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Friday, September 18, 2015

Dirtcheap fare airline:Ryan Air Europe-Experience & Review

Ryanair is one of the cheapest airlines in the world. You can fly around in Europe for an amount that is cheaper than what it costs to reach airport by taxi. To give an example, you can book Copenhagen-London for INR 1500-3000 round trip, approx. Copenhagen-Kaunas some 2500 round trip. I had an opportunity to experience their flight recently. Below are some of my observations/notes.

Like AirAsia, Ryanair also flies out of cheapest airports and cheapest terminals, saving every penny possible. In Copenhagen their gate had no seating- guests had to sit on the floor and wait. Then we walked to the plane. No bus, no aerobridge. Money saved.

Safety instructions are pasted on back of the headrest. Absolutely nothing in seat pocket. No extra stuff.

Checkin needs to be done online. Don't expect any counters or human assistance at airports. Everything is automated and self service.

They have been in business for close to 30 years, so I guess they are doing well overall.

If you are not willing to pay extra, seat allocation is random.  But I got aisle seats anyway.  Interior was bright yellow- little harsh on the eye compared to mild colours in other aircrafts.

My Ryanair flight was lot empty. At least 3 full rows around me were totally empty. Because no refund is allowed in low cost tickets and tickets were very cheap anyway, I guess many people book tickets but if their plans change, simply forgo the amount. So Ryanair must be making lots of money not flying people. If they can facilitate cancellation and give some refund to guests, they will be able to sell those seats at little higher fare to other last minute guests. All airlines should try this.

I was expecting them to use some cheap aircrafts (like ATRs), but their fleet is pretty decent with aircrafts like 737.

On their in flight menu, I found one item which had some rice in it and sounded vegetarian. The steward told me "Sorry we don't have that. In fact I have never seen that item" :(

My flight was on time.

At Copenhagen airport, I tried printing a boarding pass, but the kiosk didn't permit me. When I tried to scan from mobile, the gate didn't allow me. When I checked with security staff, they enlarged the bar code image and scanned in their mission. Then I was asked to take a priority gate for security check- so it was kind of bonus.

Gate staff seem to be not from Ryanair, but some airport staff. May be in airports where they have very few flights, they give some incentive to airport staff to facilitate boarding of their passengers- why spend on full time staff.

Ryanair got some free publicity by making announcements like they are planning to charge extra for use of toilets in the plane etc. While such things are not implemented, it did get them some free publicity.

So overall, it is very cheap and Ryanair will take you to your destination for the money. Don't expect much. If you need special assistance (like flying with small children/pregnant woman/wheel chair/oversize luggage etc)-be very careful- there could be extra charges or outright restrictions.

6 comments :

magiceye said...

Good useful review. Thank you.

The Untourists said...

We need trains in India like this, clean and cheaper for the common man.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks Deepak and Untourists

Mridula said...

I wish I will buy tickets with them one day!

Ankita Sinha said...

They are cheap but in both Venice and Paris Ryan Air Airports were very far from the main city,and so to get into the main city,I had to take a bus/ferry..I would recommend trains as their stations are more central than Ryan Air.Both Paris and Venice airports had unassisted kiosk and was 1 hour away from the main city.Better to check the airport location then book Ryan Air :)

Shrinidhi Hande said...

@Ankita

Yes, we should be careful about it.

@Mridula- I am sure you will. Next time you go to London, fly around in Ryanair