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What's Wrong With Ryanair?  
User currently offlineMCOtoATL From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 474 posts, RR: 4
Posted (13 years 4 months 3 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 3834 times:

As someone who lives in Orlando, I am not too familiar with Ryanair. But it seems like they are the airline that people love to hate. I was under the impression that they were modeled a bit after Southwest. But SW has extremely loyal employees, loyal customers, and a stellar reputation. Where has Ryanair failed?

Along the lines of lo-cost carriers in Europe, is Easyjet on a different level than Ryanair? In other words, what is their reputation like?

If I have misjudged Ryanair, my apologies. I don't receive too much information about them down here.

30 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
User currently offlineYyz717 From Canada, joined Sep 2001, 16525 posts, RR: 54
Reply 1, posted (13 years 4 months 3 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 3825 times:

Ryanair is very successful and is arguably the most WN-like clone in Europe. Its very success is so profound that it (and other LCC's) are changing the face of intra-European air travel. They are starting to create shock waves with the inefficient entrenched flag carriers.

While FR's modus operandi (flexible work rules, aggressive mgmt, aggressive expansion, no-frills service) would not miss a beat in the US, it is truly a new mode of travel for Europeans.

Europeans used to the high fare & inefficiency of the flag carriers fear that the FR "mode" will further threaten the current "high service, high cost" mentality endemic in Europe.

FR's overwhelming success naturally makes it a target for naysayers & detractors. FR's strong financial results show its revenue base is solid & growing.....and that its customer base is happy with FR service.

I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
User currently offlineGerardo From Spain, joined May 2000, 3481 posts, RR: 27
Reply 2, posted (13 years 4 months 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 3804 times:

Firt of all, I doubt, that Ryanair has such a bad image as you describe. I'm not 100% sure, because I don't know them, but I see more bashings of classic airlines, than Ryanair.

What might be a bit of a problem (in my opinion) is, when they try to fool their customers. An example: when they started their german hub at Frankfurt-Hahn, they always compared their fares from Frankfurt to London to the LH fares. BUT LH flies from FRA, while Hahn is more than 100km away from Frankfurt. Not really the same.

Easyjet has in my opinion a very good image in Europe.


dominguez(dash)online(dot)ch ... Pushing the limits of my equipment
User currently offlineAndreas From Germany, joined Oct 2001, 6104 posts, RR: 30
Reply 3, posted (13 years 4 months 3 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 3746 times:

Good morning!

having read what some other people posted here, I'll try to straighten a few things:
Ryanair's financial success is undeniably the result of their benchmark position in cost management, probably the best in nowaday aviation, even LH managers confirm this (!!).
On the other hand they have a few irritating (to say the least) characteristics that (probably) makes them easy to hate (I don't know if you can really hate an airline, but ok):
1. They don't serve big city airports but instead go to secondary airports which makes it basically useless for short-term business travellers such as myself, because it takes too long to get there, is not flexible (if it is, then it costs a lot more than just 99 cents or whatever their current offer is). The same goes for the pricing...if I remember correctly they didn't tell the whole truth but left out charges and taxes.
2. They don't say so!! That seems very irritating indeed.
3. They are a pain in the ass of the big network airlines...and that is very good!!! Just look at LH, suddenly they have very competitive prices, they fly to main airports and pretty often, too...and that is something to love Ryanair for!!
4. Their direct competitors go for low airfares and big airports, but the competition is pretty new, so let's wait a few months...I guess some of them will not survive.
5. The way they treat their passengers is way out..very bad, very rude, and I hear that from many people, but if you pay 1 euro for a ticket, well, they seem to think it's ok to kick you around a little bit. Hopefully their competitors do it better.
6. Basically Ryanair is successful with passengers who are able to plan ahead, if you have to travel on short notice, they are useless, but I guess, they can live with that pretty well, nobody says that you have to offer something for everyone.
7. Why love or hate: I personally do not think you can love or hate a company but only people, but aviation seems to be a very emotional business to many guys here on this Forum. As Ryanair was seen as a threat to many of those beloved national flagcarriers (I don't think, that this is still a valid argument, as the "dinosaurs" did react, and some of them quite successfully!!), it's easy to see them as the enemy. if you are budget-conscious traveller, you'll probably love them, it made flying affordable for people who never had the chance before.



