I’ve always been a fan of Ryanair, right from my first trip to Carcassone nearly 20 years ago. I believe my Japanese friend and I paid £14 return for the trip and that started my loyalty to the airline through the many negative press reports over the years. It was cheap, cheap, cheap! And opened Europe and adventure to me.
Of course in the meantime I’ve tried the other budget airlines and have no complaints about any of them. But here’s the rub. Whilst I’ve never been delayed or had a late arrival with Ryanair, unlike with some of their competitors, two recent journeys to Lanzarote and Madrid with them have given me cause for concern.
Yes, it’s now a vast improvement to take my handbag on board to my allocated seat – they’ve learned not to be so draconian – but there was no inflight magazine, no menu cards distributed and when I did purchase hot food for my granddaughter it was truly terrible! ‘A one off maybe’ I thought on the way to Arrecife, but it was the same on the way back (although no purchased food this time) and again travelling to Madrid.
Furthermore the lovely staff looked scruffy and harassed compared to Jet2, Easyjet and Monarch. Seat space definitely seemed reduced too – I am no bigger than I’ve ever been – and my 8 year old granddaughter remarked on it too.
For the first time I’m questioning whether I will make the compromise for what is usually only a few pounds difference. Will Ryanair’s penny pinching have an effect on other aspects of flying such as pilot morale and safety?