Review of Ryanair flight Rome Berlin in Economy

Airline Ryanair
Flight FR135
Class Economy
Seat 21C
Aircraft Boeing 737-800
Flight time 02:05
Take-off 27 Oct 15, 09:00
Arrival at 27 Oct 15, 11:05
FR   #22 out of 23 Low-cost airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 271 reviews
skyteam_iran
Published on 27th October 2015
This is my first and probably last flight on Ryanair. I have been reading many things about the airline and have been avoiding it until now, as a faithful skyteam flyer. Unfortunately on this leg, the Alitalia fare was way beyond reasonable, so I decided to make an exception to me boycotting FR. I can now assure you that I did regret this decision…

Ryanair flies out of Ciampino, which isn't actually further than FCO but does not have its own train station, making the bus journey the best option. You arrive at a fairly run down and boring building. I went on to check-in my bag, which was admittedly fast, though without any smile.
Security checks were very stressful, and the staff seems to not have received training on how to enhance the passenger experience with decent procedures. Everything was chaotic, loud and crowded.

The shock came after security: there are barely any seats as you can see on the picture below. Toilets were horrible too…
photo IMG_20151027_073511

I decided the best thing to do in this loud and crowded environment was spotting a little bit. The airport is quite nice for that, as planes take off directly in front of A gates.

Wizz A320 to Chisinau
photo IMG_20151027_073428photo IMG_20151027_073440

FR 737-800 just arrived.
photo IMG_20151027_073547photo IMG_20151027_073549photo IMG_20151027_073600

Next was boarding. It said on my (mobile) boarding pass that it would close at 08:30.
photo Screenshot_2015-10-27-15-10-59

Boarding started at 08:40 with a general announcement. The priority Q was let in first, but as we had to board buses, I was glad I hadn't paid for that…
photo IMG_20151027_082631photo IMG_20151027_084439

The whole process was very slow, as bus drivers had a long chat on who should leave first, where one should drive etc… We reached the steps of the aircraft by 08h55
photo IMG_20151027_085442photo IMG_20151027_085445

Despite having two doors open, entering the aircraft seemed endless… is it because of the massive amount of hand luggage that passengers carry with them? Or just because the interior is so narrowly designed?

A view of the tarmac in the meantime…
photo IMG_20151027_085453

As I got into the plane, a FA asked for my boarding pass before saying hello.

I finally sat down!
photo IMG_20151027_090542
WHAT A SHOCK! Surely I had been told FR is not comfy, but I didn't expect seatpockets to vanish… No recline at all (I know everyone is used to this, still I find this really really bad!). And what a wonderful legroom for the average 5'10 I am.

The cabin…
photo IMG_20151027_090557

I was surprised there was no onboard magazine or flyer or anything to tell you at least about buy on board… But how should you do that without a seat pocket? :P
photo IMG_20151027_090626

I later realised that this might be why the purser and the FA keep making so many announcement. I found these to be an absolute disgrace, from many points of view:
- The purser introduced his female FAs in a slightly vulgar way, implying an hey-look-at-these-sexy-girls attitude, which to my disappointment seems to please some passengers. I don't like this type of attitude towards FAs. Yes, they should look welcoming, friendly, and if they are young and enthusiastic, it's even better. But they aren't puppets!

- We were asked twice to take part in a raffle/charity and every time the announcement was made in three languages.

- We were asked three time whether we wanted to buy something from the trolley, such as water for 3€… I know I know, this a LCC… but it's more than that, it's a nerve racking and aggressive marketing strategy even to customers. Nobody is allowed to sleep, because…

- On top of all these unnecessary announcements, the volume of all of them is far beyond what's necessary

- Any sale or special fare is repeated three times

- When you land (on time), a horrible jingle tells you that xx% of FR Flights were on time last year
(The landing was terrible btw, very hard)

Anyway, I was very very very happy to disembark…
photo IMG_20151027_111033

Should one have to choose between LCCs, here's my option of choice, spotted in SXF
photo IMG_20151027_111036

I also spotted Aeroflot's A321 from SVO
photo IMG_20151027_111018

… and finally this UP (El Al subsidiary) bound for TLV. I found out that a military vehicle ready to fire escorts these planes until take-off. WoW!
photo IMG_20151027_111015

Schönefeld isn't any better than CIA, at least the bags came quicky and I was able to leave for the city centre without any problems.
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Verdict

Ryanair

3.6/10
Cabin2.0
Cabin crew5.0
Entertainment/wifi1.5
Buy-on-board menu6.0

Rome - CIA

3.4/10
Efficiency3.5
Access5.0
Services2.5
Cleanliness2.5

Berlin - SXF

5.8/10
Efficiency5.0
Access6.0
Services6.0
Cleanliness6.0

Conclusion

- CIA is an unpleasant airport and lacks seating.
- Bad boarding procedures.
- Uncomfortable seats.
- Bad cabin.
- Rude and probably overworked FAs.
- Bad landing.
- Overtly aggressive marketing.

