To see some traveller's comments about Ryanair (both good and bad .... but mostly bad) see Stytrax's site:

Sytrax commented on one of its editorials: "Ryanair has an atrocious record in terms of customer service. The company policy is apparently driven only by the need to maximise profit - largely through reduction in operational costs............Take the money and run appears to be the watchword for this company - check the rules, and you will find that Ryanair has basically excused itself from virtually any form of obligation to you as a customer.   They can cancel your flight, keep you waiting around for hours on end, lose your luggage or make you wait several hours for it - and you do not have a single right of complaint or recompense."









Ryanair - the low fares airline......,

but . . . . . . . . . they make a lot of money. How do they do it? Following are some of their not so low fare ways of squeezing some more money out of your wallet:

Excess baggage: Most airlines give 20kgs baggage allowance, but Ryanair have reduced their allowance to 15kgs. The reasoning was to get more excess baggage charges. If you are travelling for more than a couple of days 15kgs is quickly passed. In fact most regular airlines will let you go up to about 25kgs before they will start to think of excess charges. Ryanair try to enforce the 15kg limit, and how they do this is to incentivise the check in staff to charge you for excess baggage charges by giving them rewards for charging the most, such as a free dinner for two.

Tips to avoid excess baggage charges:  Don't check your bags - carry a bag on to the plane, once on the plane they won't hassle you, but watch out as if you show up at check in with another bag they will ask if you are carrying onboard. So let someone else look after it when checking in. If it is heavy put it under your seat in front of you as otherwise it can be dangerous to put it in the overhead luggage compartment.

Heat up the plane: Drinks and snacks are extra on Ryanair, so if the plane is a little hotter then you may get a little more thirsty, and may be inclined to buy some more drinks.

Internet booking: When the site isn't working properly due to script errors or bugs then you have to phone their "help desk" or "telephone booking" charges run at a hefty Euro 1.00 per minute or Euro 0.45, but the first minute is taken up by a recorded message, then you may have to hang around for up to 5 minutes waiting for an operator.... Great for the revenue figures. It can take with this waiting up to 10 minutes for a booking

Card processing charges: This is another great revenue producer, this charge slipped in at the end of the booking, even though the card payment is at the core of the elimination of the traditional administration costs for low fares airlines. The card companies charge a merchant charge for handling, however this is normally negotiated for large merchants, and is normally based on a % of the transaction, or a flat fee. If a practical alternative were available I would have no issue with this, but a practical alternative is not available, so to be transparent this charge should be up front included in the price.

Don't refund taxes: Ryanair won't credit or refund taxes on unused or missed tickets - again great revenue generator as they get to pocket the taxes and airport fees that don't get paid over.

Get government subsidies: The local government in Wallonia has subsidised the start up of Ryanair's activities in Charleroi. I have no issue if local tax payers want to give money to private enterprises, but what about all this "no more state aid" thing, and Ryanair complaining about states bailing out state owned or controlled airlines? It looks like Ryanair will have to pay back this aid now

Enforce customers to buy another ticket: this is a great money earner for Ryanair, if a client is 1 minute past the check in deadline then they have to buy another much more expensive ticket. So if the trains are delayed Ryanair is in heaven as they can make much higher yields.... maybe that is why Ryanair like Stansted so much because of the unreliable rail link. This is also why Ryanair love there "point to point" claim as then they can even generate more revenue if there own planes are late, as travellers then have to buy new tickets for missed connections..... what a wheeze.

Clean up your act: Ryanair really would be the passenger's friend if they didn't operate quite so much like Del boy from Only Fools and Horses.  Come on O'Leary, clean up your act and get rid of the shinny suit image you are creating around you and your company, your customers will eventually force you to act in a more civilised way.

In conclusion, don't be too seduced by the "low fares" sticker, shop around and take into account the REAL cost of flying with Ryanair.


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Get Siobhan Creaton's new book on Ryanair from Amazon

Just a few years ago Ryanair was a tiny, impoverished Irish airline trying unsuccessfully to compete with Aer Lingus using a handful of elderly turboprop planes. In 2003 its share price is so high the company is worth more than British Airways, and with the unlikely business model of selling seats for as little as 99p for the privilege of flying to airports perhaps 50 miles outside the cities they purport to serve, Ryanair has become the most profitable airline in Europe. It is also an airline whose phenomenal success has never been too far from controversy, whether it be its militant lack of sympathy for its passengers when their flight is delayed or cancelled, its robust approach to industrial relations, or indeed the industrial language favoured by its charismatic and buccaneering chief executive, Michael O'Leary - and, most recently, the EU ruling that Ryanair's strategy of getting cities like Strasbourg to pay it handsomely for the privilege of landing at their airport contravenes competition law. But the supercharged growth of this low-cost airline has actually changed the way countless people live their lives, whether it be Ireland's new 'Ryanair Generation' for whom its cheap flights to Dublin have eliminated much permanent emigration to the UK, or the thousands of Britons now enabled to buy holiday homes in rural France. This book tells the full story of the Ryanair phenomenon, from its inauspicious beginnings to its current dominance, from the secret of its business strategy to the cavalier stunts and practices that have led "The Guardian" to dub it "Eire O'Flot". Siobhan Creaton has spoken to Ryanair employees past and present, as well as its top management and those at its major rivals like British Airways and asyJet, to produce an authoritative and objective account of one of the most colourful companies in Europe.

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