A340600 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2003, 4107 posts, RR: 51 Posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 10134 times:
Rather than go through a whole report, I've decided to write a piece about Ryanair, mainly based on my last flight with them. If you love the airline it's probably best to leave the topic now .
The Green light flashes on the screen that means the aircraft is boarding, or actually has just arrived for its 25 minute turnaround. It’s now a race; can the passengers in their new found animalistic ways form a stampede and hurl towards the poor gate agent before the chocks have been set on the aircraft? Yes, you’ve guessed it, another Ryanair 737-800 has arrived.
Ryanair, the European low cost airline that seems to be expanding scarily fast is supposed to have some form of organisation with its boarding but this seems to have been forgotten as a mass of passengers swamp the small gate area. Now there’s a slight problem, the aircraft hasn’t even opened its doors yet and it doesn’t take the smartest of people to figure there are cattle, sorry passengers to get off before they even think of opening the gates to set our lot free.
So, I have found myself swept along with the other passengers and we now stand there like lemons waiting for something to happen. Passengers look around and tap their feet whilst the gate agent looks anxious even though this is obviously a regular occurrence for her. It is at this point that I start to question what the aviation industry is coming to. Everyone is already stressed and that’s just trying to get onto the aircraft!
The gate is eventually opened and everyone finds new enthusiasm to help them get to the gate quicker. After a minute or so the airport opens two gates to cope, which is quite impressive considering that the airline is too cheap to open more than two check-in desks per flight at most departure points.
I eventually reach the door out to the apron and after having my boarding passed torn quickly I find myself in stage 2 of “let’s try and get on that aircraft quicker than everyone else” a game I figure Ryanair frequent flyers must have medals for. People are actually running, yes running to get on the plane. It isn’t raining, snowing or haling in fact it is a beautiful summer’s evening but some feel the need to actually run towards the steps as if it is some kind of odd destiny they hold.
I climb the rear steps; the front looked like it had the rest of the flight trying to squeeze up at once, and am greeted by the robot (F/A) in the cabin who barely glances at me before I enter the cabin. Yes, no checking there, isn’t that supposed to be done? In fact you will hear the result of this in my next paragraph. So I eventually find a seat, a window, I am lucky this time and squeeze in.
The first thing I’m greeted with is the safety instructions plastered over the seatback. I am lucky though as I have managed to get on an aircraft with the old interior meaning it has some reminders of being a plane. Just. This is like a bus service, a bad one at that.
Some awfully cheap shopping music plays amongst constant and frustrating recorded announcements about things Ryanair is trying to sell. Then comes the announcement asking all passengers going to Dublin to get off the plane. Hang on, did I hear that correctly? Yes, they have managed to miss all signs up and get through two different
people and onto our plane to London Stansted! We are delayed 40 minutes or so but Dublin is at a 1 hour 30 minute delay.
The doors are eventually shut and the engines start up. The robots take to their positions albeit late, as on the flight out, so they come running down the aisle trying to point out exits. The safety is a recorded announcement except Ryanair didn’t use a real person for the recording, oh no, a computer generated voice. Sometimes you just have to laugh.
We start to move and the robots run back to their seats as we start to taxi Ryanair style. This means speeds well above the limit; it really is no surprise flights have been charged for speeding by police in England. One of my travelling companions even asked on the flight out if we were taking off!
We make it to the threshold in record time and swing onto the runway for a rolling takeoff. No such thing as worrying about engine wear at this airline as we are once again treated to a powerful and steep departure. That was the only bit of the flight I actually enjoyed. Unfortunately it gets worse.
We hear constant sales announcements telling us to look in our magazines for the prices and what’s on offer but there is a slight problem. No magazine. Like on the flight out one of these fails to be seen, a move that baffles me, as even for duty free we don’t have a clue what they’re offering. Surely a small and light menu card should be placed somewhere.
The robots begin their service which they are so incredibly slow at I found it hard not to laugh. I decided to time them as there wasn’t much else to do and it took them an impressive 12 minutes to serve 3 rows, only 2 of which actually wanted anything. You see, while there are no pricelists for us it seems the ones for the crew are not easy to understand. One of them runs down the aisle shouting how much a cup of coffee is whilst the other tries to add up what’s owed. What’s the result? An absolute mess! They should take a leaf out of easyJet’s book.
As we start our approach and the seatbelt signs go on one robot flies along the whole cabin murmuring “Duty Free”. Unsurprisingly they sell nothing. The other robots, I call them this as they show no sign of life for the entire 2 hour period, come rushing through behind her checking the cabin for landing. “Seats for landing” is called out before they’ve finished so they rush through the last few rows, which my father is sat in. Little does he realise as he’s asleep that his seat belt is actually unfastened and will remain so until he is flung forward upon landing.
After we’ve touched down we taxi off to our stand, again at a record speed. And so we have reached our destination and the L1 door is opened for us to all get off and onto a bus to the terminal. This was the first flight I’ve ever had without any communication with the cabin crew; the goodbyes were not really bothered with.
