Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Flight Report: RyanAir (for a change)

I have a friend in Berlin and promised to visit her at some point, since she moved back there last month. Since my schedule is a little tight and I didn't want to spend hundreds of dollars on it, I decided to try RyanAir for the first time ever. Whooooo boy.

My ticket was about $35, including all of their miscellaneous fees (and without any checked luggage, which would have been an additional $35). Even when you consider the $35  and hour long ride out to Skavsta (which is "Stockholm" in RyanAir parlance, which is actually 90km to the south), it's still a pretty good deal, but I have never been on such a cheesy airline before!

Very classy.

The fun starts right when you book: You're greeted with an assortment of animated gifs which look like they came straight from a 90s myspace page. The airfare you're quoted at the start is usually not available, and there is everything from an online check in fee to a credit card payment fee. On top of mandatory fees, they'll be more than happy to sell you everything from luggage to insurance, and that's before we get on the plane. While you're under their control you'll be offered prepaid phone cards, drinks, food, lottery tickets, smokeless cigarettes, and a selection of duty free items. From start to finish, they don't hide that they want your money any way that you could possibly want to give it to them. At least they're honest about that.

Advertisement everywhere!

However, the flight itself is just fine and the 737-800s that they use are bare, but pretty new. On the other hand, there is something fishy about their on-time arrival stats (which is announced with fanfare when you touch down). How is it that both of my flights left late (according to the schedule), but both arrived more than 30 minutes "early" on the other side? On the other hand, it's always nice to be in the air.

Over Sweden (NYO-SXF):

Under the clouds by Skavsta

And over the clouds a couple minutes later.

Over (Southern most) Berlin (SXF-NYO):

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