I'm very happy to keep boycotting Ryanair after this bad experience.

Related

6 Comments

  • Comment 149498 by
    bfm74 1 Comments

    Thanks for your Report. But I think, that you are way to critical and also a bit unfair. You get a shock becouse of a missing seatpocket? Come on.... I have flown Ryanair many times (aprox 3-4 times per year for the last 6 years), but I never had any problems with them. I think, you geht what you pay for and thats it. I always find it funny when people complain about the pitch. Its more or less the same like any other airline! I have flown with other carriers which were much worse. I like the fact, that you can not recycle the seat on Ryanair. So ist the same for all I dont have a problem to sit in a upright position for two hours. That even ads some comfort, becouse you dont get jammed between two seats. And regarding the staff: they work much harder and for much less money than other cabin crew, but I never had a bad or rude crew with them - but I had it on Lufthansa, Swiss or also Qatar... I have the impression, that you where full of prejudice already before the flight. Next time you should try Singapore Airlines😉. I think that would suit your expecations much better. Last month I flew business-class on Qatar and I loved it. But I also like to fly no frills and I have no problem to pay 3€ for a coffee😉.

    • Comment 327698 by
      skyteam_iran AUTHOR 48 Comments

      Hey :) I think everyone has different expectations about flying... But yes, I do get a shock of missing a seat pocket, haha... Because that's where my book and magazines go straight into, that's where I look at safety information, magazines and brochures!
      I find reclining quite important, and don't think it's a very big deal for airlines to install that when they initially design their cabin. On the pitch, I don't think you're right ;) Because my knees don't touch the seat in front of me on AF, LH, ST, KL, IR or BA (which are the airlines I have been flying last year). I do pity the staff for their working conditions, and by criticising them, I am of course, criticising their management. I have been working in the service industry for some time and know how tiring and demanding these jobs are, and that you can only be at your best when you feel valued by your employer… I could clearly see this was not the case of these FAs. The way they were desperately trying to sell anything to you made me really sad, as I believe it is neither fun for them nor for the pax.

    • Comment 327718 by
      Jetset 49 Comments

      You don't sound very objective either. Nevertheless it's okay for everyone to have an own opinion.

      What sounds quite suspicious to me is that you blame LH, LX and QR for having bad/rude crew, which might be true. FAs are humans as well so it could be possible that their attitudes were reactions on your behavior. When passengers pay a lot for their tickets, some of them tend to have too high expectations which results in an arrogant behavior.

      they (Ryanair FAs) work much harder and for much less money than other cabin crew, and here's the dangerous point:

      People working under a lot of pressure sooner or later make mistakes. But in Aviation is no room for mistakes! I wonder when the first serious incident due to human failure at Ryanair will occur.

      Next time you should try Singapore Airlines

      Come on, are you serious? He was flying from Rome to Berlin. So how to travel with Singapore?

  • Comment 149502 by
    Al Merson 4 Comments

    Great report, I agree Ryanair does not old the award when it comes to cabin comfort but considering the price of the tickets, and the fact that its STILL better then walking or driving, its not too bad! I don't know if you have ever heard of Spirit Airlines, but it's pretty much the Ryanair of the US haha

  • Comment 149521 by
    Jetset 49 Comments

    Now that's a fun review! To make it clear: I hate Ryanair. Never flew with it, not planning to do so. I'm not a fan of the lowcost-concept either. Easyjet is just ok , but nothing beyond that.
    It is kind of distressing that the trend is going in that direction,

    Never heard of Ciampino Airport (like the other Ryanair airports) but it looks more like a bus station or a ferry terminal for commuters to me. I'm sure it was loud. I mean, if you build a huge undivided hall and put a lot of people in, it's going to get loud.

    In a Ryanair seat you feel like in a laying battery with that low seat pitch. Even regular busses provide more comfort. BTW: Didn't Ryanair plan to establish standing room seats?

    Now image how an evacuation of the aircraft would have looked like when the boarding procedure already was messed up.

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