Monday, August 17, 2015

Ryanair ... My Experience

Ryanair boasts CHEAPEST FARES IN EUROPE... And they probably are, but only IF... 

And there will be a lot of IF's in my experience.

I don't make it a habit to sit around and complain, but some things, are just ridiculous and they need addressed.

I'm not knocking Ryanair, (Okay maybe I am a little), but before you fly with Ryanair, be prepared to pay big fees if you aren't perfectly prepared. There is no room for error, and if you do error... Ryanair doesn't care. You will pay. A lot.

If you live in Europe, then you probably are prepared, but if you are traveling from abroad, like from the United States, then you are most likely using Ryanair for a quick hop to another country, and you're most likely not traveling with a printer in your pocket. I'll explain...

When you receive your reservation confirmation from Ryanair, you're told that if you don't print out your boarding pass before arrival at the airport, you will be charged £15 PER person for a boarding pass. I was traveling with two of my children, so that's £45. £45 for three little boarding passes, three little pieces of paper about 3" x 9"... Give or take. You have the option of scanning your smartphone. I didn't want to pay the fee, so I tried that. However I couldn't, for the life of me, get my phone, with the bar code, to scan. It was probably my fault, user error. No biggie right? EXCEPT THAT IT COST ME £45! Maybe to you that's nothing, to me traveling the UK for two month with two children in tow. That's roughly $70. For  three  little  teeny  pieces  of  paper. Not amused. Strike One.

I paid the £45. Put it down to experience. I'll let it go.

We didn't even bother checking luggage, I had a friend that let me store our cases, and we just traveled with our carry-ons. Luggage check-in starts at £50. 



The actual flight itself, wasn't bad, the plane had enough leg room and ample space for a short flight from London to Limerick, Ireland. Of course, we aren't in the States any longer, so a simple glass of water or coke wasn't free... Expected, so no problem. However the payment system, whichever one it was, would not take my American credit card... That's weird you say? Not really, I ran into the same problem several times in England, if a debit visa card isn't registered in the UK, you may have a hard time using it. I had enough sterling left on me to get the kids some breakfast. Was I expecting the food to be of fine quality? No. I was expecting the food to be edible. Hannah had cereal, can't go wrong there. But Andy had a hot dog... LAWDHAMMERCY! Since he has a dairy allergy, he didn't take the chance with the bread. Good thing, it was hard as a rock. Seriously? Did I mention the food served should be edible? StrikeTwo.

Plane Food!

We stayed in Ireland for one week.

Then I made a big mistake...
I booked my flight to leave one day earlier than I was supposed to. My flight was for a Saturday, but I meant to book it for the Sunday. I messed up big time. I haven't ever done that before and when I realized my mistake, I contacted Ryanair immediately. I had already missed the flight, and to be honest I wasn't really expecting miracles from Ryanair, but I wasn't expecting them to take the piss either. Ryanair told me I would have to book three new tickets, they said it would cost me €800 for three tickets, one way, Ireland to London. That's roughly $885. ARE THEY EVEN ON THE SAME PLANET? Anyway, I decided to go to check the two apps that I always use when I travel "Cheapoair" And "Skyscanner", It's a good thing I did, Skyscanner got me the same exact tickets for $397, that's more than a 50% savings. My Fault. But 800? One way? Really? Strike Three.

Remember how I learn from my mistakes? I borrowed a friends computer to print our boarding passes for our trip home. And guess what? The printer ran of ink, just as I was printing... (What happened to the luck of the Irish?? I guess you have to BE Irish, and not just in Ireland :)
One boarding pass made it, the others did not. Guess who had to pay an extra €30 for two more boarding passes? Yes, that would be me. 

No more strikes...You're out!

One fee I didn't get hit with? There is a £45 check in fee, but I always check in on-line, no matter what airline I'm flying. So I dodged that one!

What would I like to say to Ryanair? There are many low cost airlines around the world, perhaps book a flight? Fly the "other" airlines and take notes. I flew a low cost airline from Austin to NYC, not only did they check my suitcases for free, they also gave me free boarding passes and free in flight drinks. 

Ryanair doesn't hide their fees, in fact, they blast them on their website

I don't think that many travelers expect an airline to charge them for a couple of pieces of paper. I think that's the one thing, that ticked me off the most. So that's me, and my experience with Ryanair. This isn't my first trip to Ireland, nor my first trip to England. I have flown many different airlines, but this one is the only airline that I have really been disappointed with. Which is a shame, as their airport staff, their flight attendants, their planes and both flights themselves were good. But their fees are just ridiculous. 



There are some very heated articles and comments about Ryanair on the internet, you might want to do your own research before booking a flight with this shady airline!


Ryanair aside, Ireland is an INCREDIBLE country, more on The Emerald Isle later!
Tammy

3 comments:

  1. I have never flow Ryanair or any of the other low cost airlines, because of this very sort of thing, I would be very worried about what extra charges might suddenly appear - what if they start charging for seatbelts! Or seats!!! Glad you had a good time regardless. xx

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  2. Goodness, it would have been cheaper for you to book with a different airline in the end. Glad it didn't ruin your trip to Ireland though and that you still had a good time. I've just read your last post, it sounds like you're more settled now in your own mind about moving to England. Daniel's just starting his final year at uni and his girlfriend is taking the same Physics degree as him. She's from Colorado but hoping to stay in England after she graduates, I'm not sure what hoops she'll have to jump through to do that, I'm sure we'll find out before long.

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  3. In my opinion, Ryanair has a very poor reputation in the UK (and probably in Ireland for all I know), because, yes it appears to be very cheap, but the compnay's business model is to get you in with the temptation of low prices, and then add on lots of extra items at inflated cost once you're hooked. Such as seeking in an exorbitant booking fee once you've reached the very end of the online booking process (which is an unlawful practice in the UK). The company has been taken to task by the UK Advertising Standards Authority numerous times, and it's frequently the subject of comedians' jokes on UK TV and Radio. Eventually, their customer service and overall reputation got so bad that even the CEO finally admitted that they were going to change some of their business pratices to become more customer friendly. I'm not saying that you should never fly Ryanair, but maybe think long and hard about it before you do - is there an easier way that's not that much more expensive?
    (BTW, I'm from the UK.)
    Anyway, I'm glad you loved Ireland once you got there. Beautiful country, great people!

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Thank you for your positive comments!