As a belated birthday present I went to Italy with the sibs and you’ll see those posts in the next week. We all found cheap flights to Pisa so decided to make that our base and then train around Tuscany. The London base for Ryanair is Stansted and getting there for me is a pain (long tube and then a longer train ride) but a bargain is a bargain. Just a heads up that during the summer Stansted becomes a family and kid magnet as many low-cost airlines fly out of there as well as package holidays. If you can avoid it I’d recommend it but otherwise brace for impact and an abundance of chain restaurants.
So what about Ryanair? Well you’ve probably heard of them before and know they are dirt cheap. The tickets are constantly being discounted in rapid fire sales and if you’re smart you can grab a real bargain. The main catch is there are no amenities and you pay extra for everything – seats, bags, food, entertainment etc. If I’m only flying a few hours that doesn’t bother me as I’ll pick up an airport snack, bring a book and just settle down in my seat but for others I’m sure it could be a panic station situation. Their main hubs are Dublin and Stansted and they’re becoming the biggest low-cost airline around.
I didn’t have a check-in experience as my pass was on my phone. Once I got air side I noticed people were starting to queue at the gate relaly early. It twigged that they were doing that because of their carry-on suitcases. As Ryanair charges for baggage many people bring carry-on cases and only so many get to take them on the plane (the rest get checked underneath). For both flights I boarded the plane via tarmac and stairs. Weirdly I prefer that to taking the bridge as I like getting close to the plane and it feels very hollywood glam haha. The stewards were really nice and a mix of different ethnicities which is always lovely to see. The plane was a 3, aisle, 3 and compact to fit a lot of seats. Legroom was still pretty decent considering and I’m really confused by the yellow/blue decorating as it feels quite Ikea but Ryanair is Irish.
Straight away I noticed that the safety card was printed on the back of the chair in front of me. I’m not sure why they do that but there’s no escaping it so that’s a good thing. They don’t have a back of chair pocket or folder so there are no magazines, sick bags or menus. It’s a little annoying as I like emptying out my pockets into those but instead my lap became my dumping ground. The air stewards did come round with magazines and duty free lists but once you’d had enough of reading them there was the predicament of finding somewhere to put it all (the floor basically becomes a pile of paper). The magazine was very fun and colourful with lots of food options and shopping options. I didn’t pick anything up but it was pretty decently priced and seemed tasty from spying on others.
The flight was fast, a little bumpy but totally easy. For the price and the few hours you’re in the air I think it’s a complete bargain and well worth it. My favourite bit of flying Ryanair is the announcement/song they play when you land. It’s a kind of trumpet vibrato and really camps and sums up the whole experience haha. They’re similar to Easyjet and Jet2 so for a short haul give them a whirl and see.