Irish based Ryanair are Europe’s largest airline by passengers carried. They are the go to choice for a large segment of the population, because of their low fares, sheer coverage of airports, the fact they’re on time more often than not and how they manage to do all of this safely.
Since the demise of Stobart Air, Ryanair have stepped in to fill the breach and are now flying the Irish domestic route between Dublin and Kerry. I decided to take the train from Dublin to Farranfore – the station beside Kerry Airport – with the express intention of trying the service.
Cheaper Than The Train
When I made my booking a couple of weeks before travelling, the train cost me €24.99 in standard class. I later took advantage of the little known method to upgrade my ticket and added €12.50 to that price.
My Ryanair flight cost me the princely sum of €19.99. Since I was on a day trip, I had no need for luggage, decided against priority boarding and also declined to select a seat. I figured the load would be low and I’d get a window seat anyway.
How Many People Were On Board?
After walking from Farranfore train station to the airport, I had some time to kill before flight time. I decided to check the Ryanair app, as you can pay for seat selection and switch seats even after checking in.
My intention was to see which seats were free and happily the ones next to me were. At the same time I was able to check out the load and it seems 75 people were on board today, on an aircraft with 189 seats. Not bad considering the route has only just started.
Boarding At Kerry
The queue for security at Kerry Airport took a little time, but once through, it was straight to the gate and out onto the tarmac to board. Since my seat was down the back, I had to use the rear stairs, which in this case was a large boarding ramp.
When I attempted to show my boarding pass, the crew member waved me away with a smile and sent me on my way. I assume she was smiling – she was wearing a mask as everyone has to do at the moment.
FR6992 – Kerry to Dublin (KIR-DUB)
2 August 2021
Boeing 737-800 – EI-DHD
Seat: Economy 28A
Departure: 13:25 Arrival: 14:20
People who elect not to pay for a seat are automatically assigned the middle seats. Since I knew no-one was beside me, I sat in 28A instead of 28B. I’m a rebel like that!
The Ryanair Cabin
Ryanair cabins have remained relatively unchanged for as long as I have been flying them. A lot of yellow and blue, with advertisements along the overhead bins. Standard Ryanair all round.
While waiting, the cabin crew said they would come through the cabin and anyone wanting hot food could order it. They had things like Lasagne, Thai Green Curry and so on. I don’t think anyone pre-ordered, but I could be wrong.
Time To Fly Ryanair
Soon enough everyone was on board. A passenger way ahead of me asked if he could move seats and the crew said no, that he needed to stay put for weight and balance reasons. Needless to say, the guy just looked confused and stayed where he was.
Next, I heard another crew member telling people behind me they needed to move forward. They were literally in the row behind me and so two of them moved to the free row in front of me and another to the aisle seat in my row. This weight and balance is thing is taken seriously!
The pre-recorded safety demonstration audio played and the crew did their dance. We took to the sky and the usual Ryanair service happened. Scratch cards (no takers), then the trolley service where a few people bought coffees or beers. We then landed in Dublin and happily we got the famous Ryanair trumpet fanfare announcement about “another on time Ryanair flight” or whatever it says. A quick taxi to the gate (Ryanair always taxi quickly) and we were off and out and done.
Ryanair will always be my last choice when flying, but that’s because I’m basically a flight snob to one extent or another. Also, a lot of things they do, which actually contribute to their on time performance and keep fares low, really irritate me.
Regardless, the flights are always consistent and have been for quite some time. Hot meal pre-orders before take-off? Check. Charity scratch cards? Check. Unintelligible announcements made repeatedly by cabin crew at great speed in heavily accented English in a noisy cabin? Check. Trumpet fanfare on landing when on time? Check.
There’s a method to the madness and it’s no surprise they are not only the most popular airline in Europe but also one of the most profitable – and consistently profitable at that. I certainly have a lot of respect for what they do. It’s admirable and shows how to successfully operate an airline – even if they are not my number one choice personally.
Have you flown Ryanair before? What do you like about it? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.