Ryanair to run Stansted? What a great idea

In the interest of fairness I simply have share this. I can’t help myself.

  • Dub Exile

    I can see it now:
    Dublin-Stanstead Return Flight Ticket €0.01
    Lighting Charge €5
    Heating Charges €10
    Rental of Floor Space while you Q €20
    Toilet Charge €5
    Cleaning Toilets €5
    Staffing Charge €10
    Security Charge (not our fault the government make us do it) €50

    etc etc.

  • For the record, O’Leary immediately recanted:

    he was “not serious” about widely-reported plans to mount a £2bn bid for London’s Stansted Airport.

    That’s the Irish Independent, 9th August.

    Reuters repeat his denial today:

    Irish budget airline Ryanair has no interest in buying London’s Stansted airport, which Ferrovial-owned BAA may have to sell after a ruling by British competition authorities, Chief Executive Michael O’Leary said on Wednesday.

    “We have no interest in buying Stansted or any other airport. We would be interested to work with any company that would invest in Stansted,” O’Leary told a news conference in Madrid.

    Quite why the Daily Telegraph and others persisted with the original story defies analysis.

    Meanwhile, Ryanair is pruning heavily at Stansted, cutting as much as a seventh of its services, expecting to fly 900,000 fewer passengers,and implementing redundancies. Typically, O’Leary’s explanation was, not the price of fuel, but the cost of landing slots at Stansted: because of the poor transport links into Stansted, slots there are far cheaper than at the other two London BAA airports.

  • Neil

    O’Leary’s explanation was, not the price of fuel

    But rather the fact that the customer service is non-existant, and by the time they’ve screwed you out of money for, well, everything, you’ve ended up paying for a British airways ticket.

    I will never fly with Ryanair again, and I’m certain that at the end of every summer there are hordes of people who feel the same.

  • gram

    >>I will never fly with Ryanair again, and I’m certain that at the end of every summer there are hordes of people who feel the same.<< Yep. Flew with them for the first, and last time last weekend. I don't mind being charged for non essential items when I fly provided the pricing is transparent and I can make an informed decision. I thought I had paid online for an extra bag (£15 each way) flying back to Belfast from Stansted. Instead what I actually paid for was extra volume. Each passenger has an baggage allowance of 15Kg. If you pay for an extra bag your allowance still stays at 15Kg but you can check in two bags of 7.5Kg each. C3 bags 5kg each. Disgraceful. They also charge for childrens car booster seats. The manners of their check in staff at stansted were a disgrace but then I suppose vicious dogs tend to have vicious owners.

  • Case of the Jet Blues

    I’m dreading the thought of perhaps having to return to Ryanair’s Ireland next year from the US. One of the closest comparrisons here is Jet Blue. One of the cheapest services… on the plane you get treated well in a nice environment and about 50 channels of live satellite tv on every seat free.

    Fair enough, they do charge for headphones if you don’t have any.. but that’s fine with me.

  • Harry Flashman

    ‘I can’t help myself.’

    Your fourth Ryanair thread in as many weeks, indeed Brian you really can’t.

  • Dermot

    I fly with Ryanair all the time and can’t recommend them highly enough: cheap flights, always on time and no bullshit. Can any of the above morons deny that they could have avoided their little difficulties by the simple expedient reading the instructions? Ryanair’s “hidden extra charges” are nothing more than a tax on the stupid.

  • gram

    >>Ryanair’s “hidden extra charges” are nothing more than a tax on the stupid.<< Turning a 75 year old lady away from check in because her bag was 1kg over weight and sending her to another lengthy queue to be over charged. Forcing parents to pay £10 each way for a car booster seat. Inability to pay for extra weight online but the ability to pay and be gouged for extra weight at the airport only. These aren't taxes on the stupid they are tricks on the vulnerable.

  • Unless one is running a lottery, is it good business practice to regard charging customers as imposing “a tax on the stupid”?

