The idle ramblings of a Jack of some trades, Master of none

Apr 24, 2007

That Trashy Ryanair

Ryanair, everybody tells me, is absolutely the pits of the lowcost airline world. I am inclined to agree.

Last year, Maya and Manoj, the wife, the boy and I took a vacation in Spain. The plan was to fly to Granada, inspect the Alhambra and Albaicín, and then go to Madrid and spend a few days in that fine city. Ryanair had a cheap flight (costing all of 30 euros per person) to Granada, and we took it, despite the early departure time and the miseries of getting to Stansted at that time of the morning.

We should have realised that things would not necessarily proceed smoothly when we discovered that most of Ryanair's flights that day had been cancelled. Luckily, ours wasn't.

Our joy quickly turned to despair when, after circling in the air over Granada for half-an-hour, the captain announced that we would be taken to Malaga, because Granada, for some infernal reason that eludes all understanding, did not have refuelling facilities. The airport staff at Malaga would arrange transportation to Granada, he added in a chummy tone that came of knowing that he and his colleagues would disappear the moment we arrived at the terminal.

And that's what happened. Hours passed with no transportation in sight, and we had to grab a cab to Granada, which set us back 140 euros.

At least, we were deposited in the same country as our original destination. Some friends of ours who wanted to fly Ryanair to Barcelona ended up in some ancient airfield in France. The Ryanair staff discretely vanished, and the airport staff (comprising one semi-literate old woman) shrugged in a Gallic way and pointed the irate passengers to a fleet of three taxis parked on the kerb. The ensuing scrimmage resulted in grievous loss of life and limb, but our pals somehow managed to get into one of the vehicles. Later on, in Barcelona, their bags were stolen from under their very noses, but that's another story and cannot be entirely blamed on Ryanair.


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