Tomorrow I’m going to Spain for a long weekend for my friends wedding in Santiago. Unfortunately, I had no choice except to fly the worlds stingiest airline, Ryanair. It seems to me that they’ve gone a step beyond what any of the other airlines are doing to save costs and make more money, by literally charging for everything – including the toilets!
Firstly, you can see the first place they’ve saved money is their website – it looks absolutely s**t! A few thousand pounds would be all it took to make it look nicer and more user friendly, but instead we’re stuck with one of the ugliest airline sites I’ve ever seen, and that’s saying something with EasyJet’s bright orange colours. If first impressions say anything, their website says it all and you won’t be disappointed, they are as s**t as their website.
Now the fun part, paying. Everyone knows that a £0.99 flight isn’t really a £0.99 flight once you add airport tax onto it. What you may not know is Ryanair, in an effort to save money, has now removed all airport checkin desks, so your ONLY option now is to checkin online and print out the ticket. If you forget the printout, they will charge you another £40 to re-issue the ticket at the airport, which is outrageous considering how much it probably really costs them to do print some more paper tickets. Anyway, apart from that, fair enough, saves some money for them and some time for us, especially as no more queuing and you can turn up later to the airport. HOWEVER – even though this is clearly a cost saving benefit for Ryanair – EVERYONE IS FORCED TO PAY £5/PASSENGER/JOURNEY TO CHECKIN ONLINE!!! That’s another £10 for my return journey on top of airport tax! Absolutely outrageous and now seriously taking the piss.
But the fun doesn’t stop there, this one isn’t new, but having to pay £20 to simply load a bag on the hold is annoying but many airlines are now doing it. Only being allowed one hand luggage, and if you have a laptop as well that has to be inside that bag, which isn’t allowed to be heavier than 10Kg and bigger than a small hand suitcase, that is stingy. Again, not putting luggage in the hold is saving them money, but limiting everyone to such a stingy allowance is just…stingy.
And finally have you ever paid to pay? Yes that’s right, Ryanair will slap on a £5/journey payment charge to pay using pretty much any card except Maestro Electron (and I don’t know anyone who uses that!). Considering the only option is to pay by card, wouldn’t it be fair to at least give everyone an alternative apart from a barely used card? All my cards are Visa, and at least on other airlines my Visa Debit costs nothing to use, but on Ryanair its a flat charge, take it or leave it.
By the end of it, my £3 return flight cost £100 including all the hidden extra charges and taxes. Not very cheap at all really…
I can’t wait to get on the plane tomorrow and experience the usually very crappy customer service, probably induced by the very crappy pay and working conditions Ryanair holds dear to themselves. I just Googled “Ryanair Stingiest” and it came up with multiple stories in the major UK papers – one talking about how Ryanair was going to charge their own staff to use the plugs to charge their mobile phones. Right now the toilet idea hasn’t been started (to charge you to actually use the toilet on the plane) but that really is taking the piss (excuse the pun). Apparently they’re also looking at making passengers stand on planes to make more room, I wonder how much extra it will be to breath one day? I can imagine them adding an “air” charge on checkout and handing out canisters only to the customers who added it on :p
I’m all for experimenting and innovation, but Ryanair has gone way beyond that to officially become not just the stingiest airline, but most likely the stingiest company in the world. And for a few quid more you can fly EasyJet or the other European airlines which don’t treat their customers like sheep being transported to the slaughter house, just a shame none of them flew directly to Santiago…