Monday, December 22, 2008

A Few Notes on RyanAir...

RyanAir is, generally speaking, Europe's cheapest airline. It is completely no frills. I'm surprised they don't tax people for oxygen, because they tax and charge for almost anything (that's not meant as a jibe to RyanAir... simply some dark humor). No meals are included in the ticket price. Seats don't recline. There are no magazine holders tied to the back of the seats for the person sitting behind someone to keep their reading materials sturdy. The only free luggage allowed is one 10-kilo carry-on item (you can check in luggage, but that costs extra). But, hell, what do you expect for a ticket that costs 20 euros one way from Barcelona to Paris, for example?

Well, that's another thing. RyanAir is a cheap airline, but there are several "catches":

1.) You must fly light (i.e. one 10-kilo carry-on), as checking in luggage isn't free (on the contrary, it's actually quite expensive)

2.) The airports used by RyanAir, especially in bigger cities that have multiple airports, will probably be those furthest from the city center.

In fact, I was flying from Stockholm to Barcelona to Paris. In each leg of my journey, I knew to expect a long flight, since I would actually be flying into Nykoping's Skavsta Airport (100 km south of Stockholm), Girona's Costa Brava Airport (92 km north of Barcelona), and Paris Beauvais Tillé Airport (85 km north of Paris). Each time, it took about about 60-90 minutes to reach the airport from the city, or vice-versa. And, more often than not, your shuttle bus ticket(s) to the actual city--if you're going to Stockholm, Barcelona, or Paris, that is--will cost more than the actual flight.

All are important things to keep in mind when purchasing tickets on RyanAir to certain destinations. Luckily, for cities such as Dublin, Edinburgh, or Riga, they only fly to the main airport, since that's the only airport available. So do some research before purchasing tickets on RyanAir, for you may realize that you're not heading exactly where you expect. :)

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