RyanAir Sucks

Why I would rather walk than fly RyanAir

plus alternative list of cheap european airlines

MENU: Introduction | My RyanAir Nightmare | Alternative Cheap Airlines
Flying With Pets | Contact Me | DaveOpinion

"If god had wanted us to fly, he wouldn't have created RyanAir"
- David Madison


I fly around Europe quite a bit. Like most US citizens, I had heard of RyanAir as a discount airline and hadn't heard of the alternatives. The flights they offered seemed so cheap that there had to be a catch. There is. I had such nightmarish experiences with RyanAir that I've compiled a list of alternative airlines that fly around Europe.

My RyanAir Nightmare

I often travel to Stockholm where RyanAir flies for around $30 US. My first flight on RyanAir was uneventful. Thanks for the savings! (or so I thought).
RyanAir: 1 success, 0 failures

Next time I bought RyanAir tickets, but then they couldn't find my reservation info when I showed up at Stansted airport. I spent about 8 hours at the airport, most of the time waiting in line at their complaint counter. The entire 8 hours I was there the complaint desk had a 1 hour wait, and the answer from RyanAir was always the same, "Sorry, can't help you" to every single person, regardless of who was at fault. I had never seen such a brazen display of company callousness. I was shocked, because I had become used to the FAA we have in the USA which protects our rights as an airplane passenger. Keep in mind that while Europe has the CAA, and while the CAA is dealing with many RyanAir complaints, RyanAir seems to be able to get away with quite a bit more than the FAA would allow. Eventually I managed to jump on a plane that was flying to Southern Sweden, and had quite an adventure trying to figure out how to get to Stockholm, but that's another story.
RyanAir Sucks!
RyanAir: 1 success, 1 failure

Evidently RyanAir didn't like the fact that they had a continuous queue at their complaint counter, so they came up with a RyanAir solution, they closed it. In its place they instituted a pay per minute complaint phone number. If you called it, you would hear a recording that was exactly one minute long explaining that you were now paying 1 Euro per minute. Then it would put you on hold.

The next year I decided to give it another try. RyanAir completely screwed up my flights again, and ruined part of my trip. RyanAir's feelings on the matter: "That's too bad"
RyanAir Sucks!
RyanAir: 1 success, 2 failures

The year after I tried to find a different way to fly to Sweden but the options were either $30 on RyanAir or $300 on one of the major carriers (such as Lufthansa). I figured that it must have just been bad luck, and decided to save $270 and give them one last try. I was flying from Paris to Stockholm. I took the 1 hour bus ride which cost about $20. At the airport, they kept delaying the flight until they finally cancelled it "due to fog." I checked the schedule, and RyanAir still had undelayed planes leaving before and after ours with no problem. So a plane-full of people get in line and the answer is the same for all, we can put you on the Wednesday flight. This was a Sunday. I was supposed to be in Stockholm from Sunday until Thursday early morning, they've effectively destroyed the Stockholm portion of my travels, including going to see my friend in Stockholm who was the whole reason for the trip in the first place. No amount of begging would change their mind to let any of us fly earlier. Many people just threw away their tickets and went home, their weekend plans ruined. They also wouldn't reimburse us for the bus ride.

So I took another $20 bus back to the West side of Paris and started to try to call my host (who lives on the East side) while taking the Metro. The Metro shut down while I was on it, leaving me stranded in the center of town near the Louvre, which is dead at night, no taxis to be seen. It was only by sheer luck that one of my friends happened to see me as she drove by, and I hitched a ride back to my host. I then spent all night (and lots of money on international phone calls) trying to find a way to get to Sweden. After a full night of this, I finally reach someone on RyanAir who tells me that he can squeeze me onto the (Monday) morning flight.

So I once again take a $20 bus to the airport and wait. It's a little foggy out again, so I'm nervous that we won't take off, but eventually we do. And in relief I look around the plane and it is 2/3rds empty.

So, more than half of those people who had been forced to wait until Wednesday, they could be sitting here with me, only a couple hundred dollars short and 14 hours late.
RyanAir Sucks!
RyanAir: 1 success, 3 failures

The next time I went to Stockholm I paid $300 to fly on a major airline instead of buying the $30 ticket that was available on RyanAir. And I'm completely confident that I saved money on that deal. I will never fly RyanAir again, under any circumstances. Fortunately, these days there are options to get to Stockholm on cheap airlines that don't have RyanAir's mark of horrible service.

