Ryanair From United Kingdom, joined Jul 1999, 654 posts, RR: 0 Posted (10 years 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 2071 times:
This one was a freebie - well sort of. I did notice my free ticket included quite a few non government charges, - like a £4 fee to change my free ticket from pounds to euros. Hum..... Anyway still fantastic value.
Checkin was completed in around five minutes, one desk open - which was more than adequet. Sadly the agent didn't really want to be there at 5am, nor did I - but she wanted to work there.
Security was much tighter than the usual very half hearted attempts at STN. I was given a very thorough frisk and for PR purposes the soles of my shoes checked.
The new Satalite 3 effectively is the Ryanair Pier, much along the lines of a US Airport. Although it is linked by the automatic train, that system is not used and passengers have to walk. It's not a great hike, maybe 5 minutes. The only down side is Stansted used to be quite nice because there were no long great corridors, everything was compact and long distances were covered by train. Still it's no hardship.
The new satalite is similar to the old ones, except all the services are in the middle not the sides and there is a low rise annex at the end which houses a number of gates. It seems not even a third extention is big enough to house the growth.
Ryanair have improved the boarding process. Quite simply they now have cattle grids you have to walk round before you can reach the gate. It means people are forced to queue and not all push and shuve their way to the front en-masse. It was just like boarding a normal airline, not anything like Ryanair!
The crew were actually standing at the door welcoming passengers aboard quite warmly - again not very budget airline!
We left at 0650 exactly, quite unusual for STN at that time of day. Unfortunately the aircraft was not very clean. The wall was all dirty as was my tray. It seemed somebody had spilt a drink and nobody had cleaned it. There were also sweet wrappers on the floor.
The crew came round and distributed menus. It was as follows:
Warm Bacon Baguette £4
BLT Roll £4
Cheese and Ham Sub £4
Chicken, Sweetcorn, Mayo, Green Leaf and Black Pepper Sub £4
Mozzarella, Tomato and Basil Sub £4
Roasted Breat of Chicken Salad £6
Poached Salmon Salard £6
They took orders for the Hot Food waitress style, then came round with the drinks trolley. They had a deal on whisky, ay 7am there weren't too many takers. £1.50 for a tea is a rip off, even though it's a big tea.
The crew were infact very good, much like to Ryanair of old. They were actually 'serving' the passengers, even if there was a certain "Mrs Doyle" undertone.
They came round with bin liners frequently to take rubbish, before coming round with the duty free trolly, but there's no brosure anymore.
Although a bit dirty, the cabin was well kept if not a bit dated by look. The Ryanair blue and yellow polyester uniforms are right from the 1970's and look daft. There was about a 1/3 load.
There was very little cloud - which gave great views of the alps. Still very green, with snow caps. Landing was smooth and roll surprisingly long. Noticed the Austrian Airline DC3 parted and an old warbird in a hanger.
The piped musak played as we left. Overall Ryanair were surprisingly good, it seems an awful lot of attention has been paid to improving cabin service - which traditionally Ryanair were excellent at - but lost big time with their expansion.
The return was much the same, but busier. Shockingly for an evening flight, we actually arrived early! The rego for that flight was EI-CSR for anyone interested.
Capt.Picard From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 1, posted (10 years 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 2042 times:
Thanks for the report....quite rare, in that many of us who fly FR on a regular basis no longer write trip reports...it's a bit tedious, so great to read yours.
Wow, surprised about that new boarding arrangements; it won't make any difference to me, as I always purposefully board last (I've given up fighting for windows).
Yes, I've seen the new FR pier, talk about propaganda!....nothing but 'we fly, here, here and here!', all over the walls....next thing, they'll advertise it on the ceiling, frescoe-style!
I can't believe your flight to Austria wasn't full, I haven't yet been on an FR flight which wasn't near-100% full.
As for the service, I've always thought it to be pretty mediocre...not bad, but could be better....I think out of the budget carriers, Easyjet's crew are the most motivated and fun to fly with. Yes, tea is too expensive....and I don't try their coffee for fear of vomiting....
Ndebele From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 2895 posts, RR: 25 Reply 2, posted (10 years 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 2038 times:
A great trip report, thanks Ryanair!
They introduced a new boarding process? Oh no! It was always fun, starting a queue one hour before boarding starts. 10 minutes before boarding starts, everybody gave up queueing, used the ellbows to get a better position, and when boarding finally started, everybody started to rush, I thought of shouting "Hey, it's the other aircraft over there!" in order to confuse the other passengers, so that I get a better seat. Damn, it was always so much fun! But with 1/3 load, it didn't make much difference anyway, I guess.
Those prices for food are ridiculous! Despite breakfast time, I wonder if anybody spent 4GBP in a baguette?
Strange that the aircraft was so dirty even in the early morning. Did they even give up cleaning their aircraft during nightstop
Ryanair From United Kingdom, joined Jul 1999, 654 posts, RR: 0 Reply 4, posted (10 years 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 1913 times:
Thanks for the nice feedback everybody.
CMK10: Mrs Doyle! OK if anybody can help me out here now is the time! There was a very funny and sweet TV Comedy in Britain called Father Ted. There were three priests Ted (who'd had a large amount of money for a sick child 'resting' in his bank account - which went missing following a trip to Las Vegas) - Dougal (the young priest who was sort of a grownup 7 year old) and Jack (the violent alcohaulic whose only words were "Drink" and "Girls"). They'd all been sent to Craggy Island off the coast of Ireland so they were no longer an embarrisment to the church. Mrs Doyle was their slightly deranged house keeper - who stood in the living room all night with a cup of tea just in case anybody happened to get up and fancy a cup of tea. A typical Mrs Doyle conversation was :"Do you fancy a cup of tea", "No thanks Mrs Doyle" "Ah go on" "No really" "Ah go on go on go on go on go on go on go on".
In conclusion Mrs Doyle refers to the strange - dutifully overly polite, fussy, nothing is too much trouble - yet basically mentally unbalanced and underneth it all slightly dangerous - side of Irish hospitality!
Hot Bacon Roll could be used as a breakfast dish over here - Bacon and Egg McMuffin without the egg.
Yes quite a few people were buying them Ndebele. Yes it is strangely sad to see the Ryanair crush go. The best ever was way back (1996?) - when everybody actually ran down the airbridge - literally!
Picard: Hi again, yes it is hard to imagine a light FR flight. Nobody believes me, but there was a time when FR had really worldclass service. It went around the time the 1-11's were sold, it's was nothing like that - but a lot better than usual.
Capt.Picard From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 5, posted (10 years 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 1906 times:
Well, I enjoyed the description of Mrs.Doyle! I love the Irish, what a great bunch of people they are, especially when they say 'thanks a million', I love that!
Regarding the service again, I'm reading a very good book by a guy called Thomas Lawton called 'Cleared for take-off'. It's an academic book which costs a lot of money (that's why I got my college to pay), and has a great chapter called 'Getting the Balance right: Price-based competition and the Cost-Service Trade-Off'.
The problem seems to be that MOL thought (until recently) that the lowest price tickets equalled the best customer service. After a lot of criticism (especially over the Summer) and the stinging contrasts with Go and Buzz, it looks like senior people at FR began to wonder whether it might also be worth providing a decent level of inflight service, as well as just very cheap tickets!
We'll see. I'm flying them to Rome next month, so should be ample opportunity to see if things are changing.