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Review: Ryanair


United Kingdom

Do they deserve their reputation?

  • By SilverTraveller HMJ

    734 reviews

    Ribbon Ribbon Ribbon Ribbon Ribbon

  • May 2016
  • Stanstead
  • Budapest
  • Solo
  • Economy

107 people found this review helpful

I feel fortunate in that I’ve reached the age of 56 without having ever flown Ryanair which I’ve always avoided at all costs due to their perceived reputation. However, they offered the best deal for my flight from Stanstead to Budapest and I bit the bullet.

Outbound Flight
The 8.30am flight was scheduled to arrive at lunch time and although this meant getting up at 4.30am, I figured I could catch up missed sleep on the flight. At 5.50am a lot of people were already checking in and unfortunately, I chose the wrong queue: the guy must surely be on a ‘must improve’ at his annual appraisal due to the low numbers he dealt with compared to others. Another long queue followed for security (which to be fair wasn’t the fault of Ryanair) and I then realized that years of flying business class with British Airways has turned me an into impatient snob.

I paid £15 for priority boarding which meant I got on early and avoided queuing in the drizzle. My £15 also allowed me to choose a seat (1c) with good leg room but I found the seats really narrow. I’ve also either put on weight or the seat belts have got shorter as it was pretty tight.

To be fair, the flight was pretty uneventful and although we set off 30 minutes late, we made up some of the time, landing only 10 minutes behind schedule.

Return Flight
The check in desk didn’t open until exactly two hours before my 3.35pm flight, however when it did, I was quickly checked in and waiting for the gate number to be shown an hour before the flight. At the gate I had to stand and wait again before having to walk a fair distance to what can only be described as a warehouse with wire netting up to keep us in line. The incoming flight was late arriving and, because there wasn’t enough room for everyone to line up, we were moved outside which was fine until it started to rain. By the time I got on, I realized I’d been standing for an hour on blistered feet as I’d walked around Budapest so much.

Still I was glad I was leaving as when the flight arrived, at least three stag groups and two hen parties got off. Note to self: never visit Budapest at the weekend. Once again, I had seat 1c but unfortunately a very tall chap in 1b struggled with his seat size and kept flopping over me. Once again, it was a smooth trip back although we arrived 20 minutes late.

Would I fly Ryanair again? Possibly, but it really does need to be a lot cheaper to make up for all the hanging around.

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This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.

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Other Members' Thoughts - 8 Comment(s)

  • HMJ
    over 3 years ago
    I may be going against the trend, but I'm afraid I've never managed to get away with hand luggage. Decanting all my toiletries into small jars and bottles, just seems far too much faff.
  • Ian.Waugh
    over 3 years ago
    Just added my own comment on Ryanair for a flight to Pisa - other than the seat (agree about the limited size!) other things weren't too bad and I did get a really good price.... why did you have to queue for checkin? if only there for the weekend and didn't have a hold bag, you could have printed your boarding pass and gone direct to security - which was quick for my own flight.
  • HMJ
    over 4 years ago
    I think that's the way to do it Adventurer.
  • Adventurer
    over 4 years ago
    It was my first time travel with Ryanair Last month. I find it not too bad. We paid extra for the Extra leg room and we booked our seats in advance.
  • HMJ
    over 4 years ago
    It has changed in that it is all allocated seating. I also remember similar days on Easy Jet - what a nightmare it was.
  • discerning-traveller
    over 4 years ago
    I've only once flown Ryanair and once may be enough. I'll never forget passengers running for the back entrance to the plane only to charge down to the front to get the seats they wanted. It was some years ago so maybe things have improved.
  • HMJ
    over 4 years ago
    All I can say now, is that if a Ryanair hanger at Stanstead is good enough for George Osbourne, Vince Cable and Ed Balls, it should be good enough for me!
  • drewlin
    over 4 years ago
    I've only flown once with Ryanair 2 years ago, again for the preconceived ideas about them. We had an unevenful flight from Budapest to Manchester and can definitely relate to the warehouse before embarking.