I know it's only VfB but I like it!
User currently offlineVfw614 From Germany, joined Dec 2001, 4524 posts, RR: 4
Reply 4, posted (13 years 4 months 3 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 3689 times:

Well, Southwest has/had Herb Kelleher and Ryanair has Michael O'Leary aka The Big Mouth. Much controversy is stirred up by O'Leary who has an irritating way of denouncing other airlines for the sake of publicity (e.g. BA as "BAstards"). This probably leads to a certain public perception about the airline which might be good for short-term publicity but in the long run might not pay off. We shall see.

A lot of controversy is also caused by subsidies Ryanair allegedly demands for serving new airports. Ryanair demands cut-throat handling fees and charges and on top of that annual "marketing grants" from small airports who are desperate to attract a scheduled carrier to justify their existence. The EU is currently investigating whether Ryanair's first continental base at Charleroi was set up thanks to illegal subsidies.

Coming back to the similarities between WN and FR: Ryanair was re-launched as a LCC after a visit of Ryanair's management to WN in 1991 There are, however, differences. Ryanair does not offer complimentary drinks and snacks and they do no longer sell tickets through travel agents. They also operate slightly larger aircraft than WN and most LCCs, 189seat Boeing 737-800s. Can't comment on Ryanair staff motivation, but my understanding is that the pilots are quite well paid. Ryanair also serves secondary airports, but other than WN they have an irritating habit of marketing these airports as airports of larger cities nearby. They are, however, only partly to blame as Ryanair was able to convince IATA to allocate the area codes of Frankfurt, Stockholm, Brussels, Paris and Oslo to the airports of Hahn, Nykoping, Charleroi, Beauvais and Torp - which can be as far away from the city centre as 75miles. A notable difference is also that Ryanair has a much lower percentage of business travellers than rival Easyjet/Go, this reflecting the fact that they are targeting the leisure traveller market to a greater extent than other LCCs.

User currently offlinePatroni From Luxembourg, joined Aug 1999, 1403 posts, RR: 12
Reply 5, posted (13 years 4 months 3 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 3656 times:

Have to disagree that Ryanair is the European version of Southwest. I would rather say that a Ryanair model doesn't exist in the USA  Big grin Southwest for example doesn't serve Hartford Bradley-Victorville and calls it New York-Los Angeles...

In my opinion the best "copy" of the Southwest model is Easyjet. They usually have one lowcost airport at one end of the route and a "high-cost" airport at the other one (like Luton-Amsterdam). Their passenger service is superior to Ryanair. They try to "underpromise and overperform", so even though it's a lowcost, no-frils service, they still intend to do the best for the passenger from it, while at Ryanair the general atmosphere is "Now you got a cheap ticket, so sit in the aircraft and shut up".

I really prefer low-cost carriers such as Easyjet, German Wings, Hapag-Lloyd Express over Ryanair any time. The only time when I fly Ryanair is when they have dirt cheap tickets, and then I comply with this "sit in the aircraft and shut up" policy  Big grin



User currently offlineAApilot2b From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 586 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (13 years 4 months 3 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 3650 times:

Nothing is wrong with Ryanair!! I don't know where you are getting your information, but I would question the source. Speaking from experience, Ryanair is fantastic! The only attribute of Ryanair that needs work is their timeliness. They brought low fare air travel to Europe and they are leading the way. The only people bashing them are those jealous about their success.  Smile I will definately be flying with them more in the future.

User currently offlineAApilot2b From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 586 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (13 years 4 months 3 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 3649 times:

Did I mention the cabin staff was very friendly? They were great!

User currently offlineAIR MALTA From Malta, joined Sep 2001, 2614 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (13 years 4 months 3 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 3647 times:

Even easyJet can be awful sometimes... I had a better experience with bmiBaby and I think GO was good as well... But Ryanair, oh my God!!!

Next flights : BRU-ZRH-CAI (LX)/ BRU-FCO-TLV (AZ)
User currently offlineThomas_Jaeger From Switzerland, joined Apr 2002, 2471 posts, RR: 25
Reply 9, posted (13 years 4 months 3 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 3641 times:

I flew them five times last year (Pisa-Frankfurt Hahn, Friedrichshafen-London Stansted, London Stansted-Gothenburg City and Paris Beauvais-Dublin-Paris Beauvais) and didn't experience anything I would have to complain about. I knew what airports they serve before I even booked the flights, I have to admit that the last four flights were part of a low-cost trip round Europe but the first flight was just what I needed to get, I was on holiday in Pisa and had a meeting in Frankfurt the other day, as there is no nonstop service from Pisa to Frankfurt anyway, it was most probably more convenient to fly to Hahn and to get to Frankfurt by bus.

