Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Ryanair you sneaky bastards

I'm a 'say what you see' kind of person. I like things clear cut, no bull, no frilly bits; just the main story. This is why I don't like sales people, who dress something up, skirt around the issues and then get to the crunch after about half an hour. I don't like ulterior motives. I like to know what I'm getting myself in for. I don't succumb to "free makeovers" at beauty counters, because they're just guilt trips into buying something. When dreadlocked, mac wearing hippies with clipboards stop me on Oxford Street for a "quick chat", I implore them to get down to business: you want my money, I don't want to give you it. Let's skip the "how are yous" and we can all get on with our day.

This is why if me and Ryanair were stuck in a room together, we probably wouldn't get on. Ryanair doesn't give you the full story. It's sneaky, with really rubbish surprises that pop out at you half way through the booking process like a really crap, 1990's funhouse. With no ball pond.

In this way, flights advertised as £19.99 leap, within seconds, to over double that amount. For one, you have to pay to check yourself in. As in, do it all yourself and pay for someone else not to do something. This ideas really caught on lately. You have no choice: either you check in at the airport for about £40 or you do it yourself at home for £5. Or you stay in Luton Airport for the entire week looking miserable, it's your call.

Next up, we have the obligatory unspecified "taxes / fees". God knows what the fees are for. It's not food fees or leg room, that's for sure. Maybe it's private education for the pilot's'll never know. But they amount to £28.27, so already my £19.99 air fare is up past fifty quid.

Like most people going on holiday, you'll need some clothes for the week. Unless you can fit them into a bag that's smaller than the average child's lunch box, they'll stick you for another £20 per item of luggage that you need to check in.

British Airways is looking quite appealing at the moment, isn't it?

So now my £19.99 flights are up to £73.26. But that's not all! The next part's my favourite: it's the bit where you pay for the privilege of paying. Unless you're paying using a credit card which only 1% of the population owns, Visa Electron, you're stuck with a £5 credit, debit or sexual favours charge. They even charge you if you're muggins enough to have Ryanairs own credit card. Brilliant.

Thing is, we're now pushing £80 one way. It's still cheaper than getting a last minute train from London to Scotland, but the point is it's not £19.99. In fact, it's impossible for the fare to ever be £19.99, even if you opt out of insurance, bags, paying by card, speedy boarding and anything else you're coerced into adding on. This flight can never cost you £19.99.

I've got no problem with paying £80 for flights, I need to get somewhere and I'll go, it's still relatively cheap. But just tell me it's going to be £80! I'm not going to run and hide! Don't wait til I've told all my friends about being able to get flights to France for £19.99, if it's actually going to be £60 more!

I'm a brave girl, I can handle the truth. A few months ago I flew for the first time in ages with British Airways. It cost more, but I loved it. It was straight forward, easy and there were no hidden charges.

And they didn't shove on £5 at the gate for a welcoming smile.


Anonymous said...

And this is why I never fly with budget airlines. I would lose no sleep whatsoever if Ryanair / Easyjet et al disappeared in a kerosene based explosion.

All Mod Cons said...

I completely agree. Ryanair are also doing away with all of their check-in desks at all airports, which means you HAVE to check-in online. I don't see why they add all these little bits in on every page you click on. You've GOT to pay the fees, so why not just include it in the price of the flight in the first place? I don't think we'd get so pissed off then. It's almost as if they're trying to be sneaky, but then being crap at it.

I like the card charge at the end. Nowhere does it say "Oh, we're going to charge you for paying this way" until right at the end where you hit confirm. Even then you actually have to look for it. Arsebandits.

Anonymous said...

AND the boss of Ryanair is... interesting, to say the least. He says things like "Well, you guys all need to fly somewhere, and we're here to provide a really minimum service for the most money we can charge. But you will keep coming back, HA!!"

Helen said...

I once paid £15 for a return flight through Ryanair. In the days before that stupid £5 check in charge.

I'd still choose them over easyjet though.

Elaine said...

I'd stick to the train!

Just a thought...have you checked trains to Scotland from OUTSIDE London? I reckon they'll be cheaper. I Know it's a pain, but maybe travelling half an hour out of the city may save you a few quid?