  • Comrade Stalin

    Harry, Dermot,

    I’m vaguely sympathetic to your point which can be summarized as “why all the whining?”. You get what you pay for, and Ryanair’s reputation for being no-frills cheap with hidden charge is well-known. I don’t understand why people bitch about it.

    That said, I have flown Southwest in the USA, and the experience is far superior; the cabin crew have a relaxed, almost jovial way about them, whereas the Ryanair workers on the two occasions I’ve flown with them are just plain rude.

  • Before Harry Flashman bustles in here, I’m trying to be fair and indicating where I’m depending on impressions and second-hand whispers.

    The bottom line is that Ryanair generates more positive/negative hot air than any other airline (and doesn’t O’Leary like and trade on just that?).

    For good or ill, the Ryanair staff seem to be driven harder than others: apart from hitting often unrealistic turn-arounds, one posting (on a regular source for me, the Professional Pilots Rumour Network) implies cabin crew receive half of what their opposites at easyJet get. I gather that cabin-crew wage-rates are being squeezed by all carriers, but that differential might explain some grumpiness.

    What is not in doubt is the judgment of the money men. Over the last year (and I’ve not checked from today’s prices), Lufthansa shares are down about 28%, BA by about 33%, easyJet by about 35%, Aer Lingus by about 40%, but Ryanair by over 55%. As the man said: go figure.

  • I fly with Ryanair all the time and can’t recommend them highly enough: cheap flights, always on time and no bullshit.

    You are Michael O’Leary and I claim my 10 pounds.

    How embarrassing that this shower of cowboys are, along with shoddy property dealers, Ireland’s ambassadors in most of Southern and Eastern Europe these days. Bad – and rude – service, loads of hidden charges, many of them added very discreetly on their website, poor check in management. Easyjet does the same thing vastly better, and unless you’re lucky enough to be able to take midweek daytrips to obscure places, which people with jobs rarely are, then prices rarely cheaper than BMI or BE, let alone Easyjet.

    Always on time? No such thing for anyone, and certainly not with the turnaround times Ryanair attempt. Stop talking shite, Dermot.

    The worst thing is the hidden £4 per person per hop ‘credit card’ charge, unless you happen to use a Ryanair card. Let’s say I, my partner and three children travel to Italy, via Stansted. Ryanair will charge us £16/person, or £80 in total for a single debit card transaction. Not to mention the dodgy landings caused by using airports with undersized runways miles from anywhere and enforcing turnaround times bordering on the dangerous.

    I’ve flown Ryanair four times, had appalling treatment on two of the journeys and saw other people being treated apallingly on the third (eldery people being made to stand for ages for no reason thanks to dodgy announcements from Ryanair while from experience I knew to relax in the bar with a cool brew).

    But I’ll admit, if you’re early retired in the Greater London area and fancy making midweek daytrips to obscure provincial towns in Poland, they’re great.

  • joeCanuck

    It’s really quite easy folks. No matter what airline you chose, expect nothing and you will not be disappointed. Don’t get angry with the staff; nobody loses but yourself. They are only following their company’s instructions. You’d be giving control of your emotions to someone else. If you must, write a letter to the CEO.
    Above all, do not expect a meal that is in any way to be enjoyed. Take your own food with you.
    It’s just mass transit nowadays. Treat it like that and enjoy yourself, no matter what. I fly quite a bit and I have no expectations or illusions. Don’t worry, be happy.

  • I have no illusions. Ryanair fail to meet even my most disillusioned expectations, Joe. I know Candians fly a lot because it’s usually 200km to the nearest corner shop, but until you’ve flown Ryanair, you have no idea how obnoxious they are. They are not comparable with North American, or indeed other European, no frills operators. I’ve taken innumerable bargain basement domestic flights in Turkey with back of a launderette airlines, and they were all better than Ryanair.

