Ryanair documentary

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10/06/2009 - 09:23

Ryanair will be the subject of a Panorama investigation next Monday 12 Oct, BBC1.Essential viewing I expect. 



That they have initial low fares but charge for everything else? that they have no concept of customer relations? That if there is a problem they are generally horrific to deal with? That you know exactly what you're getting when you book Ryanair? That if you book last minute with them you are generally screwed? That they have in general offered incredible value and have allowed us to fly when we otherwise wouldn't? That they have (previously at least) introduced incredible competition into the market and have introduced us to the concept of flying to places we previously never heard of?I would have thought that all of the issues about Ryanair have been well thrown thrown around by now? Or is it dealing with things we don't yet know about Ryanair?

Ryanair have published their correspondence with Panorama on their web site. It's worth a read and some of it is quite funny.We use them and if it wasn't for Ryanair it's unlikely we would have an apartment in italy. It would be too expensive by any other means.My only problem with them is that the Liverpool - Pisa flight seems to have been dropped for the winter. If it had been viable for them no doubt it would have been scheduled so we can't expect them to run at a loss; why should we? As long as you play by their rules, they do what they say they will. No doubt we'll have an occasional problem with them but our numerous flights have been punctual, reliable and economic which is more than I can say for my use of BA or other forms of transport ( eg Virgin Trains). It costs far more to travel from Manchester to London by train or air than it costs us to get to Pisa and it is less reliable.It's easy to carp at them but they have a business that seems to be more than surviving. Good luck to them

We too would be totally lost without Ryanair. If it was'nt for them we would'nt have bought our casa in Calabria.Un fortunately Ryanair have stopped the Lamezia - Stanstead route so we are now looking at a different route to get there. We will always look for Ryanair flights as they are the cheapest, the less we spend on getting there the better!!We feel that Ryanair could greatly improve on their non-existence customer service but they get us from A to B normally on time. As mentioned previously they are a business & a successful one at that!

I don’t fly with Ryanair and don’t intend ever to do so, a little comfort is what I look for in air travel and they don’t provide it! What worries me in some of the messages posted here is the fact that people have bought houses in places Ryanair fly to and to which they wouldn’t have otherwise gone. Ryanair is not there to serve the flying customer, it is there to make money. If the routes they choose become financially unviable they will move – witness their departure from Charleroi (B) and Malmo (S) airports. If you base your house searches solely on Ryanair destinations, there will undoubtedly come a time when your trips are going to be wildly expensive because they will have moved on to pastures new and other airlines, cheap or not, will not necessarily get you there in one short hop. I did watch the Panorama programme last night and felt that, wittingly or not, the BBC gave O’Leary a good half-hour of publicity for free! 

We have used Ryanair Stansted to Rome because we live near Stansted but increasingly we are using alternatives which provide better customer service and cheaper prices.  For example, 6 of us are flying Easyjet Gatwick (4 of the group live near Gatwick) to Pisa (an hour's longer drive to out Italian destination) for just over half the price of Ryanair Stansted to Pisa on the same days.  An Alitalia flight back to Rome from Heathrow at the beginning of September was about the same price as the Ryanair flight to Ciampino on the same morning but with much better customer service.  It is time-consuming doing all the research but I feel it is definitely worth it.  I suppose we are lucky having a range of options and I recognise that this may not be the case for some forum members.

2000 01 02 03 04..........Alitalia: London Rome £165. Rome Cagliari £130.Ryanair: Stansted Algerho £45Easyjet: Luton Cagliari £45Go for it Raggio"I don't fly with Ryanair and don't ever ever intend to do so......."

In reply to by Capo Boi

My son uses BA for business but until now has found Ryanair to be convenient to visit me near Lake Como and family in Milano. But  he's not happy with the new system of all checking in at the same gate. It just causes trouble from those who arrive late....He only lives 30 mins from Gatwick and looked at easyJet into Linate (Milan), but has just booked a visit for November on BA Heathrow to Malpensa (Milan).  £140 return. Better luggage allowance, Flyers Points and treated like a human being - not an animal... (his words).  By the time he put an o/n hotel stay and all the 'extras' on a Ryanair flight there's not a lot of difference if you want to fly 'when' and to 'where' you want.If Ryanair advertised themsevleves as an air "bus" or "coach" service I wonder how many would complain. Ay the end of the day I suppose you get what you pay for!

