I flew with Ryanair last week on my way back from a lovely short trip to Ibiza. You can read about my flight on the way out with EasyJet here.
Although Ryanair may not be the airline that springs to mind when you think of luxury air travel, they’ve actually just been named the most reliable airline in the UK (along with Jet2), so how bad can it really be to fly with them? At least you may actually get there! After all, prices are much higher if you visit Ibiza in August, especially if you plan on visiting the clubs. This leaves less budget for air travel…
Because we were flying to Bristol Airport, the main airline choices were EasyJet, Ryanair and Jet2. This flight left at a convenient time for us to do a 4-hour train journey and the Bristol Airport flyer bus while still getting home in a day.
Buying the Tickets
The Ryanair app isn’t as good as other airline apps such as EasyJet, but it fits the purpose. I usually prefer to book my Ryanair tickets direct but on my laptop as I find the website easier to navigate.
We paid £60.85 each for our tickets (a single from Ibiza to Bristol) plus €50 x2 for bags.
A basic Ryanair flight ticket includes no allocated seating and a 40x40x25cm hand luggage allowance.
Extra fees include:
- Extra Legroom Seats: €/£14 – €/£30 (Row 1, 2 (D,E,F) & 16-17)
- Front Row Seats: €/£7 – €/£19 (Rows 2 (A,B,C) – 5)
- Seat Allocation Choice: €/£3 – €/£15 (Rows 6-15 & 18-33). Families get a discount on seat allocation because it’s mandatory on Ryanair. The cost ranges from €/£4 – €/£6 per flight.
Priority boarding on Ryanair means you can board the plane first AND take two cabin bags on board. The cost of this depends on the flight route and varies from €/£8 to €/£30.
10kg Check-in Bag: €/£12.00- €/£25.00
20kg Check-in Bag: €/£17.99 – €/£50.00 (we paid €50 per bag)
Any special equipment, from bikes to musical instruments, also has an extra cost. You can view more about the Ryanair Fees here.
After forgetting my bag… and having to get a taxi back to the hotel, we had just 2 hours left until the scheduled departure time. At this point, there were no queues at the Ryanair check-in desk, and we went straight ahead and checked our bags in. After a short walk upstairs to security, we found there were also minimal queues. Considering this is Ibiza in August after the pandemic, I was surprised! Security took just 10 minutes, leaving us 1 hour to explore the Ibiza airport shops.
Our gate was called slightly late, but when we were all sitting in the departure room, we discovered that the plane had not yet landed in Ibiza. We waited around 45-minutes before boarding the plane.
Priority boarding and those who’d booked special assistance were called first. This resulted in yet another queue at the plane door rather than ‘priority boarding’. We were then told that we’d missed our air traffic control slot and we could be on the plane for an extra hour before takeoff. This ended up being around 30 minutes.
After landing in Ibiza at night, the takeoff was stunning. We had panoramic views across the islands of Ibiza and Formentera. The views continued across Spain until they were covered by clouds.
Seats and Cabin
Due to my travel companion needing special assistance, we were seated in 5A and 5B. These seats had additional legroom and a surprising amount of space for a Ryanair flight. I was initially seated separately, but the airline staff moved me as soon as we boarded the plane. However, this was slightly awkward when the people who’d booked my seat originally boarded!
Food and Drink
The Ryanair food and drink menu is available on the app or online, accessed by scanning a QR code on the plane seat. I didn’t find this as good as the EasyJet menu experience, where you can browse the menu without looking at a screen. I often have my phone in the overhead compartment, meaning I cannot browse the menu.
Hot food orders were taken swiftly as soon as the plane had finished takeoff. There was then a long wait for the food to be cooked and brought over. Once the food is brought over, you can purchase any additional snacks or turn your hot food order into a meal deal. I opted for green olives, Coke and the pizza and chips meal.
Bristol Airport Arrival
We landed in Bristol around 1 hour late. The flight somehow managed to make up time in the air. After reading on the news about long waits for baggage at Bristol airport, I didn’t have many expectations. The plane was offloaded swiftly, but we were left waiting another 30 minutes for a special assistance vehicle to become available. Once we arrived at the terminal, our baggage was going around by itself. We made a quick exit and caught the Bristol Airport Flyer to Bristol Temple Meads Train Station, which runs every 30-minutes.
