An Ad for RyanAir
Ahh, the discount airline. Where you get what you pay for. Exactly.
I’ve flown Easy Jet several times, and they’ve actually been great – provided you can get over the race to your unassigned seats. EasyJet actually has a reasonably professional website, the flights are cheap, and while they do charge fees for extras, they don’t charge you for the basics, and they don’t try to charge you fees without you noticing. On top of that, when I was stranded in Paris for the Volcano fiasco I was able to rebook online. Then they refunded me for the cost of my hotel and my meals for the extra day I spent away from home. So, take note RyanAir … this is how you’re supposed to run a low cost airline.
RyanAir, however, has an astonishingly unprofessional website. And the entire purchasing experience leaves you nervous and jittery as you try to read all the fine print and uncheck all the checkboxes hidden in corners that are trying to tack fees on to your bill. Then you have to recheck all of the ones that are required – like the 5-15Euro fee for online checkin. *sigh* And that’s all before you get to the airport.
We had the good fortune to discover more fees because there was supposed to be an air port strike on the day we were scheduled to travel. We thought about changing our flights, so I went to look into on the RyanAir site. You can change to a different airport online, but not into one and out of another. You can only change online if all of your group is going to keep to doing the exact same itinerary. (Have I mentioned how hideous their site looks?) And of course, no matter what you change, there are more fees. Because our changes were complex, I decided to call customer service. Until I read this:
Italian speaking – €0.24 per call + €0.96 per minute
Priority Assistance: Italian speaking – €0.12 per call + €1.20 per minute
English Speaking: 10p per minute
Priority Assistance: English speaking – £1.00 per minute
Oh yeah, and they’re only open on bankers’ hours.
When you get the airport, much like with EasyJet, you have to battle the crowds to get your seat. Since no one wants to pay the 15 euro to check a bag, everyone has the biggest bag that RyanAir allows. And make no mistake, you are allowed one item and one item only – your purse, your laptop, your camera bag … those are all additional items. And they will make you stuff everything in one bag, then show them that it fits in their metal bag sizer.
Having fun yet? Wait ’till you get on the airplane! It’s like a bright yellow and blue circus in there. (In hindsight, I should have expected that from the website ….)
The first hint that you’re getting what you paid for, is that the luggage bins all have ads on them – it’s just like the subway! There’s the usual: food & drink for 4 dollars. But then they came around selling: lotto tickets, makeup, perfume, duty free (alcohol and cigarettes), watches, and phone cards. Each new sales item gets a vocal ad blitz (via loud speaker in italian & english) and then a steward walking the aisle.
And the pièce de résistance: after a disconcerting landing there was a round of applause, a triumphant trumpeting noise and an announcement
“90%of RA flights landed … on time”
Goodness, I hope they landed!