Newest Review: ... surprises at the checkout stage. In terms of the flight experience I find no difference between Ryanair and any of the other budget airl... more
As bad as their reputation?
Member Name: linzeelou
Advantages: Cheap, comfortable flight
Disadvantages: Food and drink prices
On my recent holiday to Finland and Estonia, Ryanair was the airline who I flew with to Tallinn. First I must say that Ryanair was not the first choice. My sister and I had previously booked flights with another airline to Helsinki who didn't take long to decide that they were just not going to fly to Finland anymore. Because of this and the insane prices for flights to Helsinki, we chose to fly with Ryanair to the close country of Estonia and decided to get the boat across to Finland from there as it would still be cheaper than any other flight. As probably everyone will know, Ryanair is a low cost airline (the first actually) which was first open for business in 1985. I actually thought it was a lot later than this but probably because I never paid attention to things like this until I took my first flight back in 2002. Ryanair prides itself on low priced flights to Europe.
Flying from East Midlands to Tallinn, Ryanair was the best choice of airline due to the extremely cheap cost. For a return trip it cost us roughly £100 in total which, compared to the £400+ to Helsinki with other airlines, was a bargain. Ok, we had to add in ferry costs on top of that but they were only £50 each return so we were still saving a hell of a lot of money and getting to go to 2 countries instead of 1. On top of the original flight price, we chose to add on priority boarding as for only £5 each (each way), it seemed pretty stupid not to. I hate getting a terrible seat on flights or being stuck right at the back so at least this way, we would be able to sit near the front and not have to wait ages to get on and off the planes.
As this is a budget airline, you do have to check in online or it will costs you an extra £40 once you get to the airport. You still have to go through baggage drop though so I don't really see what difference it makes to check in online or at the airport as it just takes as long anyway. Anyway, your checked baggage is only allowed to be 15kg and while mine was slightly under, my sister's case was over so we had to do a bit of reshuffling before she was allowed to have it on the plane. This meant me stuffing my handbag with a hairdryer, straightners, books and some other things like shoes and I wasn't exactly happy about it.
Priority boarding seemed to have been an extremely good idea for us as no one else seemed to want to pay the small extra fee. There were only about 4 other people who had done the same as us so while the massive line of people were still waiting to show their passports, we were happily sat in our seats on the plane already. It was a good 10-15 minutes before the last passengers got on the plane and I was so glad to have been sat down for a while already and had time to get comfortable before taking off instead of having to rush.
Ryanair planes are actually a lot more comfortable than I had first imagined. Each side of the plane has rows of 3 seats and on both flights, me and my sister had managed to get a whole row to ourselves so we ended up with a little extra space. One of us sat at the window and one at the aisle so that meant we could stretch out our legs in the middle instead of under the seat in front of us. Our flight was only 3 hours long but I still wanted to be as comfortable as possible as I like sleeping during flights and due to all the room, I did this with ease. Even the leather seats were soft and easy to relax in.
Where Ryanair fails to impress is with their prices. Even though the flights are short, Ryanair do sell food, both hot and cold. Full meals are available to order in advance as they do take a while to sort out but also snacks like crisps and chocolate are available to buy. I don't normally buy anything like this on flights because I know that the prices are steeper than average but I was so thirsty this time that I had to buy myself a drink. For a can of pepsi, a fun size can I might add, cost me £1.70 which I was so completely shocked about. I would have kind of been ok with this had it been a normal size but seriously, 3x the price of a normal can of pepsi for something a hell of a lot smaller? This is definitely where budget airlines make their money because they certainly don't make it on the price of flights.
Each flight that I took with Ryanair was very smooth and without any problems. I quite happily went to sleep for the most part and each time, we arrived a little bit earlier than we should have which I was quite impressed with. I would definitely fly with this airline again because I was so pleased with my journey. I would be a little more selective with my baggage and how much I take in my carry on bag so I can bring a few more things back with me but that is the only small niggle that I can honestly say that I had.
Summary: Great value flights
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