Cabin crews, gate staff and check-in agents were all very friendly and as a traveller (not as an aviation enthusiast) I prefer small airports over big ones anyway. It much more convenient to fly out of an airport like Beauvais or than out of Charles de Gaulle (if you just look at the airport itself) as you just don't have to change terminals and walk for 15 minutes to reach your gate.

Swiss aviation news junkie living all over the place
User currently offlineBestWestern From Hong Kong, joined Sep 2000, 8733 posts, RR: 57
Reply 10, posted (13 years 4 months 3 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 3618 times:

Whats wrong with Ryanair... simple... a company thats out to screw people whenever it can...

Ryanair CEO on Boeing "we raped them"
Ryanair CEO on its customers "the great unwashed"

Ryanair is not like Delta Express or Southwest, its like a dirty greyhound bus with wings, but with passengers treated like "great unwashed onboard".

Having flown ryanair very frequently, I deem ryanair cheap, but not good value.

There is a difference, and its in the way you feel when you fly Ryanair, and the phrase is what the Ryanair CEO called his flying customers "the great unwashed". Thats how you feel treated!

good value is not:

sitting on the floor of an airport having to queue for a seat onboard. Im waiting for the cattle prodding devices to be brought out in Stansted! I like being able to sit beside those I am travelling with, and not "the great unwashed". Even if you check-in 90 minutes before departure you still end up standing for 60 minutes at the gate!

landing in city South South west, where the extra cost of travel downtown is more that the difference between FR and full service carriers.

aircraft seats that feel worn out - even the new 737-800's seats now feel worn out... dirty worn out seats at that!

a moaing CEO who blames everyone, except the airline, airports, ATC, Governments, etc.

But, what can you expect for £20 return?

The world is really getting smaller these days
User currently offlineBDRules From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2000, 1501 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (13 years 4 months 3 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 3607 times:

I flew FR yesterday from TRN to STN and i dont class TRN as a secondary airport. Nor Dublin or Shannon or all the UK airports, Malmo, Rome Ciampino, Milan Bergamo. These are not really what i class as secondary airports.

Now I have flown Ryanair 4 times before and i cant really fault them for what they offer. I have just paid £17.50 rtn from STN - TRN - STN. thats less than a taxi from Derby to my house about 12 miles away. think about it guys and gals. You pay for what you get. You pay a lot and fly the full service airlines such as BA, LH, bmi etc or pay less and fly FR, bmibaby etc.

Like i have said before you can all make your own minds up when you have flown them. Until them you can read the different views and make your own mind up.



User currently offlineRichardw From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 3844 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (13 years 4 months 3 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 3572 times:

Zero customer service. They absolutely do not care if you fly or don't fly with them again. Arrogant and complacent. Don't care how much you paid for your flight, will treat you very badly.

Dirty planes. They couldn't clean a plane in 2.5 hours let alone 25 minutes. Gum, crisps peanuts and unidentifiable things will be found in your seat pocket.

Will leave you high and dry if their aircraft have mechanical problems or bad weather and can't fly you to your destination. So what if you need to get somewhere.

Try a full service airline at a good price. Much better value for money.

User currently offlineCloudy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (13 years 4 months 3 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 3565 times:

Perhaps Southwest is the wrong basis for comparison.

People's Express may be a better analogy if some of the above descriptions are accurate. People's had a very fast expansion rate, operational problems tied to that expansion rate, an absolute obsession with low operating costs at all costs, and a reputation as a "Bus on wings".

WN is not like that at all and never was. WN views low operating costs as a means to serve the customer. Ryanair (If the scuttlebut is correct) seems to view low cost as an end in itself - as did People's express when it existed. This makes for an important difference in attitude.

WN also is not know for saying thing like "we raped them" (refering to Boeing). WN bargains for Win-Win relationships with manufacturers, suppliers, airports, unions, etc.

For example, when all the other US carriers were demanding and getting deferments, etc. from Boeing - WN actually took delivery of the planes it contracted for. The surplus planes were placed in a holding company's name and parked in the desert until WN could take delivery. WN will open negotiations with unions long before contracts run out, and finish negotiations allot sooner than is common at other airlines. WN will not screw over partners simply to reduce costs in the short term. It is rare that anyone accuses WN of dealing unfairly with them.

Such accusations are commonly made against Ryanair, however. If Ryanair does indeed try to "rape" its business partners, this false economy will come back to bite them over time.

