it worked - they got the case to me the following day - this was 12 years ago, I imagine that tactic wouldn't work now (ie they officially don't care now).

The second time we flew with them was about 3 years ago, Berlin-Dublin, thought I'd give them a second chance, just in case I'd been really unlucky the first time. I normally don't buy any food on these 'budget' flights, but due to the time of the flight the kids were a bit hungry so I got them a sandwich each. So I gave the stewardess a banknote, and a few pounds change was due. She said 'I don't have change now, I'll get it back to you', and walked off. She didn't come back. In the end I buzzed for her, and at first she tried to pretend she had no idea what I was talking about, then sulkily said OK, I'll get it. She came back with a pound, which was still less than we were owed, but I thought, what the hell, forget it.

I'm not demanding British Airways type full service from these carriers - I fly frequently with EasyJet and accept that I will pay for checked luggage or extra services in exchange for the convenience of having a cheaper flight that goes exactly where I want. But I do object to being treated like a heap of shit when I'm a customer, and I seriously object to being stolen from by staff. People make the analogy of going on the bus for these airlines - you wouldn't expect free food on the bus etc. Well, no, but I also wouldn't expect any bus company staff to treat me as shoddily as Ryanair staff do.

SingingSands Wed 25-May-11 20:05:24

Am watching this thread with trepidation. We are lying to Leeds Bradford from Alicante in September. I've been warned by DH that they are tight on luggage so will have to be careful as we will have 2 suitcases and 4 hand luggage bags.

Hulababy Wed 25-May-11 21:07:41

They are tight on luggage. However, all the dimensions and the weight restrictions are online. Check them, double check youur luggage and weigh them before leaving. Follow their rules on this and imo you are fine.

Wotznotnow Wed 25-May-11 23:09:35

No

GetOrfMoiCase Wed 25-May-11 23:14:53

I have never had any problem whatsoever. Never bother with priority boarding. Just sit where you can (have never travelled on them with a child younger than 7 mind).

I always prepare for bumpy landings though. Ryanair's business model is based on accepting trainee pilots who pay them for the privilege of building up their flying hours. There is no safety issue with this - it is absolutely above board and compliant with all aviation law, however this is why some Ryanair landings and bankings feel a bit dodgy (or they do to me)

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