Ryanair – Why we love to hate budget travel
Everyone hates Ryanair. It’s true isn’t it? I’m sure you’ve had this conversation before. Your friend has just got back from holiday and you ask them who they flew with. They admit (almost apologetically) to flying with Ryanair. You can see the shame in their eyes. They tell you that it was because it was the only flight from Stansted and it was really cheap. You share a knowing look with your other friends. They know what is coming next. You tell them all how much you hate Ryanair. All those added extras, the new baggage policy, the terrible in-flight food, the awful airports located miles away from your actual destination.
But when you get home later that evening, something very strange will happen. You find yourself looking at holidays, inspired by your friend’s beautiful Instagram pictures and tales of adventure. You start looking at flights for your chosen destination on Skyscanner. Having researched all of the options, who do you end up booking with? Ryanair.
Are we all hypocrites? Should we hang our heads in shame? I’m sure there are actually people that do follow up on their disdain by boycotting Ryanair. I just don’t seem to have met them. These enlightened souls now fly with EasyJet or Jet2 or Eurowings instead but the vast majority of us continue to love to hate Ryanair. Why?
THE CASE FOR RYANAIR
I have been thinking recently about why we continue to fly with Ryanair despite our numerous complaints. I think that there are three key reasons why people still book with Ryanair:
The key factor for most people when booking a holiday is price. At the end of the day, we all prefer to spend our money when we arrive in our destination, rather than travelling from A to B. And let’s face it, the headline price for most Ryanair flights is significantly cheaper than its nearest competitors – perfect for that cheap getaway.
2 THEY FLY EVERYWHERE
Ryanair fly almost everywhere in Europe, even to small towns that you have never heard of. So when you are planning your weekend away you might only have the choice of flying Ryanair or one other low cost airline.
3 AND THE TIMES USUALLY WORK OUT TOO
When planning a weekend away you want to make the most of your time away. That means early morning flights on the way out and late evening flights on the way back. Ryanair flights tend to be at these times of the day as it is cheaper for them, which works perfectly for your weekend trip.
THE CASE AGAINST RYANAIR
Despite the positives, there is definitely some merit to our seemingly hypocritical hatred of Ryanair. At Clock Out Check In our main bugbears are:
1 INCONVENIENT LOCATIONS
Has anyone else turned up at their destination, only to find out that Ryanair have dropped you off at an airport that is at least 30 miles away from the city centre? It’s massively inconvenient and can lead to a travel disaster. (Long story short, there are two airports in Frankfurt – always check you are heading to the right one).
2 TERRIBLE SERVICE
They’re really unfriendly right? Adverts for long haul airlines make flying look so glamorous. Ryanair is anything but. The planes can be dirty, the staff are rude and the closest to thing to glamour you can get on board is a gin and tonic.
3 HIDDEN EXTRAS
Perhaps the biggest issue with Ryanair is the number of hidden added extras that you have to pay for before getting on the plane. This seems to be the case for all no frills airlines now but Ryanair are almost certainly the worst. Want to sit together? Pay extra. Want to bring a wheelie suitcase as cabin luggage? Pay extra. Life jackets and oxygen for an emergency landing? Free…for now.
So are we right to love to hate Ryanair? I think so. It’s one of the most frustrating experiences but we are still going to book with them in the future. Why? It’s cheap and gets us from A to B. Will we enjoy it? Probably not. It’s the Ryanair conundrum.