Friday, November 23, 2007

Flying with Ryanair

The trip to Graz was the first time I used Rynanair. They were the only airline which offered a non-stop flight from the UK to Graz, and I decided to give them a try. One of their main hubs in the UK is Stansted Airport, which is a bit inconvenient to reach from Leeds: first a train from Leeds to Peterborough, then a connecting train to Stansted Airport. The first train was one of the GNER trains to London - had a 240V power socket at the seat, so I could actually get some work done. But the 2nd train was more of a standard commuter train... and so I was just travelling without any opportunity to use my laptop computer. The overall train journey was almost 4 hours long... then checking in at the airport and flying off to Graz.

Waiting at the gate for the flight. Something was wrong: the arriving plane was late. But there was no announcement why it would be late... so everybody stood there in the queue like idiots, waiting to board the plane. Since Ryanair has no seat assignments, but only "paid priority" tickets, nobody dared to leave the queue to have a comfortable seat, out of fear to loose their space in the queue and later get a worse seat... if only they would tell how long the delay would be!

As I had checked in my luggage, it was 16.7 kg - slightly over the allowed limit of 15 kg. But they did not make me pay anything - just checked in my luggage without any problems.

On the way back, in Graz, the scales did not work at all - so I could have put all my stuff into the suitcase instead of carrying it with me in the hand luggage, to avoid the steep penalty fees for additional luggage...

Overall, the service was ok, and I arrives safely. But I wish there would have been more announcements instead of keeping the passengers in the dark about delays etc. And the long train ride from Leeds to Stansted certainly is a turn-off! So I doubt that I would take Ryanair again - unless they start flying from Leeds-Bradford airport to some reasonable destinations. Until then, I guess I will stay with good old KLM.

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