In reply to by Capo Boi

...but not all of us live in the home counties and so don't have a choice.  If you have a choice then great for you but PLEASE stop assuming we all have access to BA et al.Plus everyone seems to have forgotten how expensive flights were before Ryanair Easyjet et al came along.  Yes you could get a cheap weekend away with BA et al but if you didn''t stay a Saturday night or needed a one way ticket you were stuffed.  In 1986 I paid £600 to get back from Barcleona - ok i got a drink and free hold luggage but I'd rather take Mr O'Leary's prices any day - even with the add ons.  What the low cost carriers did was break the oligopoly that was the airline industry and give consumers a choice.incidentally we first came to the Marche (where we subsequently bought a house) because train tickets to London for 4 of us were over £200 and we could fly Liverpool - Ancona ("where ever that is - it'll be fine - anywhere is ok for a week") with 2 bags (between 4 of us) for £72.  And in February I am takign a group of undergraduates to barcelona for 5 days fieldwork for about £220 - I am taking some first years to Wales for 4 days next week and that is going to cost them £195.If you don't like Ryanair don't fly with them, go somewhere else but even with the add ons they are usually the cheapest (we have to drive past Manchester airport to get to Liverpool airport so I always check Jet2 to Rome prices but they are always more and when you are paying for 4 tickets it adds up) Chris

I didnt see the prog on Ryanair but have read all the comments with interest,so let me give you my twopenneth worth.totally agree with cilla10,capoboi and jepsonclough.we would not have bought our lovely house if not for cheap flights, and no matter what anyone says about them, they are cheap (if you go outside of school hols!) Just booked flights to Rome which cost just the (abominal!!) taxes/fees. Cant argue with that. Living up north we dont have as much choice as the privileged southeners (Christ, we aint even got a tunnel, unless you count the one to Birkenhead) and we have looked at all the options.I`ve had a few moans in the past myself about Ryanair,but,if I`m honest, they aint all that bad. I`m more worried about the apparent  lack of any moves by our esteemed government to halt the slide of the pound!!

I agree with the non-home counties viewpoint. If we went from gatwick, Stanstead, Heathrow or Luton it would cost a fortune just to get to the airport. BA don't cater for anyone outside London and even if you fly BA from a regional airport you have to pay for the priviledge of changing in London. I hadn't realised that was treating  customers as being human.Ryanair, Easyjet and the low cost carriers do provide a service for those of us that don't live inside the M25. I just can't work out why BA are making whacking great losses and the low cost outfits are making a profit........ It's really strange!

We live half an hour from Heathrow, three quarters from Gatwick but I will still praise Ryanair.  For us Stansted is awful to get to.  No problem if there are no hold ups - an easy hour and a quarter round the M25.  However, the road is so unreliable that one must leave so much margin for holdups that it would be easier to come from the north - at least less stressful.  I would prefer a two and a half hour drive that was reliable.Even so, we use Ryanair a lot - it flies direct to where we want - despite all its silly charges it is very efficient and I have only ever found the staff helpful and friendly - more than can often be said of the other passengers.  I do not understand why there is a scrum at the gate to get on the plane - we all have a boarding card and therefore a seat.  I am not bothered if separated from fellow travellers.This summer I flew Al Italia for the first time.  Excellent, but it did involve a change.  Was actually cheaper than Ryanair for peak times, but that was only for a return - I cannot work out how to book a single flight under about £1,000. We do not rely on Ryanair to get to our house (prefer to drive) and we now have a little more time on our hands and can cope with changing airports if necessaryl  However, have just booked to go out for a week in November with Ryanair for under £25 including taxes, checkin fees and credit card fees.  Can't really complain about that. I don't think MO'L helps himself with all these extra charges - but we all know about them and they are quite clear on the website when you book.  You pays your money and you takes your choice.

Whilst I prefer to drive, I think Ryanair are brilliant on price and service - yes service! You get what they advertise.  What gets up my nose is the time, stress and hassle from leaving home and getting to the departure gate - If I drive, I can be half way to Italy in that time.One thing puzzles me FP - £1,000 for a single? Just checked Alitalia for the dates we are going in November (we also paid under £25! going with R) and it was £154 return or £95 single??

