My Love Affair with Ryanair
Ryanair handled 72 million passengers in 2010. 72 million. I know giving out about Ryanair is practically a national sport but the figures speak for themselves and 72 million passengers cannot be wrong. For me, Ryanair says what it does on the tin. Its allows us cheap afforadable travel and its allowed me to see places I may never have considered visiting.
Before travelling with Ryanair always read the small print. Most complaints I hear about the airline could generally be avoided if people would just know what to expect before they fly.
Yes you can only bring one bag on the aircraft. Yes it should be below a minumum weight. Yes you must have a valid passport/ID. Yes it is cheaper if you check in online. No you can't book a seat. Yes when you land in Dublin airport it is a 20 minute walk to baggage reclaim. Yes you have paid €12.99 for a flight- read the smallprint and pack/plan accordingly.
Ryanair made breaks away affordable for Irish people. Here are some gems I visited thanks to Ryanair, back in the day ( pre-children) when you wanted to go away for a few days and my only criteria was where can I get the cheapest flight to!
Bruges, Belgium – I have been there twice before Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson made the city popular, thanks to €10 flights to Chareloi Airport in Belgium. Great shops, amazing chocolates, lovely bars and restaurants, magical scenary and stunning diamonds for window shopping.
Malmo, Sweden – a gorgeous port on the Swedish coast. From Malmo it is just a short journey to Copenhagan via the Oresund Bridge. This is one of the most memorable train journeys I have ever taken. The bridge connects Denmark and Sweden and part of the bridge crosses the Oresund strait. The views are out of this world and its a train journey I look forward to bringing the children on.
Pescara, Italy- A harbour town on the West Coast of Italy- impressive food, scenary and architecture and well connected rail system to bring me to more popular tourist areas of Italy. I was here when travelling Italy. The cost of the flight was 300 euro cheaper than flying to Rome or Naples.
As well as numerous city breaks to UK and European cities for the price of a bus journey to Cork.
Ryanair- A family friendly airline?
So all the aforementioned Ryanair experiences took place before I became a mother. Then precious first born arrived and we made the brave decision after a couple of months, we would take our first family holiday!! I wont lie, I questioned my love affair with Ryanair, would this cheap carrier be worthy of transporting my precious princess? The price of the flight convinced us Ryanair was. So off we went laden down with enough baby clothes, food, toys and books to cover all eventualities. The check in staff, I'm sure, took pity on us and our naievety and didn't charge us excess baggage charges. We anxiously queued at the gate ( pre priority boarding) again the staff, probably feeling sorry for us, ensured we boarded the plane first….phew both Mammy and Daddy would get to experience the joy of our daughters first flight ( she could've been on a spaceship for all she was aware of by the way) and off we went, no problems and my little waver on the beauty of Ryanair was quashed. We have since travelled many times en familille with Ryanair and have never had a problem. Never paid for priority boarding but have always managed to sit together. Our buggies/car seats have always arrived intact. With the Ryanair turnaround times, we have never been badly delayed and lets be honest there is nothing worse than hanging around an airport with overtired children. Earlier this year, we a family a five went to Disneyland Paris. We travelled to France with Ryanair for the grand total of €157 inc bags,taxes and charges. So yes, in my opinion, Ryanair is as family friendly as any other airline.
A word on Michael O'Leary
The man is a living Irish genius. Would I like to work for him? No. Would I like to see him in government? My god, yes. I am hard pressed to find another Irish business person, I admire as much. What he has done for the airline industry is astounding. Yes he is controversial. No I don't agree with all his opinions but everytime the man opens his mouth he gets full media coverage. What business would not dream of such marketing?
I Love Ryanair
Ryanair have never left me stranded in the middle of nowhere. I dont mind paying a fiver for a breakfast bagel and coffee on board, its preferable to a free unidentifiable breakfast in a tray. So what if your flight home lands on the outskirts of Meath when you land in Dublin airport, a stroll after a flight stretches the legs! Bring valid ID, know the baggage allowances, always delete your cookies if researching Ryanair flights online to get the best price. Say no to buying scratch cards on board and grab a bargain flight. Now more than ever we need affordable flights, we all need to escape the monotony of normal day to day life, Ryanair allows us this privilage. Ryanair, I salute you.