User currently offlineJetTrader From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 586 posts, RR: 5
Reply 14, posted (13 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 3522 times:

Flown Ryanair, easyJet and bmiBaby in the past year and can only say that of the three Ryanair certainly feels cheap & dirty. Both easyJet and bmiBaby aircraft were clean and comfortable - Ryanair 732 (BHX-DUB-BHX) was filthy...and age of aircraft is no excuse for that.

Just my 2 cents and all that but give me easyJet over Ryanair every time.


Life's dangerous. Get a f**king helmet!
User currently offlineSabena332 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (13 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 3495 times:

Nothing is wrong with Ryanair. In late December last year I flew with them the following routes: STN-DUB, DUB-PIK and PIK-STN. The ground staff, cabin and flight crews were very professional and friendly. The planes did not look cheap or dirty, on the STN-DUB flight I had a very new 737-800. I took a seat in the exit row and there I had more legroom than on most major airlines in Business Class.

The problem is that Ryanair operates mostly from/to airports "in the middle of nowhere" but for me they are the ideal connection at London-Stansted. I can fly to STN with Air Berlin from Dortmund, with Germanwings from Cologne or with Buzz from Düsseldorf, all three airlines offer also cheap flights beginning from € 19. Ryanair and the other no frills airlines are perfect for a weekend or for a fun trip.


User currently offlineJosseposse From Netherlands, joined Jan 2003, 49 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (13 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 3495 times:

Hey I'll be flying CRL-CIA-CRL this weekend, what a/c does Ryanair use? 732 or 738??? I've never flown any of these (733 too much, on the contrary).

I'd be happy to know.


User currently offlineBwc1976 From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 194 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (13 years 4 months 3 weeks ago) and read 3416 times:

189 people on a 738? I'm afraid to ask what the seat pitch is. But, it might be ok if the flights are short enough.

User currently offlineIkarus From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 3524 posts, RR: 2
Reply 18, posted (13 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 3384 times:

Well, I've flown Ryanair a lot. Several STN-SZG return flights, as well as to AHO. CRL, PIK, Treviso (TRS?).

All in all, I'm not disappointed. OK, so I have noticed a few things:
1) all the early-morning flights were punctual
2) all the lunchtime flights were roughly 30 minutes to 1 hour late
3) all the evening flights were at least 1 hour, more often 90 minutes late.

Which completely contradicts their punctuality statistics, so I guess that means I was just unlucky.

I've also noticed that Ryanair has a very very strong "no mercy" culture, entirely procedural and buraeucratic, without flexibility. So, if the terms & conditions say you get left alone in the middle of nowhere if wheather or tech problems cancel the flight, they will do so without a second thought. If your flight is delayed by 4.5 hours and you have booked another Ryanair flight 4 hours after scheduled arrival time, they don't care, and you need to rebook or buy a new ticket. If you want a wheelchair on board, you pay extra. If you need oxygen, you cannot bring your own, but need to buy it off Ryanair (other airlines have the terms and conditions "any oxygen devices must be certified...", not "you are not allowed to bring... but we will gladly sell at GBP 70.00 per bottle"). They won't offer you food or drink even in long delays.

In short, if you read the Terms & Conditions, you know what you are going to get.

Some people hate that, because they want to be treated as individuals, not as numbers in a spreadsheet or sheep in a fleecing farm. Take my experience today, for example. I was booked on Germanwings STN-CGN-STN, flying out at 3:30 pm and returning at 7:50pm. Unfortunately, the outbound flight was delayed by more than 2 hours. So I would have missed the return. The check-in lady sent me to the airline desk, and they called up Germanwings directly. In the end, they offered me to rebook me for free (on a 1 Pound fare, no less!) to any date between now and mid-February, as they had been instructed to do for all delayed passengers today due to the bad weather. Ryanair would not have done that. So while I'm disappointed (could not fly today, and not even Germanwings will refund the damn Stansted Express train), I at least felt that some effort was made to help me out.

In the end, Ryanair is very Wybiwig - what you buy is what you get. That is simply a change in the airline culture, where companies, so far, have a culture of forthcomingness. After all, people do not like being stuck in a foreign country if something goes wrong. So traditionally, the only way for an airline to do that was bankruptcy (we all have seen pictures of stranded tourists sleeping on the floor in airports, for example the bankruptcy of the old Germanwings), or a strike, or a real emergency. And they'd still try and make up for it (flight vouchers, hotel vouchers, free rebooking, ...) unless the cause was bankruptcy. Ryanair is perhaps the first airline in Europe to stick to the contract very very strictly....

