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Ryanair

 Poster: A snowHead
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They don't always get the best press on here but I guess its the minority who've had a bad experience and complain on here.

But this week has taken things to a whole new level. I'm booked with them next week and I think my flight is still scheduled to go but, who knows.

It does beg the question about whether you'd risk your expensive ski holiday with an Airline who may cancel your flight a few days before hand because of a major HR custerf**k

Has it put people off, or do the cheap prices still make it worth the risk. I have used them for all my recent ski holidays but only because their main hub is my nearest major airport. I'm not sure if I will this winter.
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Iíve got a holiday coming up with a Thomas Cook flight to Sicily. Their pilots are due to go on a series of one day strikes, Iíve got costly hotels and car hire booked. Iíve heard nothing of this on the news!
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@cameronphillips2000, not worth the risk for me; we had two separate Ryanair bookings several years ago, where they changed the flights, causing a great deal of hassle. One trip went ahead as it was (just about) worth it; the other had to be cancelled. The current cancellations, not just changes, must be causing huge disappointment and inconvenience to thousands of people. We're fortunate in that we can access two major airports and so have a choice - I won't choose Ryanair
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Solidarity with those poorly paid pilots.....
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Ryanair have regularly stated that their airline provides what is basically a flying bus service. So from their viewpoint, if you miss a bus its not a major issue, as another one will be along in a few minutes.

I doubt it will do Ryanair any harm, as they already have a pretty bad reputation, but still make bucket loads of money. Last year profits rose 43% to Ä1.24 billion.
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I'd rather walk than fly Ryanair
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Only an HR issue insofar as they treat their crews so badly, that they don't even carry aircraft/crew ratios that any other airline would for good sense and safety. Then they work the crews beyond the normal, with threat of ending contracts if they refuse. Then a shedload left! Poop-fan interface. 'We have no pilot shortage', is an out and out lie.
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When we looked at the easyJet release yesterday and started to worry about missing the deals I said to my wife shall we check Ryanair. Her view was sheíd rather pay more than risk using them, and I have to agree. I canít see us ever considering them as an airline in future. So yep I think if they believe this wonít hurt them that much theyíre bonkers.
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They've announced that they are going to bump a load of the holidays owed to the pilots back out to January. Great, just when I may need to use them to get to Livigno.
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Its bad and is a colossal management error that should have been flagged up earlier, but it could be worse if you were booked with Air Berlin. Looking at the aviation press we seem to be about to 'go around the buoy again' with Monarch, and as jbob points out all is not well at Thomas Cook. Turbulent times in the industry.
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Cameronpillips I dont know if you were being ironical but most pilots have truly huge training debts and in Ryanair it is difficult to see how they can hope to pay them off much before retirement. Their salaries are abysmal and it is not surprising that so many are walking. How can the lovely Chairman say that the problem was due to a change in the way annual hours were calculated which was forcing pilots to take their leave all at the same time, then say he doesnt have too few pilots, then offer a financial incentive to the pilots to fly more, then suggest they give up some of their leave? It seems to be one lie after another!
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Yes, it has definitely put me off - we've used them several times over the last few years to visit friends in Valencia (they're the only airline flying there directly from an airport anywhere near where we live) with minimal issues, but are due to go again in a few weeks. It's in November, so in theory safe, but who knows? Cancellation would definitely be a pain, as we are entered into a race on a specific day, so have limited flexibility with dates - but we're lucky in that there are at least large numbers of flights to other Spanish airports from which we could get trains if needed. I can cope with their other foibles - even the fact that our flight times have been changed at fairly short notice before now, which was annoying - but these really last-minute cancellations are a step too far.

I do have a lot of sympathy with the pilots - sounds like a horrible company to work for!
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How hard can it be to manage staff leave? Isn't this really about deliberately overstretching resources in peak summer months, when profits per flight are highest? Then sacrificing flights, including leaving customers stranded, when margins are tight? Wouldn't trust them with a piece of string.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
I wouldn't use them again, they are too much of a liability. I'll happily use budget airlines (just booked easyJet), and will put up with a bit of a shoddy service, even a few delays here and there because "you get what you pay for". But I do still want to feel confident that the airline will actually get me to my destination.

50 flights a day cancelled, and 400,000 passengers affected. That's a step too far. Less budget and more plain incompetence.
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Indeed, I booked some flights for March tonight and didn't even bother checking Ryanair. But peoples memories are short, I booked with BA (because they were cheaper than Easyet for the same baggage allowance and better flight times), even though I've been let down this year by BA - on their computer meltdown day - when a Ryanair flight got me home - so there is some cognative dissonance in play there!
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Tubaski wrote:
But peoples memories are short, I booked with BA ...... even though I've been let down this year by BA - on their computer meltdown day - when a Ryanair flight got me home - so there is some cognative dissonance in play there!


