What you pay for is what you get: Ryanair

Always seeking for good flying deals (why spend money on a plane ticket if you can spend it on food or shoes…) Ryanair having sales is like music to my ears. Although having principal issues with the company, my bank account apparently has principles too and so I decided to book three trips with Ryanair. The experience was… enlightning. Here’s why:

Affordable in-flight service against all expectations.

The crew will come around three times: once to take your food order (if you wish to pay for it), once to sell drinks and deliver the food you ordered, and once to grab your trash and sell you lottery tickets. We thought buying drinks at the plane would be awfully expensive but actually they are cheaper than Charleroi airport. Food and drinks are thus pretty affordable for an in-flight service, but don’t expect real Coca-Cola. It’s Pepsi (the disappointment was harsh).

Ryanair staff is underpaid.

Rumour has it their working hours only run from lift-off to touchdown (remember I said I had principal issues with Ryanair? This is one of the reasons). Taking into account all the preparation work the crew has to undergo before a flight (getting the aircraft ready, going through security, performing the mandatory checks), you can imagine these people are under stress. They want the plane to lift off as soon as possible, so they will really push you into the plane as fast as possible. However, this does not really justify an intercom statement like this one: “Just look at the number on your ticket and the number above the seats. If they match, sit down. No need for mathematical complications. This is not rocket science. Just. Sit. Down.” Another nice intercom announcement was: “This is our flight attendant. He is 24 years old, single and ready to mingle.” Although the second one was rather funny, treating your passengers like dumbass people is just plain rude. I know you are stressed out, but at least stay professional.

You are allowed to take hand luggage with you for free.

The dimensions of this hand luggage is clearly stated on the Ryanair website. However, don’t expect to actually be able to take it on board. When the flight is full (chances are pretty high) the Ryanair crew will convert every trolley they see from hand luggage to (free) check-in luggage. So when you hope to get out of the airport without waiting for your luggage, do not take a trolley. If you need to take a trolley, make sure it is locked.

Fully packed means fully packed.

Continuing about fully booked flights, expect to sit crammed with your small hand luggage between your legs. I was travelling with a backpack and a shopping bag, and had to put both “under the seat in front of me”. It obviously didn’t fit, so holding stuff between your legs and on your lap is allowed. Ryanair only ;).

Checking in with Ryanair at the gate is no fun.

They do not speak your language. I am sure most of them speak English, it just does not occur to them as a necessary thing. They announce the gate is open in the language of the country you are in, just like they announce the fact that they will take your trolley for check-in luggage in this language. You won’t understand a thing, the crew starts pulling your trolley a little bit, you get offended and then some other passenger who understood translates it for you. Welcome on board.


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