A few weeks ago I tweeted about two suitcases being damaged during a Ryanair flight. Ryanair tweeted back their online support link and I dutifully made a complaint. I did not get any joy because I had not reported the incident as soon as the plane landed.
Now, I guess that makes sense and I assume it was somewhere in the small print of my booking. I half expected it and indeed I quipped with the polite correspondent that “I would never fly Ryanair again” before adding in brackets "I think we both know this is not true”.
A coupe of weeks later on another Ryanair flight my suitcase came off the carousel with a dirty great hole in it. I have absolutely no idea how this happened or how it could happen, but fortunately none of the contents was damaged.
So what did I do? Did I waste an hour or more finding, queuing and reporting the incident in the airport? Of course not. As in the first case it was late in the evening, I was travelling alone with my 4 year old daughter and there was a taxi waiting to take us.
Yesterday, I was flying Ryanair again with my tired 4 year old on an 8:30 flight, after we had both woken up around 5:15. We stood in a queue for the best part of an hour. The flight was obviously delayed but there was no communication. I asked a couple of times how long the delay would be and both times I was told it was "not long”. When we finally got to board the aircraft a good 30 minutes late, I went to the rear of the plane to find that the stairs were not close enough and there followed another delay(s)… twice I was informed it would just be “1 minute”. I took my chilly and impatient daughter to the front stairs.
What would it take to no longer use Ryanair?
Now, this is not really some diatribe against Ryanair - the tray table was wet from where someone presumably had spilled some rather sticky drink and there is never enough leg room for someone of my height but its Ryanair, right? The flights were pretty cheap.
I considered tweeting about the experience as it happened in order simply to vent my frustration but even that seemed pointless. It probably covers everything that annoys me in the terms and conditions.
And here is the problem: it is cheap. I say problem, it is of course the reason I fly with Ryanair. And with a low cost comes a higher tolerance of imperfections. But should it be so in all fields? I don't expect cheap shoes to last a lifetime so why does it annoy me sooo much when a cheap flight is not perfect. And then of course my ire subsides so quickly. What would it take for me to get to the point of not using Ryanair anymore? I think we both know nothing other than repeated and well publicised technical failures will stop me.
I travel a lot for work and pleasure. Sometimes I disappoint myself.