Just done the exercise like you, and yes I now get a reasonable single price.  Not what happened in the past .  Must admit it is quite a relief as I was worried I could only book returns.  As I will probably often only need a one way ticket home if I drive out with the other half and fly home, Heathrow is much more convenient as I can at least get home by public transport.  Thnks for putting me right - would have given up trying.

Ive not tried Alitalia so will give them a go! When Ryanair put back on our Stanstead - Lamezia flights we will of course go with them. I'm not sure where Alitalia go to in Italy, hopefully down to Lamezia. Glad I read your comments about this airline!

Interesting reading this - the Alitalia site today for a single in November was £1089. I called them and with the error of language difficulty she initialy joyfully told me yes this was a promotion. Then realised I said thousand not hundred and went off to check but came back to say that yes that was the price because it's single.  I told them they are losing business as three of us are travelling 2 of us return and require one single so we eitehr can't travel together or will go ryanair but their travel dates don't quiet work.  Am interested as to whether it was just a special promotion on the single fares you seem to have found?   

Glad this has happened to someone else (if you know what I mean) as I thought I was going mad.Will keep checking the site sporadically and see what happens.  I often get different prices for things, particularly car hire, each time I go into the site within minutes of each other.

As I said in an earlier post, Stanted is very near to us so we have no problems getting there but I feel for air passengers who have been faced either with long delays on the M11 or delays on the Stansted Express - something which seems to happen too frequently.  I seem not to find the cheap £25 Ryanair flights - a random search just done for flights which cost £0.00 for each leg still gives me a price of £34.27 to Rome and £26.33 back plus the credit or debit card fee.  Most flights though seem to cost at least £12.99 each way if not more.  My husband fully agrees with Milky Bar Kid about the hassle of waiting at the airport and the satisfaction of driving, though for a short visit it is not really feasible.

Getsett the way to get cheap flights is look out for the sales/special offers .e.g. it is free flights today for some destinations - Check out Stansted to Pescara go out on Wed 4/11 spend two weeks there and come back on 25/11 - total cost 2p inc fare, taxes, boarding fee - take no extra bags abd pay by electron then 2p is your total cost!

Thanks Milky Bar Kid.  We will widen our destination choices - only Rome till recently and lately also Pisa.  I have not found such good offers re Rome whenever I have looked - perhaps every 3 or 4 weeks or when I get an email from Ryanair re offers.  However, these offers do not seem to include Rome, probably because they don't need to.  It clearly pays to look further afield.  As I said a few posts ago on this thread we are going Easyjet Gatwick to Pisa for a week at £235 return all taxes fees included for 6 of us in a couple of days - I think that's a brilliant price.

I live in the North West and travel to Pescara 3 or 4 times a year from Stansted.  Even with the 3 and a half hour drive from Liverpool to Stansted and car parking charges, it's still cheaper than other airlines.  With Ryanair you get what you pay for, I don't agree that there are 'hidden costs' they're there for everyone to see, plus it's easy enough to get an Electron card (I have a Co-op one) to avoid the credit/debit card fees.  The simple fact is people can't expect to pay Ryanair fees but get a 4* service.  In the past I've griped about the excess baggage charges but even with this, I'm capable of weighing my own case and it's my fault if I turn up with an overweight bag when I know how strict they are.My one complaint is that they don't offer enough flights from the North West.  My dream would be a Liverpool-Pescara flight but I'd be equally happy if they brought back the Liverpool-Ancona flight.  It's a particular puzzle to me because they run a lot of flights out of Liverpool, even when they were flying from Manchester and Liverpool they still couldn't manage one flight from the North West of England to Southern Italy.  Oh well, maybe one day......................... 

I though taxes and fees were standard throughout the UK, or are we being fleeced up north? As I said £0.00 to Rome and back for 2 but payind £130 odd quid in add ons.Have you tried Lpool/Rome then driving to your destination Farfalla? We have checked everything (we think) and it still comes out as the best way for us to reach Amandola area.

taxes are standard across uk but fees (which is what you pay to the airport ) vary depending on the airport, how well the airline has negotiated (which explains why the low cost carriers at big airports are at the furthest gate or in a satellite terminal). Hence the difference iwth different airlines and airports. Chris

Yes, I've tried that but I need to get to Molise so the drive is a drag, about 4 and a half hours and what with the crazy drivers on the autostrada and the fees (much more expensive than paying the M6 toll!) it's easier to fly from Stansted.   Plus for my return flight I have to leave Molise at about 5am to get to Rome in time.  I've also tried getting the bus from Rome but you have to get a bus or taxi to the bus and then change half way so it takes forever!  It's only a 40 minute drive from Pescara to my destination and I'd much rather drive on roads in the UK, at least I'm used to our crazy drivers!  When we had the Liverpool to Ancona flight I could easily jump a train from Ancona to Termoli.  Flying Easyjet Liverpool to Napoli is no better either, the drive is longer than from Rome.Who knows, now that Ryanair have stopped flying from Manchester maybe they'll add more flights from Liverpool and if we're really lucky they might at least bring back Ancona............................