But Ryanairs action is rather more deliberate and calculated than an IT f-up.

BTW -did BA pay for your Ryanair flight and/or compensate you?
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I won't fly with Ryanair for the next year or so. They're going to be flying with children in the right hand seat for a good few months after this. I ski for kicks, I'm not taking any I don't need to.
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ster wrote:

BTW -did BA pay for your Ryanair flight and/or compensate you?

It was a business trip, I'd dived in a cab across town to the other airport, stuck the Ryanair ticket on my credit card and just expensed it and the cab fare. The company travel agent was instructed to get a refund from BA. I assume they did, but have no visibility of that. The Ryanair fare + cab was cheaper than the BA flight anyway I think (the joys of having to book the 'preferred carrier').
I did however get a nice compensation cheque from BA for my trouble, which has bought me a ski.
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I'd still fly with them, used them plenty of times for a Ä39.99 return journey to Barcelona and onward into Andorra with no problems whatsoever

Following all this bad press, I'm fairly sure they will be very keen to avoid any more in the next few months
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Iíve just bought an £11 flight Geneva Bham with easyJet. RA have a lot of competition.
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The cheapest flight I ever managed with Sleazyjet was Ä250. Thought they were sposed to be a budget airline?

My last flight has had a higher booking fee than the underlying air fare. On Lufthansa.

Ryanair's stunt has moved them from my "I have no intention of flying with them" list to the "No way in hell will I even contemplate thinking about booking a flight with them" list.

Lufthansa have been promoted from the "do lots of due diligence and make sure there are no more strikes" list to the "first airline to check prices/schedule" list, now that I think all of pilots, cabin crew and ground staff have finally stopped striking.

When Mo'L jumps, I might consider Ryanair.
When Easyjet actually fly to an airport near to this large business centre in mainland Europe, I might consider Easyjet.
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Lufthansa & Swiss get my business and personal travel bookings every time @andy,

I hate the process of Ryanair - people arguing with huge pieces of hand luggage at the gate was my experience. If people read and understood and followed the rules then it would be one slick operation, but people...
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@andy, pretty much sums it up. Ryanair? It would be a cold day in hell before I would even consider them.
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jbob wrote:
Iíve got a holiday coming up with a Thomas Cook flight to Sicily. Their pilots are due to go on a series of one day strikes, Iíve got costly hotels and car hire booked. Iíve heard nothing of this on the news!


I've heard Thomas Cook will be on strike on Saturday. Since there is no official announcement, I would get travel insurance that will allow you to book flights immediately with another airline to get you to the destination and a taxi to the hotel. I know a scheduled flight is subject to EU261 but not sure if a package "holiday" is covered.
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intermediate wrote:
How hard can it be to manage staff leave? Isn't this really about deliberately overstretching resources in peak summer months, when profits per flight are highest? Then sacrificing flights, including leaving customers stranded, when margins are tight? Wouldn't trust them with a piece of string.


They actually did "manage" staff leave. They managed it to cover the 140 pilots that have left to go to Norwegian. However, now, they have to let the pilots go on leave and they don't have enough. They managed the leave to the best of their ability while keeping quiet about a "catastrophic" staff retention problem.

Their business roll out that had seat selection, check in at airport, bag included was a good thing. However, I would also NEVER fly with them unless, it was a last resort. I prefer the traditional airlines that have a major airport to major airport route, codeshares and more than one flight a day from A to B so there is cover. I'm BA Gold even though most flights are in Y (economy) so gives you an idea of how many flights I take. I simply can't risk not getting to my business destination.
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andy wrote:
The cheapest flight I ever managed with Sleazyjet was Ä250. Thought they were sposed to be a budget airline?


Yikes! I remember in 2001 getting easyJet flights for £0.01 (admittedly with £15 taxes lumped on, but still a bargain).

It feels like the airline to keep an eye on is Norwegian Air, who are touting themselves as the new kids of the block of the budget airlines. They've allegedly taken a load of Ryanair pilots, they must see an opportunity to try fill the gap that Ryanair are creating.
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Tubaski wrote:
ster wrote:

BTW -did BA pay for your Ryanair flight and/or compensate you?


I did however get a nice compensation cheque from BA for my trouble, which has bought me a ski.


And this is something that you would have to fight with all your resolve to get from Ryanair. If at all.
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Iíve flown with Ryanair quite a lot over the years and only had two bad experiences. Once, when the flight was delayed due to a technical fault. They paid compensation after a long battle. The other, was when the French ATC went on strike. No problems rebooking with Ryanair. Otherwise, theyíve always done exactly what it says in the tin and their punctuality is one of the best in the business. I wouldnít book a flight with them for the next few weeks, but I wasnít planning to anyway. After that Iíd be more than happy to do so.

