Flight Review: Ryanair


I was lucky enough to spend this weekend in Liverpool, which was definately a great fun. We saw a Liverpool vs Fulham football match (2:0) among 47 000 people, I heard them singing songs for Steve Gerrard, Sami Hyypia, Fernando Torres and even the coach, Rafael Benitez. I heard them singing “You’ll never walk alone” (which is a translation of a song from a Hungarian vaudeville) and I saw what a great job the English do in order to avoid agression and fighting inside and around their football stadiums. I visited the Beatles museum and heard people singing in a karaoke bar in the city of the Beatles. Liverpool will be capital of culture in 2008 and it is 800 years old this year, so if you haven’t been there yet, it is a must to go there.

A RyanAir Boeing Aircraft

On the ground 

I took the direct flight of Ryanair between Budapest and Liverpool. Officially it left Budapest at 5.10 pm. In practice doors were closed in time, but then we had to wait about 30 minutes on the ground. All low costs in Budapest take off from the older terminal 1. About 2-3 months ago a new train stop was built outside the terminal, so it is very easy to reach that terminal, whil e terminal 2 for network carriers is still harder and more expensive to get to. This is not the ususal practice in case of low cost carriers. It took us about 20 minutes to get from the Western Railway station to the airport by train. For some reason it is impossible to check in online for Ryanair’s flights departing from Budapest, so we had to stand in the long queue to be checked in. About 20 minutes before the gate was opened, people started to queue up for boarding, because boarding cards were not assigned to seats, so everybody wanted to get the best seats possible. This is a very good strategy from low cost carriers, this way everybody rushes into the plane and there is no need to wait long for passengers getting lost in the transit area. After gates were open, we could not simply board the aircraft, we had to get into a bus that took us to the plane and again we had to wait in a queue until we could finally board.

On the way back it was a little different. There passengers could check in online, so there was a priority queue for passengers who paid online fot this service. There we could immediately walk to the aircraft and board, so it was worth it to be at the gate in time.

In the air

In the aircraft we could see commercials of a phone card company on all hand luggage containers. After take-off
on both ways flight attendants first served hot and cold drinks, snacks and sandwiches. On the way back we bought a boxed triangles sandwich with roast chicken and salad for £3.45.

In the second round we heard a commercial from the loud speaker saying we can win zillions of pounds, we just need to buy scratch cards from the flight attendants. Then they took the cards around, but hardly anybody bought them. Again a commercial told us about those phone cards advertised on the lockers and again flight attendant ran around selling phone cards.

Then came the duty free part. Perfumes, watches, usual duty free stuff. I bought a Ryanair plastic aircraft model for £8.30 (I collect aircraft models). After the duty free again refreshment and snacks, then preparations for landing. On both ways we were told not to leave any garbage, newspapers or magazines around ourselves, because due to short turnaround time there will not be any cleaning. True. There was no cleaning. There was garbage around the seat on both ways. On the way back even one of the flight attendants helped the ground handling staff in the boarding process. At Malev flight attendants were always complaining that they have too many things to do. I think they should serve on a Ryanair flight for just one day.

Conclusion

From John Lennon International Airport we took a bus for £1.40 each to the city center. It is again peanuts taking the facts network airlines always frighten passengers with high ground travel costs. In Budapest the train costs HUF 300 per person which equals $1,5 or £0.8, so again we cannot call it a high price. The ticket was USD 150 return for 2 persons, including taxes and other costs. The only inconvenience of a low cost airline was the boarding process, but besides that everything was perfect, we were on time, there were no hidden costs and the whole weekend was a great experience.

Finally a nice little addendum to my story. When we arrived at John Lennon Airport, the first thing I saw was a doormat. It said “Welcome to John Lennon Airport”, there was this very famous scatch of Lennon from the cover of the Imagine album and a quote that tells everything:

“Above us only sky”

By Szafi 
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