Flying High... Ryanair!

Ryanair is an airline that's always in the press, forever causing a scandal because of a new service they now charge money for. Have you traveled with Ryanair before? I can safely say yes, I have traveled with Ryanair three times now. This Irish airline has pioneered the way that budget travel markets itself. Would you choose to save your pennies in order to see the world? I did!

Ryanair operates flights by a strict no-nonsense mantra by saying no to the use of jet bridges, and charging for checked baggage. This Irish airline aims to allow only a twenty-five minute turnaround between flights, cutting the time that their aircraft sit on the tarmac not making money. Could you call this practice controversial? I would say cost-conscious because this airline looks after their Euros! Hailing from the Emerald Isle this controversial Irish low cost airline speaks my language, flying is becoming more like a bus in the sky! I've travelled long-haul with airlines like Virgin Atlantic Airways and Continental Airlines so I'm familiar with different services and in-flight offerings. Delta Air Lines might well give their economy passengers a complimentary soft drink and a small snack but Ryanair keeps things 100% no frills as everything is for sale, well almost the life vests! No, not really! Oh RY, I was only joking!

Forget silver service! Cheap fares do not warrant premium in-flight services because Ryanair does it better! They push the sales of refreshments, smokeless cigarettes, newspapers and even phone-cards! Honestly, why would you want to buy a phone-card when your flight is only two hours? What will this airline charge for next? The toilets remain the only free service at the moment, but I dare say that could change in the near future. Could you say that the luck of the Irish has always been with this airline? Calling Dublin Airport its home base and headquarters, this Irish low cost airline flies to some strange places. Well those places only sound strange because I had never heard of them before this cost conscious airline announced their ever-expanding route network. But over the years Ryanair has opened many bases across Europe and North Africa always staying close to their winning formula. Can you guess what is Ryanair's secret? Yes, it's those super quick turnarounds! Lighting fast!

Revealing new destinations seems to be Ryanair's latest trend because its all go at the moment! Ryanair used to keep their flights to a minimum of 2.5 hours to cut the flying costs but new routes to Paphos, Cyprus certainly break that way of thinking. This Irish low cost airline are breaking the boundaries compared to other low cost airlines, but its evident to see that current market is so tough, an airline has to do what airline has to do! Using their persuasive tones Ryanair has opened a whole host of Grecian opportunities by announcing a new summer schedule for flights to Zakynthos, Rhodes and Kos for 2013. But the age old question is with all this eastern expansion will Turkey ever be on Ryanair's radar? Never-mind those destinations, this airline gets crazy when it comes to checking-in baggage so those overhead compartments are rammed full! Only I know too well during my three round trip flights!

Why fly to the main airport in a city? Ryanair do one better by choosing to use a city's secondary airport to cut costs. Think Scandinavian because Ryanair operates flights to Skavsta Airport which is ninety minutes away from Stockholm city centre, whereas other airlines fly to Arlanda Airport which is only thirty minutes away from the city! Ryanair have had their fingers burnt by advertising airports that aren't strictly the same as the location of the actual arrival airport, I would suggest that manoeuvre probably wasn't the best way to do things? It's never good to tell porkies! But this method certainly pushes down the cost of a standard flight ticket! It's never been a bad thing for me, I have been able to fly out of my local airport in Birmingham on one occasion and then from East Midlands Airport to a primary airport in Poland. Bergerac was the only secondary airport that I have flown into with Ryanair but that was necessary for me. Skavsta or Stockholm its still an airport!

I have traveled with Ryanair three times, my first flight was to Krakow, Poland. My most recent flight with Ryanair was a few days ago from Birmingham to Dublin, this flight only took fifty minutes! In May 2011 I flew from East Midlands to Bergerac in France. During my French flight I believe that the Ryanair cabin crew gave the best customer service I have experienced with this airline so far! I would have to say that all three of my Ryanair journeys have been super cheap! The Birmingham to Dublin return flight that I took only cost me £45.98! I'm flying with Monarch Airlines to France this time around, sorry Ryanair but you don't fly to Bordeaux from Birmingham! From the freezing temperatures of Poland to the vineyards of France and also Ireland's capital of Dublin I have found a low fare seat to fly me to my desired destinations! Be kind to my local airport, keep serving BHX! Add some more routes, please RY?

Flying with both Ryanair and Southwest Airlines has hopefully given me a well rounded view on this type of airline. You could say that customer service is not of paramount importance when a ticket is price so low, I learnt this when I traveled with Southwest Airlines. I noticed that Southwest Airlines shares the same 'Low Fare' mantra that Ryanair swears by, taking pit-stop turnarounds and charging a premium for checked baggage. But one difference stands between these budget airlines is their approach to up-selling and customer service. Southwest Airlines cabin crew conduct their in-flight duties with a sunshine smile, I might have been on their first or fifth flight of the day but their nature was always bright. I'm not complaining about Ryanair, believe me they could learn a lesson from their American cousin! But when the times comes for me to travel to America again I will be booking a flight with Southwest Airlines, they are playing the same game! Buckle up, RY! Flying high! 

Keep It Ryanair!

Joseph Harrison


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