    How much would it take to turn a jolly land at the wrong airport jape into a Madrid style tragedy (God be with the poor craturs that died)? I shudder to think.

  • Dermot

    It’s laughable to compare European travel with North America. I travel there quite a bit and have yet to get through any regional US airport without getting the “SSS” treatment (Special Stop and Search). It’s all very simple, all non-US citizens are treated as potentail terrorists. Fat blacks get the same treatment.
    And the aircrew are definitely not friendly, the last time I was over there an air hostess used the tannoy system to tick off a young woman for waiting outside the toilet. How humiliating is that?

    “Always on time? No such thing for anyone…” You are a barefaced liar Mr Morse. Ryanair have ALWAYS been on time for ME. I challenge you to produce a single shred of evidence to the contrary.

    As for the poor soul still smarting for having to pay for his own luggage (child seat), the information is there on the website for any fool to see. Do you really expect the rules to be ignored just for you? Grow up, you silly little man.
    And the ’75 yr old lady’ disaster? Don’t be so patronising. We oldies can manage perfectly well without your help, thank you very much.

  • gram



    Do you think its ok for them to charge for using a wheelchair?

    And what about this one?

    Glad to hear you are feeling so well. Some oldies I know find flying a bit stressful.

  • Dermot

    BAA are charging for wheelchairs, Ryanair pass on the charge. But if you lifted your head out of the Sun for a few minutes you’d already know that.

  • As for the poor soul still smarting for having to pay for his own luggage (child seat)

    No, this is smarting about having non-avoidable £4 per flight ‘credit card charges’ surreptitiously added that can mount up to dozens of pounds for a single card transaction. In other words, it’s about Ryanair lying about their prices.

    Ryanair have ALWAYS been on time for ME. I challenge you to produce a single shred of evidence to the contrary.

    Tee hee. Nice attempt at a semantic argument but I’m not going to get drawn in. Here are Ryanair’s real punctuality statistics.


  • Dermot

    “Ryanair’s real punctuality statistics” Ha ha ha, you parochial little man. Those are UK statistics only, there’s a lot more to Europe than Stansted, you know. As it happens, Ryanair outperform the market there too, the average UK performance is 68% on-time, Ryanair come in at 79%. Even this heady figure is well below their overall European performance due BAA’s chronic mis-management of Stansted’s. Which is where we came in.

    BTW: the £4 credit card charge is not “surreptitiously added” or in any way unusual, the transaction is entirely transparent and voluntary – why whinge now?

  • or in any way unusual

    Yes it is. Transaction charges are not unusual. Ryanair’s ‘transaction charges’ aren’t levied per transaction but per hop per person. In other words, they bear no relation to the cost of the transaction, and are a way for Ryanair to lower the headline advertised price while charging considerably more than the advertised fee.

    Admittedly, Ryanair aren’t the only airline at these price obscuring antics. I particularly like the airlines (BA, among others) which add a ‘fuel surcharge’, as if the aeroplane could fly without, you know, fuel.

  • Dermot

    So you agree the charge is not surreptitious. It’s entirely transparent, voluntary AND there’s even an option to use an alternative card at NO charge! FFS, do you want your botty wiped as well?
    If you like BA so much then go and fly with them. But they are not called “Idiot Airways” for nothing.

  • Mark Simpson

    Flybe is just as bad at charging extra for everybloodything. Flights I booked yesterday were listed as being about £70. The price I ended up paying was £135. I did not choose my seat, take travel insurance from them or add any hold baggage.

    However, congratulations must go to bmi – I always find their service to be very good and their website has a “price you see is the price you pay” policy so you don’t end up with a flight that looks to be costing £50 ending up at well over £100.

  • So you agree the charge is not surreptitious.

    No, I don’t agree that it’s not surreptitious. It appears very late in the booking process, and isn’t clearly highlighted. In fact, on Ryanair’s payment page it isn’t itemised separately at all. There is nowhere in the Ryanair booking process where it says “your booking fee is £8.00”. In fact, you only notice it when you realise that the “payment amount” on the payment page is rather more than the “total payment amount” on the services page and considerably more than the “total cost of flight” you’d been made aware of earlier in the booking process.