Being an aviation enthusiast I like flying, most of us do, but the flights with Ryanair were different. It was flying, of course it was but it felt like some cheap attempt at a bus and left me feeling slightly saddened. There are also some issues that worry me.
In 2004 I flew Ryanair to get on the Boeing 737-200 and neither way had a lifejacket under my seat. People are getting on the wrong planes. Whilst boarding the outbound from STN there were no representatives to tell you which plane to board, I could have got on the flight next door and almost did which was going to Porto before realising my mistake. The crew are not checking boarding passes correctly; I do however say this though from my flights as I cannot comment on every flight of Ryanair. Also on one of my flights as stated above the cabin crew did not properly do their checks of passengers for landing.
As an end-note, I am fully aware I didn’t have to fly this airline, but I didn’t book the tickets myself so it would have been very awkward to change. Since I held a fare paying ticket on Ryanair I do have the right to moan and have done so before anyone starts saying all the usual. I mean no offence to any staff members personally here who work for the airline by calling the crew Robots, this is merely a term that has arisen from my flights.
Thankyou for reading,
Despite the name I am a Boeing man through and through!
Lewis From Greece, joined Jul 1999, 3721 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 10109 times:
That's how my Ryanair flights were. But after spending less than £30 for a round trip to Barcelona, I was still very happy with the service in general.
They also have to do something with checkin and boarding. It is always a mess, especially at the gate where everybody is running to get the good seats??!! My printed e-boarding pass had boarding number 1, I was actually one of the last passengers to get onboard.
Demoose From Canada, joined Mar 2001, 1952 posts, RR: 22
Reply 5, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 9791 times:
An excellent insight Sam, I'd like to say it was a one off experience, but you're report brought back all the memories I had when I flew with them to Rome fron Stansted 2 years ago. It's a bus service in the sky, I don't have any expectations when flying with them just that they will get me to my destination.
Don't Ryanair have any Menu's or Inflight magazine now? My memory suggests they were either stuck above the seats on the panelling where the oxygen masks are, or the inflight magazine ripped to shreds and laying about under some seat on the floor somewhere. Considering they say inflight sales is a major source of income...not being able to see what they are selling is a pretty major f**k up!
StocklaAC From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2006, 17 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 9631 times:
I have to agree with what you say. Sadly, i am forced to fly Ryanair regularly as I fly to a small airport in France (EGC) to which only Ryanair fly from London. Although your report summs up the majority of the trips, there have been cases where the crew have also been very friendly and talkative. I remember once flying in row 1 and the crew struck up a conversation with me they were both very nice indeed. However, if I had to give any advice to passengers on ryanair, I would say - go with 0 expectations and you will be pleasently surprised!
A340600 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2003, 4107 posts, RR: 51
Reply 12, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 9297 times:
Thanks to those of you who've taken the time to read and reply
Quoting Lewis (Reply 1): They also have to do something with checkin and boarding. It is always a mess, especially at the gate where everybody is running to get the good seats??!! My printed e-boarding pass had boarding number 1, I was actually one of the last passengers to get onboard.
Yes, during the boarding at SZG some passengers had green stickers who had checked in earlier. It failed miserably, lord help anyone who tried to enforce it!
Quoting Ndebelebev (Reply 3): I hope our next trip into Europe is a bit more exciting
Indeed, i'm sure it will be just a little bit more
Quoting Demoose (Reply 5): Don't Ryanair have any Menu's or Inflight magazine now? My memory suggests they were either stuck above the seats on the panelling where the oxygen masks are, or the inflight magazine ripped to shreds and laying about under some seat on the floor somewhere. Considering they say inflight sales is a major source of income...not being able to see what they are selling is a pretty major f**k up!
When I flew them in 2004 they had menus somewhere I seem to remember, but no sign on either flight. Madness considering they want to sell.
Quoting EZYAirbus (Reply 6): Sam you summed up Ryanair perfectly! Enjoyed reading this report, I for sure wont be flying with them again!
Good, you work for a fantastic LCC anyway
Quoting StocklaAC (Reply 7): Although your report summs up the majority of the trips, there have been cases where the crew have also been very friendly and talkative
Quoting Ba757gla (Reply 8): i have noticed there crew to look vey tired and worn out!
I'm sure there have been. That's the problem with criticising crew, it can be variable with every airline.
Quoting FlyKev (Reply 9): Thsi is accurate yes, however, when youve paid less than a coach ticket to go with them, you dont mind if it feels a little bit bussy. heh. If i wanted food, comfort, service, Id fly BA.
Indeed, and I normally do if you look at my flight log. I can assure you the flights weren't out of choice
Quoting Turbo7x7 (Reply 10): For many, it seems the extra hassle is worth the money saved. I guess anyone going on FR has to consider it a crapshoot but at least it's a cheap one.