Fine by me. I usually read the terms & conditions. (Note to self: Check terms & conditions soon, last time I read through the entire lot was in July!)



User currently offlinePatroni From Luxembourg, joined Aug 1999, 1403 posts, RR: 12
Reply 19, posted (13 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 3344 times:

@Ikarus : Have to concur with you here. If I book Ryanair, I also know what to expect and don't complain that I don't get the Senator lounge tratment  Big grin

However, due to the poor service they provide, FR will only be an alternative for me when their fares are MUCH cheaper than their competitors. If I want to fly for example to London and have an offer from Ryanair for 36EUR HHN-STN vv. and another one from Germanwings for 38EUR CGN-STN, then my booking will definitely be on Germanwings. If the alternative looks different, e.g. Ryanair 36EUR versus Luxair 200EUR, well, then I definitely take Mike O'Leary's flying greyhound... But when I flew from HHN to STN last week (I got a return for 36EUR), I saw that the last seats on this flights were sold for 150EUR oneway plus taxes! I doubt that I would ever pay 300+ EUR for a Ryanair flight! Then I'd rather walk...



User currently offlineJmc757 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2000, 1315 posts, RR: 6
Reply 20, posted (13 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 3334 times:

Richardw commented:

"Zero customer service. They absolutely do not care if you fly or don't fly with them again. Arrogant and complacent. Don't care how much you paid for your flight, will treat you very badly."

I have never flown with Ryanair, but i know plenty of people who have, and all have said similar. from what i've heard, they screw everyone over, no-body more-so than their own staff. I have heard from a number of sources that they have no rspect for, or any idea of looking after staff.
To me thats enough said, if you don't look after your workforce, they won't work for you, and to be fair, who can blame them. This is where Southwest have excelled, and also easyJet, i hear mostly they are good to work for. Personnel is the key..... just my small view


User currently offline727LOVER From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 7458 posts, RR: 20
Reply 21, posted (13 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 3313 times:

Since I'm American, I don't really follow the low cost Euro airlines. But I got my first impression of him when I opened the new issue of AIRWAYS..

First Impression:



I can understand picking on other airlines but what's his problem????

I feel woozy....what did you put in that Pudding Pop?
User currently offlineCapt.Picard From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (13 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 3310 times:

Flown them frequently, apart from some annoying delays late at night from Europe back to STN (when you're desperate to get back home and into bed, and away from the boredom of Malmo airport departure lounge...), they're fine.

Have to admit, if I was rotten rich, I probably wouldn't fly them (or any other no-frills airline).


User currently offlineSevenair From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2001, 1728 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (13 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 3296 times:

Ive flown FR 4 times, and on 3 occasions (on approach to PIK, MME and DUB) the aircraft ive bombed the airprt which was very uncomfortable. I know this is to save on fuel costs but the 6degree decent and intermittent use of very lou spoilers made for a bad end to an ok fight. All flights ontime leaving gate, hovever i was stuck onboard by the runway for 3hrs ue to computer error.

User currently offlineShankly From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2000, 1641 posts, RR: 1
Reply 24, posted (13 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 3268 times:

FR is how the Gerry Springer audience would get to the show if it was held in European cities.

Having said that, my moto is always "you get what you pays for".

If you pay O'Leary £20 to take you from deepest Essex to deepest Germany and his plane doesn't turn up, tough titty.

For me, I'd rather pay BA £79 to travel City-City and if my plane doesn't turn up; I know they'll get me there somehow.

Thats why he's a success. Price is everything to most people because most people don't have choice.

L1011 - P F M
25 Post contains images GRZ-AIR : As Ryanair serves my Home Airport, and I have never flown on them before I might consider this adventure for my next holidays...as money isnt really
26 Staffan : Don't know if it still is this way, but in the past pilots applying for jobs had to pay 50£ before FR even looked at their resume, then there was a f
27 Post contains images BHXviscount : Have just flown BHX-DUB-BHX this weekend and was 1st experience on LCC and apart from 1 stroppy I'm not going to smile hostess was fine. But must add
28 Post contains images TriStar500 : I have never flown FR and will probably never do so, but this is just because of my personal priorities. I am willing to pay a little extra for the co
29 Capt.Picard : Staffan Regarding unions, FR management discourage joining any, but there is no outright ban. Funnily enough, most FR employees are much happier than
30 SAA-SAL : To me it's simple. I hate Ryanair. It's the first airline I have ever hated (I thought that would never happen). In fact I love aviation and 99.9% of
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