    It’s entirely transparent, voluntary AND there’s even an option to use an alternative card at NO charge!

    As I’ve just discussed, it’s far from transparent. And it’s not voluntary either. The only card which doesn’t attract a charge is the Visa Electron card which is rarely issued in the UK or Ireland, except occasionally to children, presumably something known to Ryanair before they provided that option. Even Ryanair’s own branded credit and debit cards attract a £4 per sector per hop charge! A great way to reward customer loyalty.

    Ryanair claim this reflects the ‘high cost’ to them of processing cards but for a firm handling that volume of transactions credit card charges could hardly exceed 0.25%, and possibly considerably less. It’s simply another way of charging roughly what your competitors charge while pretending that you don’t. As is charging £24 (!) for checking in a single, light, bag up to Ryanair’s wildly generous 15 kg weight limit.

    If you like BA so much then go and fly with them. But they are not called “Idiot Airways” for nothing.

    Wow, Google reveals a whole 7 hits, so I suppose that’s a phrase largely used by the bright young things in Michael O’Leary’s press and publicity office. I’m hardly a fan of BA’s lack of price transparency either, but on the rare occasions I’ve flown with them, comfort, courtesy and customer service have been on a different level from Ryanair. Living in Belfast, largely cut off from the BA Network, I rarely fly BA. Easyjet and Air Berlin, competing in the same price class, are vastly superior; and as Mark Simpson rightly points out BMI are the pick of the bunch.

  • gram

    >>BAA are charging for wheelchairs, Ryanair pass on the charge. But if you lifted your head out of the Sun for a few minutes you’d already know that.<< Completely missed my point there. Ryanair passed on the charge directly to the disabled passengers while other airlines rightly absorb it into their overall costs and share it among all passengers. The same should go for all other essential items e.g. childrens safety equipment. Easy on the insults. I'll cut you some slack though as being a silver surfer you're probably new to this interweb malarky.

  • The ongoing fallacy of Ryanair’s wheelchairs

    This was first raised (to my recollection) in a Slugger thread of July 15, 2007, and refuses to go away.

    The reality is that Bob Ross of North London (flying between Stansted and Perpignan) sued Ryanair and BAA, under the 1995 Disability Act, for an £18 charge for using a wheelchair in March 2002. Ryanair’s defence was that they were merely passing on BAA’s charge. They admitted that 87 of the 93 airports through which Ryanair operated did not levy a charge.

    Ryanair and BAA lost in the courts, and in 2006 lost on appeal. So Ryanair announced a 50p (later reduced to 33p) surcharge (it seems on every passenger at every airport) to make good what they claimed was a £12m loss of income.

    The Disability Rights Commission reckoned that a fair charge would be about 0.02p per passenger (equivalent to a total of £711,019 in Ryanair’s coffers). O’Leary’s measured response was:

    ” “The DRC wouldn’t fucking know how much it costs if it jumped up and bit them. We estimate it costs £25 [per person] to transport disabled passengers at Stansted, and we carry 1.5 million such passengers every year.”

    Ryanair was the only airline to impose such a charge. BA wouldn’t comment, except to say that they absorbed any costs. easyJet reckoned it cost no more than 10p on the price of a ticket.

    It is the responsibility of an airport to deliver a disabled person to the check-in desk: the airline is responsible for conveying that passenger from the desk to the plane. In all fairness, it is not “renting” the wheelchair, but the services of the necessary attendant that costs.

    As I (implicitly believing the Daily Telegraph) understand:

    BAA’s seven UK airports have signed a European-wide voluntary commitment not to charge extra to passengers with reduced mobility. Ryanair is the only airline operating in the UK which has refused to accept the agreement.