- Travel and Places
How to survive Ryanair flight
Flying with Ryanair - Travelling tips for budget fliers
If you're planning a flying trip around Europe, but need to stick to a tight budget, Ryanair is probably your best choice. You can find flights so cheap that getting to the airport will cost you more that your actual plane ticket. Right, how do they make their money then? For an outsider the apparent answer to this question is easy - by trying to sell you all the junk in the world during every second you spend on board of their aircraft. Let me be frank here - it's a nightmare. How to survive it? Read on.
Do you like flying? I hate it. With my over-active imagination, every time on board is an ordeal. Yet, I still fly. My mum won't even board an aircraft. How about you?
What is your attitude towards flying?
I've flown with Ryanair tens of times. The journey always looked the same.
2. Safety talk.
3. Take off.
4. The crew tries to sell you food and drink.
5. The crew tries to sell you electronic cigarrettes.
6. The crew tries to sell you scratch cards.
7. The crew tries to sell you drink.
8. The crew tries to sell you perfume and other cosmetics.
9. Steps 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8, repeated according to the length of your flight.
They may try to sell you something I haven't listed here, otherwise there is no variations from the pattern above. Sounds irritating?
You know what's the best part?
The only remotely interesting thing through their speakers is 'the pilot talk' - good morning ladies and gentleman, here's your pilot speaking, our engines just caught fire. Just kidding. But you may find out what's the weather like in your destination, in how long you'll get there, pretty useful.
Now, this announcement is really, really quiet, so you must strain your ear to catch any of it.
The advertisement talk is a full-blast, straight-through-your-earplugs noise.
Airline pilots are human, too!
And Monty Pythons know it well
How to Irritate People?
If you liked the sketch above...
Aren't the pilots brilliant? Let me tell you, the rest of the show where the sketch comes from is just as fantastic. Better quality on DVD, too. I must have seen it about 1000 times, and you know what? At viewing number 1000 I still laughed. They don't do comics that size anymore, so please make sure they don't get forgotten, by any means necessary. And John Cleese, if you're reading this, I'll never be as British as you, but may your parrot live long and multiply!
There is no way in the world that flying with Ryanair could be an enjoyable experience. Not a slightest chance. You can spend all the saved cash on booze or shoes as soon as you arrive, and this will probably make you feel better, but as long as you are on board, you are:
- extremely uncomfortable - with something like half a meter square for yourself
- bombarded with ads - see the paragraph above. AND the ads are usually read in really bad accent, too
- without a smoke for at least couple of hourse (if you aren't a smoker, please ignore this message)
- in extremely close quarters with two hundred people, who are just as uncomfortable as you
The best survival strategy is, unsurprisingly, to go to sleep.
Now, it's not as easy as it seems. Sleeping on board of a Ryanair aircraft is a high art that takes a lot of practise before perfecting.
First - get earplugs. Without earplugs, you're lost. The glare of advertising WILL get through them, but it won't be as aggressive. With little luck you may doze off and imagine it's a TV quietly playing in the background.
Second - don't sleep a night before. Or sleep very little. It doesn't guarantee success - Ryanair mastered The Art Of Making You Uncomfortable to perfection - but it improves your odds. Slightly.
Third - get a companion. You know those very, very bad bus seats, where you cannot lean back, and all spaces around you seem to be made of sharp angles so that you couldn't rest your head? Ryanair seats are worse. I swear, they must've paid someone to design The Most Uncomfortable Seat In The World, so that you stayed awake all throughout the flight and attentively listened to their advertisements. If you're on your own, too bad. There is no solo Ryanair-proof sitting position. If you're with someone, try this - lay down on your partner's knees, and get him/her to rest his/her head on your back. You wil still need to swop places about twice an hour to bring circulation back to the bottom person's legs, but it's actually possible to sleep that way. I did. With no Valium whatsoever.
Life saving earplugs
Can I stress again how important earplugs are to let you travel in a less traumatic environment? I'm not boarding a Ryanair plane without them anymore. Something to do with self-preservation, I suppose.
There is nothing like a scandal to get free publicity and Ryanair guys know it well
Ryanair's free publicity strategy
The name is Michael O'Leary. He's Ryanair's head CEO and he loves making controversial statements. Like recently, when volcano Grimsvotn blew off and spewed some ash over Europe, O'Leary declared there is no ash whatsoever and volcanoes blowing off pose no risk to aircraft. One wants to ask, what are those clouds on satellite pictures then, fairy dust?
There's more, some charmingly roguish, some outright lies concocted in order to draw attention.
Well, next time when a volcano blows off nearby, I'm not getting on board of any flight, Ryanair or not, no matter what O'Learies of this world may say.
As soon as you assume that you don't necessary need to believe all that Ryanair advertising tells you, it seems a pretty safe line to fly on. There have been one or two minor accidents (bird strikes and so on) but no passenger have been seriously injured.
Michael O'Leary's most naughty press conference
I have to confess I actually like him for this one. Publicity stunt it may be, but it takes guts to cross the line in public.
One more gadget to help you survive
OK, let me be honest, before today I didn't even know that such a thing exists. But once I saw it, I knew it's a perfect solution for the worst travel discomfort. It can be a life saver, particularly if you don't have a companion to lean on. I want it!
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