I am not alone. The complaints filed against RyanAir are endless. RyanAir is an Irish company, and 90% of all European complaints received by the consumer authorities in Ireland are about RyanAir. They make money by cutting safety, and their travel terms violate many international flight rules. Important to note in their travel terms that they make no guarantee about departure time, so if your plane is forever delayed you have no recourse.
RyanAir Sucks!
RyanAir: some successes, ENDLESS failures

"You paid nothing for your ticket, so you get nothing. That's the company philosophy. You paid nothing, we take you there, but hey, you paid nothing. so if we don't take you there, tough shit, you've only lost five euros."
- RyanAir Pilot

Contact Me

If you have a cheap european airline alternative that I haven't listed below, please do contact me!

If you would like to rant at me about my rant, please note that my feelings on RyanAir and this page is based on THREE issues:

  1. Their bad record (3/4 failures) for me personally
  2. The way they handled it
  3. The way they handle other people
If you want to tell me that RyanAir has been great for you, then I don't want to hear it. Perhaps you've flown RyanAir dozens of times with no problem. Lucky you.

If you want to tell me about other airlines or companies that suck, then I don't want to hear about it. Write your own webpage.

If you want to tell me that I'm expecting too much for a cheap fare, then I don't want to hear about it. Please see the top of this page that states "there is a catch" and also "more than the FAA would allow." Consider this page a warning for Yanks who are otherwise accustomed to the protections that the FAA affords us.

If you want to tell me that I am somehow "wrong" - I probably don't want to hear it. This page is merely a listing of my personal experiences. Unless you were there, I'm not sure how you would be able to tell me that I am wrong. If you think I'm whining about nothing, then don't worry about it, because clearly my page won't effect anyone if you are correct.

But if you still have something to say:

    Contact Dave

Alternative Cheap Airlines

Here are some alternative airlines to check that don't show up on the normal USA search sites such as orbitz/sidestep. If you have any additions for this list, please contact me. I often fly to/from Stockholm and Barcelona with my cat, so the notes in this list reflect that.

Note that many of the cheap European airlines are now playing an overweight baggage game where they charge astronomical prices per kilo over 15/20 kilograms, make sure to read the fine print. TODAY had an article talking about baggage fees on easyJet, RyanAir and British Airways.

whichbudget.com WhichBudget is great! Pick a start and/or finish, and it lists cheap airlines that'll get you there.
flycheapo.com More budget airlines
skyscanner.net More budget airlines
List of low cost airlines Courtesy Wikipedia

cheapflights.co.uk Worldwide from the UK
DialAFlight +44/0 870.333.4488 Worldwide from the UK, and you can call them.
easyjet +44/0 870 6 000 000 EasyJet rocks!
finnair US: +1.800.950.4768
SWE: +46 5635.41780
Pets allowed!
SAS Scandinavian US: +1.800.221.2350
SWE: +0770-727-727
Pets allowed!
Fly BMI +44 (0)1332.854854 Cheap flights from SF->Manchester?
BMI Baby +44 (0)1332.854854? Smaller BMI flights
Europe By Air +1.888.321.4737 $99 one way open Europe flights, valid 120 days Main hubs: Brussels, Frankfurt, Berlin, Munich, London
Virgin Express Barcelona->Stockholm. Pets allowed.
GermanWings Pets allowed <8kg for 25Eu?
Rumbo Flights Cheap flights from Spain. No english on site?
British Airways Barcelona->Stockholm
Fly Niki Zurich -> Stockholm
FlyNordic Barcelona->Stockholm, pets okay.
FlyBe Southhampton, UK flights
icelandair +1-800-223-5500 SFO->Reykjavik cheap
Vueling +34 902 33 39 33 Spain, Amsterdam, Portugal, France, Italy
Fly Monarch Spain<->UK
Transavia +3120 4060406 Main hubs in Amsterdam and Paris-Orly
Norwegian Air +44 2080997254 Norway to most of Europe (no pets non-domestic)

ATUC (Air Transport Users Committee Part of the CAA (the European FAA)
RyanAirCampaign Anti-RyanAir organization
Crynair RyanAir's most direct competition :)

"They pay money, they buy a ticket, and then RyanAir doesn't care. If you piss them off, there are plenty more that will take their place."
- RyanAir Pilot

Amusing email responses to this page
More Opinions