Thursday, 30 July 2009

No more Ryanair

I’ve had enough. Unless there is absolutely no other alternative, I’ve had my final Ryanair flight. A sign of getting old and grumpy? It’s possible. But I don’t think thats the issue. Do I care? Not a bit.

It’s the first time in my life I’ve got so irritated by a business service that I’ve decided to spit the dummy and boycott even if it means some serious inconvenience. I’ve moved on from stuff before that I’ve felt is falling short of where it could be, to a better alternative. But never with a vow never to return. For example, I finally went from Microsoft to Mac after several years of hoping Microsoft would get good enough to make me want to stay. I got fed up waiting. But if they get good again, I’m not bitter and I would look at them again. It’s perfectly forgivable not to be leading the race all the time.

But Ryanair, in my world, are history.

Maybe eight years ago, lots of people had good things to say about them. They seemed to be really working hard to make things better for us. In the past year that regard has finally slipped into loathing every move they make and grudging every pound we spend on them. I haven’t talked to a single recent user of their flights who hasn’t felt the same.

For any of you who regularly fly with them and especially those like myself who work around Europe, I don’t need to go into why this is. For those who don’t and are curious, some stories are here. But it boils down to capitalising on the fact that folk are busy, are creatures of habit and can’t always research the alternatives and using that to make opportunistic raids on the wallet once you are backed into a corner (at the airport). Also, leveraging an infrastructure and weight in the airline industry to bully us into doing travel their way.

I’ll watch how this story unfolds with interest from the sidelines. I’m highly curious to know if this massive company have gone off the rails and are throwing away everything they’ve built up for the sake of greed, arrogance or foolishness, or do they really know what they are doing?

I would have thought that starting every other customer’s flight by hitting them hard in the wallet from behind as they reach the airport would be something customers would hold long in the memory? Especially when you make them stand in a massive queue to make them pay and give them plenty of time to deepen the hatred. How can this make business sense in the long term? It will be interesting to see.

When they go bankrupt I’ll smile. If they are still as big in five years time I’ll shake my head in amazement at the courageousness of this experiment in bold business. Good luck to them, I think they’ll need it.

Full disclosure/update: I’ve still got enough fizz to write the above post over a week after the flight in question. So it’s not rage, just deep dislike of what they are doing. A quick google of ‘we hate ryanair’ demonstrated I’m far from alone in my frustration and led to me becoming the 2623rd member of the ‘we hate ryanair’ facebook group LOL!

Ryanair provided some handy scales at the back of the queue. You pay to wiegh your bag, so you can discover how much you have to pay again when it’s a wee bit too heavy.


  1. they make you pay to use the scale?? Eeek.

    For me, their shining moment was after Liz had that bad fall in Spain and Dave J had to carry all her stuff back while she went in the air ambulance. They charged him for all of it...

  2. Anonymous30 July, 2009

    Looks like more are liking them than disliking them
    60m passengers in 2008 20% on 2007

  3. Anonymous30 July, 2009

    As long as you respect the rules, I never had a problem.
    As long you respect the rules.

  4. With you 100% on this.

    From the moment you enter the "airport," using Ryanair is like paying for the privilege of reading and responding intelligently to every message in your spam box. Any failure, slowdown or lack of concentration will result in paying more. Sure, it's possible to avoid the charges, but it's not pleasant.

  5. We know a lot of people use them. Liking them is something different.

    IMO their rules are no longer worth respecting, hence the post.

  6. I agree with your stance Dave. They are by far the worst budget airline I've encountered, in a variety of ways including the number of deceptive stealth charges, the baggage/check-in attitudes, and the general low quality of their flights. I don't mind budget quality on budget flights but I object to deception, manipulation, and blatant shoddiness.

    I will use them only if they are the only flights available, but I will always try elsewhere first: Easyjet, Jet2, BMIBaby etc etc. Even if it costs a few quid more - which it invariably won't after Ryanair adds all it's extra charges.

  7. I made a similar vow last year after another bad experience with Ryanair. It's as if their staff get commission on how much they manage to piss you off. I wrote to them for a refund after being unfairly charged, having been told to send a receipt etc, only to get a one-line email back saying Ryanair don't do refunds!
    I'm getting angry again just typing this... Easyjet are the way forward.

  8. Totally agree with you Dave. You know they're trying to bring in charging for the onboard toilets? Terrible.

  9. A big fuss about nothing.

    Use CrynAir instead.