The Aftermath and Final Verdict
Aside from the flight delays and delays boarding and disembarking the plane, I had a good experience flying with Ryanair. The extra legroom seats were spacious, and there was a large variety of food on offer. We were also able to book a morning flight, meaning we could get home all in 1 day. I wouldn’t say that Ryanair is ‘the most reliable airline in the UK’, but it serves a purpose for those looking for budget flight tickets and getting from A to B.
What’s TLFL doing advertising Ryanair? Michael O’Leary must be pleased.
Perhaps they could find the missing apostrophe and put it into the back of the seat! As a PR professional incorrect grammar drives me nuts on signage – really no excuse as it’s glaringly obvious it’s not correct…I assume it’s been reproduced on all of their seats everywhere. Doh!
Really? Read your reply and try again maybe. Grammar police really do have to be squeaky clean.
Thanks but nothing wrong with my reply…maybe a little less of snark?
There is a mistake towards the end.
Same here, stands out like a sore thumb!
I can’t imagine any reason why I would choose to fly with Ryanair.
I flew Ryanair for the first time recently from Paphos to Amman. It was the only option for the day and time we wanted. I also did not find the website great but the flight was fine. We were not allowed to use the toilets for some reason am arrived a bit late but it could have been worse. While I will not rush to use them I would definitely consider if it was the only feasible option.
I live near Bournemouth Airport. A 5 minute drive. I use Ryanair when they have a flight to the destination I want. The convenience outweighs any downsides. Its usually cheap unless travelling during school holidays so why would I not use them?
Everyone needs to bear in mind that if you pay a low price then expectations should be lower.
Despite this I don’t think i’ve had many negative experiences during the dozens of times I’ve used them.
Excellent review. Although I predominantly turn left, I do fly Easyjet every now and then. I might give Ryanair a go now, whenever timetable convenience prevails.
…never gonna happen.. Whilst every review is welcomed, there is nothing, literally nothing that would get me to part with a dime to O’Leary and his flying bus.. I’d rather walk
Whilst I agree with the views on Michael O’Leary and his awful business model ( for the customer ) I have also used them on a few occasions for sheer convenience. I would only ever travel hand luggage only. As a previous contributor states they have excellent punctuality and nowadays seem to be more reliable and don’t cancel flights at the drop of a hat. I guess it’s a case of weighing up all the options and what is most convenient for one when making the journey .
I’ve used Ryanair once as it was my only short notice option and found them to be ok for what I’d paid.
I’ve also recently used EasyJet and found that a much more polished trip.
With BA being so ridiculously unreliable I’d have no problem flying EasyJet but would probably only fly Ryanair as a last resort.
I used to have a villa on Lanzarote, being retired travelling at any time was no problem, the staple was a £29 RETURN FARE. (OVER 6 YEARS AGO)
That today hardly covers the extras ? There are no cheap flights with Ryanair or Easyjet there are just low comfort, don’t care, shoved on shoved off animal transporters posing as flights.
So I FLY ba BUSINESS BUSINESS NORMALLY, NOW ITS NOT WHAT BUSINESS SHOULD BE ON SHORT HAUL, its as bad as all the rest, but in my experience, the people do care, they employ professionals, often treating them badly . I may have been lucky, but it is based on 3 or 4 flights a year, the price is not that much more, you get space on board, and the lounges take all the hassle out of the equation, it is a completely different experience.
If you travel economy, what are you doing here ? pressed against the window.
If you finances dictate you take cattle class you have to do so.
BUT to fly with Ryanair and easyjet, and you can afford the ba business, you are out of your mind , and you can enjoy travelling again. It’s worth it for that alone.
Fly from Bristol ? Inefficient, spread out, is the most inefficient and worst airport in the country, I have never disembarked on time, EVER even if landing on time, and their Border Force are like American ones for assistance and charm and I am reliably informed that they are run by donkeys.
O’Leary is the reason! I’m retired from the travel industry and he’s just a nasty piece of work who loathes his customers. 737 Max is another- I don’t trust the aircraft and nor must be if he can’t print it on the side. He doesn’t deserve my business. The antithesis: he has built a highly profitable business so it’s a shame his gob can’t be controlled otherwise he could be even more successful.
Agreed. People forget Boeing’s ongoing poor safety record too quickly. The second I find out BA is using 737s is the one they will lose me as a customer.
These reviews are always good reading though this changes nothing: I will still never book Ryanair-don’t-care. The antithesis of customer service
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