Yes, I feel sorry for those that book last minute and often pay more than for a full service airline, oh well, their fault at the end of the day
Quoting Pilotdude09 (Reply 11): Very Entertaining, i cant believe people were actually running to get aboard a Ryanair flight!!! what the hell is wrong with people?
I really don't know, it's quite odd behaviour, even the most normal looking of people suddenly burst into sprinting across the tarmac. Then again, with FR's policies if the 25 minutes is up it could always just shut its doors and leave you standing there while it taxies away
Despite the name I am a Boeing man through and through!
Travatl From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 2175 posts, RR: 6
Reply 13, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 9092 times:
Granted, I work for a profitable US carrier, and all US carriers seem to have better work rules/benefits/compensation than other intl carriers, but I was recently in London, and ran into several Ryanair F/As (about 10 or so) on their layover at the crew hotel in Stansted.... NONE of them had anything GOOD to say about Ryanair. I mean, for hours, they talked $HIT about the company... they HATED it. And after they explained their work environment, pay, and reality..... I have to agree... Ryanair is NOT anywhere I would want to work at anytime soon.... DAMN - they are BRUTAL.
They make the American LCCs seem absolutely cheritable.............
Quoting A340600 (Thread starter): People are actually running, yes running to get on the plane. It isn’t raining, snowing or haling in fact it is a beautiful summer’s evening but some feel the need to actually run towards the steps
Quoting A340600 (Thread starter): I am lucky though as I have managed to get on an aircraft with the old interior meaning it has some reminders of being a plane. Just. This is like a bus service, a bad one at that.
-Such a shame, they have taken the romance out of flying.
Quoting A340600 (Thread starter): Then comes the announcement asking all passengers going to Dublin to get off the plane. Hang on, did I hear that correctly? Yes, they have managed to miss all signs up and get through two different
people and onto our plane to London Stansted
-Very poor, should never happen if they were paying attention and controling the boarding process.
Quoting A340600 (Thread starter): Also on one of my flights as stated above the cabin crew did not properly do their checks of passengers for landing.
-Is this not required under some aviation law?
Well excellent report and pretty much sums up why I will NEVER fly Ryanair, I don't care how cheap they are, I'd rather pay more and be treated like a human not cattle.
Fbgdavidson From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 3744 posts, RR: 27
Reply 16, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 8968 times:
Sam, great report and very amusing! Since this is the closest I've got and will ever get to flying Ryanair it was an educational read
Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 15): Well excellent report and pretty much sums up why I will NEVER fly Ryanair, I don't care how cheap they are, I'd rather pay more and be treated like a human not cattle.
As a friend of mine who is interested in flying said, 'If I ever flew Ryanair I know I'll feel so used afterwards'
Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 15): Very poor, should never happen if they were paying attention and controling the boarding process.
If you fly BA a lot (which I'm guessing by your handle) you'll know they always check the BP when you step aboard the aircraft however not all airlines do this. I've flown a few times on United and US Airways this year and my BP was never checked onboard.
Also on AS the boarding passes with barcode are put underneath a scanner at the gate yet on my LAX-SEA flight with them an announcement was made the flight was going to Seattle and a woman got up and got off the plane You'd think somewhere in that barcode the details of the flight number could be contained!
"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
Quoting Fbgdavidson (Reply 16): You'd think somewhere in that barcode the details of the flight number could be contained!
Yes! I think a lot of boarding equipment are there purely for show and actually don't run at all because airlines can't be bothered or don't want to pay to actually have the system running. But before anyone jumps on me, this is merely an opinion, not a fact !
P.S. By the looks of that little birthday cake next to my username, it appears to be my 3rd anniversary on this site today! It's taught me a lot over the years, thanks to all the team that make it possible .
Despite the name I am a Boeing man through and through!
TheSonntag From Germany, joined Jun 2005, 4227 posts, RR: 28
Reply 21, posted (8 years 10 months 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 8277 times:
I have had similiar experiences on my Ryanair flights. I regularly fly from CGN on HLX or 4U, but even though they do not offer seat assignments either, I have never experienced such a bad "cattle" experience as with Ryanair flights...
Ever wonder how "survival of the fittest" looks like? Try to board a Ryanair plane.
But despite all this, I cannot really hate FR either. They are so cheap, it is incredible. But before I pay lots of money to get to HHN, I prefer flying LCCs with style from CGN... In the end, it isn't more expensive...
Toulouse From Switzerland, joined Apr 2005, 2760 posts, RR: 57
Reply 22, posted (8 years 10 months 7 hours ago) and read 8039 times:
Quoting F.pier (Reply 14): still can't understand why you all continue bashing FR.
You don't like it, PAY more and choose another airline.
As far as I'm concerned, I'll always choose Ryanair.
Well said F.pier, and that's exactly what I do, and I'm happy doing so, and one thing... I don't always end up PAYING more to fly another airline instead of FR who are quite often quite expensive and even more so than other airlines on competing routes (from my experience anyway)