There is a lot of bad publicity for them at the moment, but it is only 2% of flights, so I donít think this will make a huge dent in their long-term business model or profitability. The 20M hit only equates to 1% of their net income. A bigger issue will be pilot recruitment and retention. As the global pilot shortage bites then they will struggle to keep pilots - but then thatís always been the model anyway. Get young pilots who pay for their own training. Enable them to build hours and experience very rapidly so they can swiftly move on to higher paid jobs elsewhere. Helps minimise the number of very expensive older pilots I assume.
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@cameronphillips2000, Are they that cheap for Winter Sports Holidays once you add up all the extras inc bizarrely located airports with expensive tranfers..... I doubt it.
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I haven't used them since 2008, previously I used them a lot. I just got fed up with the way they operate and prefer others. This makes me less likely to try them again. However I also haven't used BA since 2009 when they tried to bump my 13 year old daughter and me off a Gatwick to Zurich flight at half term. We only got a seat allocated at the last minute. I'd booked the day they were released.
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I booked Ryanair for next seasonís holiday because the departure and return airports and flight times were spot on for my requirements. Cost was not an issue. Had I been aware of the brewing trouble with the pilots, I would not have booked with them, but the alternatives would have been a bind.
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@achilles, Ryanair flights are often the most convenient for me and I have a couple of upcoming trips already booked. It would be quite inconvenient to use other carriers. My travel insurers confirmed earlier this week that if my flight is cancelled, or delayed more than 4 hours, they will pay up to £1000 per person for alternative travel arrangements (minus the fare price I can in theory get back from RA). I am willing to take the risk of having to make those alternative arrangements on the basis that most RA flights re not delayed or cancelled. I would prefer not to take that risk but the convenience aspect factors highly in the decision making process.
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@FFIRMIN, The current debt for an unsponsored student pilot is in the order of £100k, so about twice the average UK student debt. A Ryanair Capt earns about Ä120k a year, something that is easily achievable before they are 30. But it won't stop them winging. There is still a cadre of pilots that cannot stand the fact that the days of state supported national airlines have gone, these are the ones that paid ridiculous salaries (looking at it with todays eyes). The fact that the industry now employs many, many more pilots seems to escape them.
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They seem to be in a class of their own in terms of not giving a damn about customers (or staff). At least the likes of EJ seem to try to act fairly, whereas Ryan revel in abusing their customers.

Having steered clear of Ryan for several years, I was starting to contemplate them, as they had flights for £29 to Milan for the first Saturday of easter. But this latest confirmation of their complete lack of any decency or honour has convinced me to avoid, no matter how cheap. (Fortunately, I bagged some EJ flights at a similar price, but I had decided I would pay for BA, if EJ hadn't been a good price.)
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@chocksaway, there was an interesting series (well for aviation geeks like myself anyway, though to be fair even the missus liked it) on a few weeks ago about EasyJet pilot recruits. they were personally paying around £120k for their training with EasyJet, but were guaranteed a position as a junior first officer on about £40k a year, but it did not seem to take them long to accrue enough hours to get them moving up the ladder.

one of the newly qualified recruits was 20 years old but looked about 12!!!, but with progression he could potentially be earning around £100+k as a captain by his mid 20's, though it did seem to be only available to recruits who could be funded by the bank of mum and dad, i don't know if there are specialist loans available otherwise?

though to me it seemed a lot better route to take than coming out of uni with a potential £30k debt, with some cases never ever being able to repay it.
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@terrygasson, I quite liked that programme, but it did reinforce some stereotypes! There are specialist loans available, the finance packages are often organised by the various academies (flying schools!). These did dry up in 2008 and nearly killed off that business model but all is well again, according to a chum who is a groundschool instructor in Spain.
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Join the RAF and they get it FOC. And even enjoy more exilirating flying than just the take off and landing slot.
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I'm sure I read a news article about the combined age of an Easyjet Flightdeck crew being being in the low 40's Shocked

They had one 19 year old pilot at least : http://metro.co.uk/2016/07/01/teenager-19-is-one-of-youngest-ever-airline-pilots-5975768/

I also flew Scott Air out of Southampton a few times (10 years ago), and their new pilots apparently had poor T&C's but since they got to fly aircraft with glass instruments panels, they gained the flight hours they needed on that equipment to move on to the bigger airlines.
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Nothing new about young pilots. KLM European crews are all very young.
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@GlasgowCyclops,
Quote:

They actually did "manage" staff leave. They managed it to cover the 140 pilots that have left to go to Norwegian.

Indeed, so the Ryanair message that flight cancellations are caused by staff leave is economical with the truth. A cynical attempt to make customers think they were being let down by pilots, rather than senior managers?
I wonder whether Ryanair will be paying compensation to those affected without undue denial, bureaucracy, fuss, obstruction or time-wasting tactics?
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