I originally wanted to write about our Ryanair outbound flight from Manchester to Hamburg. Unfortunately, (or fortunately, I’m still not sure) I slept for 95% of this flight so can’t really tell you much about it other than I made it to Hamburg in one piece.
So, this is the return leg of our journey. Ryanair’s 3502 flight back to Manchester from Hamburg. We paid just £5 per person each way for these flights (both inbound and outbound). Booking around 5 weeks in advance, we even managed to achieve booking the exact dates we wanted to travel – a rare experience.
Honestly, I’m not sure how I can say anything negative when a 1.5-hour flight costs just £5. Especially considering our train from Leeds to Manchester Airport costs triple that (seriously, this makes no sense…) but I’ll try…
Date: Tuesday 5th March 2019
Depart: 10:47 (est 09:40)
Arrive: 11:07 (est 10:25)
Aircraft: Boeing 737-800
Seat: 14B & 15E
As always with Ryanair, we checked in online (using the mobile application for iOS) to avoid paying any additional charges upon arrival at the airport. You can check in from 2 days before your flight right through to 2 hours before you’re flight – so if you arrive at the airport and haven’t already checked-in then you might find you still have time to do so.
The process was simple and easy. Of course, we had to go through the multiple choice questions about how we’d like to fly… £4 each person to select a seat, priority boarding, extra bags, food… you name it Ryanair are selling it. We avoided it all.
Since the new Ryanair baggage limitations (I seriously feel like someone must say this at least once a year at the rate Ryanair seem to alter what bags are/aren’t allowed onboard and at what cost) there’s been an increasing number of people opting for priority boarding.
Considering this it was surprising when we noticed people queuing up to board the plane at 09:32. While we were due to depart at 09:40 and the board had not updated, the staff had not started processing anyone and the plane we were due to board hadn’t even landed.
The plane landed at 09:41 by this point staff had started processing those due to board the plane. I can only imagine this could have been to create space for the passengers on the British Airways flight that was due to depart at 10:00.
It was 10:01 before Helen and I made our way to the front of the line at gate B50. We stood alongside some very angry passengers who had brought larger ‘wheely’ suitcases and had not pre-booked them in. Ryanair and one of our favourite airlines Wizz Air have both recently paid out millions in compensation due to the lack of clarity when it comes to baggage. So, I wasn’t surprised when we received four emails in the run-up to our trip all about their new baggage policy.
We walked down to the bus that was waiting for us downstairs with plenty of passengers already onboard. However, it was a further 10 minutes before we could claim the angry passengers who’d just had to pay for additional baggage and proceed to the plane.
Unfortunately, the fun didn’t end there…
When we arrived at the aircraft. I noticed that those on the first bus hadn’t been permitted to leave the bus and board the aircraft yet. These are the same passengers who were queuing up to board back in the terminal over an hour ago now. I can only imagine my review if I had been one of those passengers.
So, in typical Ryanair fashion once we did arrive at the aircraft they let both busses off to board the aircraft at once which resulted in carnage. It was cold, windy and wet and it was 10 minutes before we managed to board the plane and a further 15 minutes before we closed the doors ready for push back.
Some simple communication here between staff could have allowed the staff to have additional time cleaning and prepping on board. While still allowing the passengers on the first bus off to board early enough so they were seated and out of the way as the second bus arrived. But, as I said… This is Ryanair.
The cabin was in the typical garish yellow and blue and despite only being delivered 10 years ago it seemed old, outdated and was incredibly uncomfortable. Maybe the discomfort wasn’t just in the cabin as it was in the people I was sat with.
As Helen was sat a row behind and opposite me I was left sitting in the middle seat next to one 6 foot gentleman and one woman who refused to put the armrest down (even during take-off) leading her to impede on my already restricted space.
Of course, this was 50% my doing for being as stingy as to not pay the additional £4 each for us to sit together.
As always with Ryanair these days there’s no seat back pocket, and the inflight magazines are handed out upon request. The safety card is imprinted onto the back of the seat in front. It’s all as basic as you can imagine… but again, £5!
The flight was uneventful and took just 1 hour 19 minutes which allowed us to make up for some of the delay we had from the inbound flight and chaotic boarding process.
The seatbelt sign did have to be illuminated twice for all of five minutes. Despite this, there was never any turbulence so I can only assume it was advisory by an aircraft in front based on experience.
Due to the quick nature of the flight, there was a limited amount of inflight sales. Instead, they covered the basics; food, drink and duty-free.
Menu & Meals
Despite having no lounge access at Hamburg Airport we didn’t purchase anything on board the flight.
For the latest menu onboard Ryanair flights, we suggest checking out InflightFeed.
If you are planning on flying outbound on this route – or any route from Manchester airport check out the airport lounges;
Ryanair service in typical Ryanair fashion. However, I’m not planning on paying 10x the amount (if not more) to fly the same route with BA anytime soon nor do I believe many of Ryanair’s competitors (i.e. Jet2) are any better. So for now, I’m here for it.
As always we’d love to know what you think about Ryanair. Do you fly with them often or do you continue to avoid them no matter what the cost? Let us know down in the comments.