 I'm glad to see so much support for Ryanair instead of the usual carping from people with unrealistic expectations. What has not been very widely publicised is that Ryan runs the most modern fleet in the air, so when Raggio saysa little comfort is what I look for in air travel and they don’t provide it!it simply isn't true, just misplaced prejudice.Having said which, if it was my business I would want to tidy up my public relations, as it's clear they get up people's noses with the way they put across their pricing policies. 

In reply to by SirTK

Jet 2 is no different really. You have to click on the first low price to get the real price and then luggage and everything else is extra, and if you're not careful to delete it you've got insurance ,meals and a fiddler to serenade you when you're eating + a big surprise at what you've paid at the end. The only free method of paying is with electron, as with Ryanair. What I do like is 28 days for checking in online as we often go for 3 weeks and it's much easier for us to do both journeys before we go.

Yes Co-op are withdrawing the Electron card.  Halifax Easycash account appears a good and popular choice - if you apply online they have an apology advising approval time has been extended beyond their normal 7 day turnaround because of invreased demand!

In reply to by Milky Bar Kid

Thankyou for the information about Halifax Easycash. The co-op has already stopped issuing new cards but your current card will be valid until its renewal date. The Halifax doesn't seem to have plans to stop Electron at the moment so I think I'll open an easycash account now and use my co-op one until it expires in 2011 as it's so convenient for me to put money in at the local post office. You do save a lot of money using Electron , especially booking several flights a year.Ryanair have now got summer flights to Pisa from East Mid and Liverpool advertised but they seem very expensive at the moment. Jet 2 from Manchester is cheaper on the dates we want to go.

I can get out of my car at Stansted and be having my breakfast in Frankie and Bennie's having gone through security within 5-10 mins.That's due to online checkin and valet parking (which ony costs about a fiver more than the long-stay)True, I'm hanging around at the aiport for a couple of hours, but by the time I've ha breakfast, been to Boots & WH Smiths, got to the gate and settled down with the paper, it doesn't seem bad at allI've always said that you must remember to factor in waiting tme when deciding wich form of transport is the quickest.  But I must say having discovered the checkin and parking thingies, the airport wait is pretty hassle-free now

Annec, when you say valet parking is only about a fiver extra, I assume you're talking about per day?!?!?  I'm in the long stay Dec - Jan which is costing £40+ but was £90+ for valet parking!

In reply to by Farfalla

....I mean all in.  for instance, we've just paid £44 for valet parking Thurs - Tues.  The longstay at Stansted would've been £40.   I book through Aadvark.

In reply to by Annec

Annec by coincidence we have just booked with Aardvark but for a week Sun - Sun in November - £38 - maybe you have booked a different time of the year or perhaps you haven't taken advantage of the discounts available.  APH run the booking engine so search for APH discounts and you can normally get 15%.  PM if you need more help

I am posting on this old message regarding Aardvark as 'new posting' is not working. We have used Aardvark Valet Parking at Stansted for the last 3 occasions - approximately, November, January and March.  It really is great, and no more expensive than normal long stay parking.  You just give Aardvark a call from the motorway as you approach Stansted, pull up outside the airport at the drop off area, and within minutes a cheery Aardvark rep is there to take your keys and remove the car.  Similarly, when you come home, a call from the arrivals hall gets the Aardvark man outside within 5 minutes with your car.  We can't believe that we get such a good valet service at a normal parking price.  We are waiting to see if they can maintain this standard during the summer months, and whether they put the price up! I have no idea where they take the car to - I expect it is on the booking form but I haven't looked. We take the old car to the airport to avoid any anxiety on our part, but certainly we have had no cause to be concerned. We are going from Gatwick next time - has anyone used Aardvark from Gatwick?