In Flight Reviews, Flung writers provide key information about flights they take in order to leave the flying public better informed in an age of frustration, obfuscation and increasingly unfriendly skies.
JTR –> ATH on Ryanair Flight FR1233
Flight: FR1233 from Santorini to Athens
Date and Time of Flight: June 5, 2015, 8:20 am.
Terminal: Despite its diminutive size, this is a high-traffic airport, which means the pleasantries that usually come with flying out of a small airport are nowhere to be found. In their place: lines, frustrations, seeming chaos, etc. Not much thought put into aesthetics or presentation.
Check In: Here we first encountered RyanAir’s not-so-subtle business mission of gouging customers at every available turn. Arriving an hour and a half before the flight, we waited in line for 10 or so minutes. When we got to the check-in counter, the all-business woman behind it informed us that since we’d failed to check in online, we’d have to pay $50 each to check in at the airport. Ridiculous! we said, but okay we’ll just go get online and check in really quick. No you won’t! said the all-business woman behind the counter, because online check-in closes two hours before the flight time. We were directed to another counter to wait in another line, with other Americans justifiably upset and previously unfamiliar with RyanAir’s lightly publicized check-in policy. There, we paid a total of $104 to a company subcontracted by Ryanair to handle check-ins.
Boarding: Probably the one debacle of this experience that was not Ryanair’s fault, yet we sat there fuming, blaming Ryanair. We stood in one line to go through the metal detectors and on into a thoroughly depressing waiting room, another line to get our passports checked to enter another waiting room, and one final insult of a line to board the plane.
Seats: Cramped but not notably so. No seat-back pockets to store incidentals. Seats did not recline.
Entertainment: None. Instead of a TV screen in each seat back, there was this:
Food and drink: Not even basic beverage service came complimentary. Want a water? It’s for sale.
Staff: Aggressively friendly, aggressively trying to sell things, from snacks to airport transfers upon landing. On two occasions, a catalog was not only offered, but shoved into my line of vision.
Misc: The intense blue and yellow color scheme of the plane’s interior made an already awful flight all the more nauseating. It’s fair to conclude that I would sooner stay home than ever fly RyanAir again.
On a supposed low-cost airline, the base price we paid for each of our two one-way tickets to board a 50-minute flight was 138 euros, or about $150 at the time. We purchased two of those, paid an additional 6 euros each for an assigned seat, and a collective 56 euros for our checked luggage. And then we were hit with the monster fee to check in.
-by Sarah Stodola