Shamik Das

Friday, February 27, 2009

Ryanair are taking the p***

Classy, real classy: A Ryanair Hertz rent-a-jet

IT'S official! Ryanair really are the scummiest airline on the planet.

They're thinking of introducing a £1 charge - that's right, ONE POUND - to use one of the on-board toilets.

I suppose we should have seen it coming. After all, this is the airline that regards sick bags as a luxury, has stripped out seat pockets and disabled each chair's reclinability.

They even run adverts on the outside of their planes and on the back of every seat - more prominent than the safety insructions. And speaking of safety, the pre-flight briefing is hardly satisfactory - a crew of Polish mercenaries flailing their arms pointing hither and tither to the backing track of a thickly-accented Irishman exhorting us all not to panic if all Hell breaks loose.

But the real nightmare begins when you visit their website, lured in by their ads proclaiming free flights, £5 one-way flights all in etc. etc. so long as you book by midnight, only for the same promotions to mysteriously reappear a few days later.

And once you click on, you'll see that the flights are only valid Monday-Thursday and Saturday, with maybe a handful of discounted seats at the most inconvenient times at airports miles from civilisation, Frankfurt Hahn being a case in point, some 200 miles from Frankfurt itself.

That last point, however, shouldn't really come as a surprise. 'Twas ever thus as far as Ryanair is concerned; one must always factor in the time and cost of getting to and from their falsely named airports, some not even in the same country as the city you're allegedly travelling to.

So you've made it to the website, ready to book your "cheap" holiday. Priority boarding? £3.80, and we'll check that option anyway as we know you'll want it! Wanna check-in at the airport? £9.50 please! Wanna check-in luggage? That'll be £28.50 for one bag, £66.50 for two and an exorbitant £104.50 for three!!!

How much?! The horrendous cost of taking luggage; click to enlarge

... and don't forget to add on taxes, fuel surcharges and the like, which normally increase the cost of a falesly-advertised flight from just a few quid to near on fifty.

Now, it's time to pay. You enter all your details, name, address, card number, check the "I agree with the terms and conditions" box and then, just as you're about to confirm payment you're hit with a whopping £9.50 a man surchage, regardless of whether you pay by credit or debit card.

Daylight robbery, pure and simple.

Most, nay all, decent travel companies charge nothing for debit cards and at most 2.5% for credit cards - 3.5% for Amex - but a flat tax, for that is what it is, of £9.50 per passenger is just wrong, just plain worng. Thievery at its worst that damns capitalism and the industry, tarring us all with the same brush.

There is, however, a way round this unfair levy, by using a Visa Electron debit card. So sign up quick, before they close this loophole! Halifax and the Co-operative Bank are two places I know of where you can get one of these cards; they're reluctant to dish them out, so just be a little, ahem, creative with your answers and you'll be fine.

Then, once you've boarded your inevitably delayed flight, you maybe feel like a snack or a little drink. Big mistake! I've eaten in swanky restaurants for less than the cost of a Ryanair meal, and of course now, with the ban on liquids, you're unable to take your own drinks on board, lest you buy them from the equally-overpriced shops post-security in the departure lounge.

It's beyond a joke, what with it costing £2.95 for a characterless coffee, £3.60 for a lukewarm cup-a-soup, £4.00 for a cold pizza, £4.50 for a "premium" hot dog and £5.00 for 350ml can of beer, and now this; £1 to use the toilet?!?

Whatever next? Charging to use the over-head lockers, or how about a pay-per-breath system of coin-operated emergency oxygen masks, where you have to push quarters in to keep the oxygen pumping out... one shudders to think what crackpot ideas are running through their crazy minds.

Halifax Easycash: sign up and avoid paying their charge
Ryanair's 2007/8 in-flight menu: for Euros read pounds
The Times: Customers to pay a pound to spend a penny


Blogger Miller 2.0 said...

So true.

27 February, 2009 16:16

Blogger polaris said...

You've got the wrong end of the stick on this one; Michael O'Leary made this comment, lightheartedly in an interview - in the same sentence as wishing England good luck in the forthcoming rugby match with Ireland.
My take on this, differs slightly from your own.

04 March, 2009 08:51

Anonymous Jem said...

Yes! You feel like cattle in the cargo hold when you fly with them.

To add to the list of crits: far lower baggage allowance (weight) than any other airline at 15kg and they are very strict about this. For each and every kilo over you pay THIRTY quid! Soon they say they are to scrap check-in luggage and only allow 10kgs of hand luggage that fit into their "measurer" so what now, to fly Ryan Air we'll have to buy new luggage, probably in a panic at the airport (so extortionate prices) as we won't be sure if ours will fit till just before the flight?!

They are driving customers away. I know all companies are in it for the money, but so blatantly treating customers like dirt should not be part of the business plan.

We need to start some kind of a "Ryan Air Get a Reality Check" campaign.

"Pay per breath oxygen....." = Made me chuckle out loud :-D .

14 May, 2009 12:41


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