Monday, March 19, 2012

10 Euros Well Spent

Yesterday, Fräulein and I flew to Finland. Flying with a small child is never easy, but Ryanair gives you some extra headache.

When Fräulein was a baby, I regularly cursed the rule that you cannot take the infant car seat into the aircraft even if there are free seats. It would have been so nice for her to sleep in her own "bed" and I would have had my hands free (the seats are so slippery that you cannot place a baby on one without special arrangements). And with the Ryanair staff, you should never expect any help or nice words - something that seems to come naturally from the staff of some other airlines.

You must also be able to navigate Ryanair's awfull website when booking your ticket. In every possible opportunity, they advertise for car-rents, hotels and additional services. Previously, I was not able to make any payments with my Safari web browser - and you can guess, if I remembered that when starting to book tickets or only after every little detail was filled and I was not able to continue forward... Well, luckily they have now fixed that.

Why should we then use Ryanair? Firstly, it flies to Tampere, from where we have more convenient connections to south-west Finland than from the Helsinki-Vantaa airport.

And secondly, Ryanair is so cheap.

For this visit to Finland, both my outpound flight and return flight costed less than 15 euros. So, my flights were actually cheaper than those of Fräulein, as the price for an infant is fixed 20€ per flight!

But with Ryanair, every single thing costs more money. There are administration fees, fees for online check-in (no alternative available), fees for checked luggage, fees for extra equipment you want to carry, like instruments or baby-equipment (one fully foldable buggy is carried free of charge for each infant).

For us, the total cost of this visit was 136.98€. Even with all the extra costs, not bad!

Even though I find it very annoying that they keep advertising their services, this time I actually fell into buying one! I was making my online check-in on the night before and they asked if I liked to purchase a reserved seat. Normally, you just pick any available seat on the plane. And as I don't like to push our way into the plane first, and as it always takes some extra time when we need to hand over the buggy outside the plane, I am quite often the last one in. If the plane is fully packed, you might end up sitting in the middle seat of row of three with a restless toddler in your arms. Not nice!

I thought that, as most of the seats available for reservation were free on the night before, those wouldn't all be booked. So, I bought a window seat from the second row for 10 euros.

And I must say, that yesterday it really felt to be the best 10 euros I have ever spent!

I had thought that we wouldn't need to hurry into the plane as we had a seat reserved for us, but I was happy to find out that we were also allowed to use the priority boarding. As our seat was on the second row, I didn't need to carry Fräulein and our stuff through the narrow aisle.

The other two seats in our row were free, so I had plenty of room to place my belongings. And even though the plane wasn't full, I liked the fact that I didn't have to rush and stress about the availability of seats.

Fräulein spent most the the time taking a nap (thankfully!). If she had stayed awake, we wouldn't have had to worry about someone sitting right next to us and I might have even been able to keep her from running back and forth the aisle as we had so many seats to ourselves. With her sleeping and me eating some snacks, the two-hour flight went by very fast. We were also one of the firsts to get out of the plane, so everything went very smoothly.

Next time, when I'm going to fly alone with Fräulein and if I suspect that the flight might be crowded, I will most certainly use ten euros for this service! Good for my mental health! ;)


Riina said...

Raikku on kamala. :(

Se karjakuljetusmeininki masentaa, asiakkaat rynnivät koneeseen toisiaan tönien jne. Lisäksi olen vakuuttunut, että niillä on jotain ongelmia koneiden sisäilman paineistuksen kanssa, mulla on Raikun lennoilla järkyttävä korva- ja pääsärky joka kerta, vaikken olisi flunssassakaan. Onneksi ei ole minulle tällä hetkellä järkevin (tai edes mahdollinen) lentoyhtiö. :)

Sori vuodatukseni! :D Ja tosi hienoa, että matka sujui hyvin ja Fräulein sai nukuttua, hän on kyllä tosi söpönen tuossa kuvassa! :*

Frau Welle said...

Olen huomannut ihan saman noiden ilmanpaineiden suhteen! Jo rullatessa kiitoradalle alkaa paineet heitellä niin, että korvat menevät lukkoon. Kumma juttu. Onneksi tytön korvat ovat kipeytyneet itkuksi asti vain kerran, vaikka hänkin on päässyt nauttimaan Ryanairin tunnelmasta jo toistakymmentä kertaa.

fiona said...

I just wish that they would just show how much the tickets will actually cost once all the taxes are added on. Aside from that, I have never really had too much of a problem with Ryanair. Apart from when they left our bag in Germany when I flew to Scotland alone with the kids, but they were very good about it and reimbursed me for the clothes I had to buy for me and the kids and everything else I needed like toiletries and make-up. And I've never had a problem with them getting priority boarding. Though I think that only lasts until they're 5 years old. Oh wait, I did have a problem once when Hamish ran away as I was handing over our passports and boarding passes. The woman insisted that I open the passports up to the correct pages when I had taken them out one-handed, and it meant I let go of Hamish's hand and he ran back into the airport. It was awful. I told Orla to wait while I went after him, but she followed screaming and it meant it took longer for me to find him in the crowds as I didn't want to lose Orla behind me. The staff needless to say were totally unsympathetic and looked at me like I was mental. Awful experience. Still makes me shudder.

Frau Welle said...

Nice that you have also had some good experiences, fiona. I guess that some of the Ryanair ways just need some getting use to. I don't even notice how rude they are anymore, but if I take some other airline, like Finnair, I note how friendly the stewardesses can be!

But did you mean that you get priority boarding because you are travelling with your children? I have never heard that is possible! That would be great service - and quite unexpected from Ryanair!

fiona said...

Wow, I've just checked the website and it seems that since the last time I flew with them that they changed it so that you do have to pay for it. No more "Would passengers travelling with small children or passengers who require assistance please come forward first" anymore then! I can't believe they are now charging for that! It's not like it costs them anything to allow passengers who need a bit of help or extra time to come to the front of the queue! Ah well...

Frau Dietz said...

I could write about how much I hate Ryanair until I'm blue in the face but much as I loathe them and their sneaky charges and their lack of humanity and morals as well as customer service and despite the fact that they bring out the worst in everyone, including me - especially me! - I have to say that if I brace myself for the hideousness and keep focussing on how much I've paid for my flight - and pack almost nothing and remember to print out my boarding pass ;) - I can almost appreciate that they get me where I want to go (or vaguely close to it) both cheaply and, most of the time, on time. Somehow, as long as I obey all their humiliating rules, it tends to go smoothly and quickly. Although I have to say I usually pray the flights are a little late so that I don't have to listen to the smug tooting of the Ryanair trumpet "ANOTHER RYANAIR FLIGHT... ON TIME!!" Ok I'm going to stop here, I can feel a vein start to throb in my forehead... ;)

Frau Welle said...

Oh, I hate that trumpet, too! :D