Brennig said...

I love Aerlingus. They still think they're a major player but they are trying the cheap flights market too. They have more legroom, their seats are luxurious to sit in and the cabin crew act as if they love you. But not in a rude way.

Ryan Air has become known as Dan Dare in our house.

The Unbearable Banishment said...

Currently, if I want to fly Virgin from New York to London, it will cost me $903.33 (for coach class, mind you). A full $379.33 of that is taxes and surcharges!!! It’d be the first time I was taken against my will by a Virgin.

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

perp - Yeah after flying BA that time I began to see the light, it was a totally different flying experience. So much more pleasant.

All Mod - Exactly, I don't care if its going to cost me more, I'd just rather see the whole price to begin with. Sell it as £50, not £19.99.

blueskies - Yeah he's a smug bastard too, he's well aware that he's got a lucrative market on his hands.

Helen - They're much of a muchness if you ask me. Easyjet / Ryanair...neither of them makes you feel like a valuable customer exactly.

Elaine - The Scotland / London train thing was just an example, I'm actually flying to the south of france. I don't touch trains in this country, far too expensive!

Brennig - Don't ryanair have a stake in Aerlingus? Ryanair are "bloody cheeky bastards" in my house. Oh, alright, just with me then.

Unbearable - Virgin are ridiculously expensive. I swear by BA, except for if you want to change the dates of your flight. Then they absolutely cane you on the fee. I got charged about £180 to change the return date on tickets a few months back. That hurt.

Lynx said...

I actually quite like Ryanair (hides behind sofa to avoid hail of abuse)! I sort of understand why they split things out, and one of the reasons is that they can say "You're having to pay £x to the avaricious taxman, and £y to the greedy Spanish airport owner; and as you can see both x and y are more than we are charging you for the flight!". Anyway, if I'm only going to be on the plane for an hour or 2 I'm more than happy to pay less and slum it.

Every time I've flown with BA I've been less than impressed. I'd choose them over Aeroflot and Air Zimbabwe, but not a lot else!

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

I can see why they do it, sort of, but I still feel that people would be placated by honesty. I'd rather know a flight's gonna cost me a realistic X than some enticing Y.

I think the difference with BA was the ease of booking, no extra charges, free food and drinks on the flight - it was just refreshing after years of low cost airlines. Old fashioned in a way, I suppose. But the extra charges I encurred changing my flights was a massive pain in the arse.

Ellie said...

Absolutely ridiculous.

And usually the airports where Ryanair flies are in the quinto cono (put an nye on the n; spanish slang for 'boondocks').

Jessica said...

I hate Ryanair too much to ever fly with them, I've only flown with Easyjet because the company booked them.

I agree with you about BA, makes the experience seem less of a chore and.

Didn't Ryanair loose a court case for advertising flights at prices you could never actually get due to fees and stuff?

Anonymous said...

Yes, I object to their advertising policy too. It is not fair at all. I refuse to use them unless there is no other option available.

I quite like Eurostar for local European trips. Have you used that?

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

Ellie - yes, I've heard that their version of 'city centre' might not correlate with everyone elses.

Jessica - Yeah, there was a whole issue with their advertising. Watchdog picked up on it a few times too, unfair charges and the like. They are more transparent with their advertising these days, but only just enough to scrape through the regulations.

Relucs - No I've never used Euro star, mostly because flying is just that much quicker if you need to get to some obscure place in the south of france. I generally just hop on a plane - I never think to check train prices abroad.

Anonymous said...

Your post mirrors my post about Ryanair this time last year... This year I'm with Monarch Airlines (who?) because they only charge £12 for a bag - cheap or what?!

aggro customer said...

Zero satisfaction with this company, stayed in a hostel in Dublin this weekend, lost my return boarding card, had to pay 70 quid for a piece of paper! Robbing bastards were going to leave me there, with no way home! Said to me to "ring home," at 745 on a Sunday morning! Nobody would be awake for that time, and they told me it was in their terms and conditions... I don't know about you but I can't be bothered to read through 20 pages of bollocks about stuff I don't even understand! Will not use them again, and the music they play at the end of the flight is proper irritating too! Piss poor experience.


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