For one of the world’s most flown airlines, you don’t see many Ryanair trip reports. I’ve visited Frankfurt maybe thirty times, but never using Ryanair, until now. So how was it?London Stansted
EI-EPF (8 years old)
With a midday departure, I decided to aim for the 0937 Stansted Express from Tottenham Hale. From where I live in South London the Victoria Line whizzes across London in only 20 minutes, which makes for an easy journey.
Coffee in hand an almost empty Stansted Express arrived, which allowed everybody space to spread out. The wifi was working well so I caught up on some work emails.
Upon arrival, escalators take one more or less directly to check-in, which has changed a lot from when I worked there. Indeed all of the cafe and shop facilities have gone.
My ticket included Fast Track security access, which allowed me to reach airside from the train in about ten minutes. Indeed I simply walked straight up to the x-ray machine. I was very impressed as Fast Track can quite often be rather less than fast in my recent experience.
Since MAG took over, airside has been converted into a maze that sort of looks like a human intestine. As I was travelling for leisure and had time, to be honest, I didn’t find it too bad. As I’d forgotten to pack some toiletries, passing by various shops to buy some was quite handy. Was I in a hurry it would have been a different story.
I then grabbed some breakfast which gave nice views of the apron.
About an hour before departure I wandered over to Gate 48, in the far pier. As part of the new friendly Ryanair, it was nice to see a Customer Help Desk in departures, which is increasingly uncommon for Europe’s airlines.
Sat at the gate I heard my name called out. It was a former colleague I’d worked with for about ten years. Surprisingly she and her husband were on the same flight! Even weirder her husband was on the phone to our old boss. It was a nice coincidence.
Boarding started about 20 minutes before departure. As priority customers we were boarded first and walked straight up to the rear door.
The captain welcomed us aboard noting a 1 hour and ten minute flight time. Shortly after a manual safety demonstration took place in English. Thereafter the crew handed out a menu/ duty free catalogue.
I was rather excited to see a Ural Airlines aircraft waiting in the queue ahead of us.
During my time Stansted had many flights from the then Commonwealth of Independent States. On the cargo side AN-124s and IL76s were very common. Passenger wise all kinds of Tu134s, Tu154s and IL62s would turn up. So for me seeing a Ural’s aircraft brought back nice memories.
Ryanair has a very comprehensive inflight menu, with many hot food options. Here is a sample of what’s on offer.
Shortly after takeoff, a crew member came around to take hot food orders. Unsurprisingly for such a short flight none were forthcoming.
A very efficient buy onboard service followed shortly after, with one person serving and another taking payment by i-phone. There was one trolley working from each galley.
After that, a quick rubbish run cleared away any leftovers before the charity scratch card run. I could have taken advantage of their special 14 for the price of 5 promotion, but I choose not to!
After that a quick duty free run took place. Rather than push a trolley, the crew took perfume samples around and offered anyone that wanted it a free squirt.
Meanwhile, it was proving to be a very smooth flight through sunny skies.
That was quite a contrast to ground level. You might see even the windmills are above cloud level and they are not very high.
The murk continued right through, as you can see from this picture of final approach.
We landed on the old military runway, before docking at Terminal 2 after a long taxi.
Incredibly I bumped into some other friends inside arrivals and we caught the shuttle over to Terminal 1 and travelled into Frankfurt together.
I stayed at Hotel Bristol, which is a little boutique hotel near the Hauptbahnhof. It was fun hiring an electric scooter to get there! The rooms are clean, it offers a nice weekend brunch (free for residents) and has a really nice little cocktail bar with a DJ.
So, what’s the verdict? To be honest it was a fairly hassle-free journey and certainly no worse than Lufthansa or BA. Even with extra baggage, fast track and priority boarding the fare was still under £80 return with very convenient flight times. The crew was professional, friendly and engaged. Certainly, Lufthansa owns the London - Frankfurt market in terms of frequency and on occasion offers excellent fares, although £200 single on a Sunday is pretty common. I’d say give Ryanair a try on this route!