Hello from Milan. With 12 legs down and only two legs to go on my trip around the world, I thought I’d give you an update on my adventures on Ryanair from Amman to Milan via Bucharest.
I last flew Ryanair all the way back in March 2011. I still knew what to expect (and knew it was quite bearable), but wasn’t sure how it would play in terms of the passengers around me. With increasing business routes and service to major airports, Ryanair is no longer just an airline for budget travelers. Still, when you pay 59EUR for a flight from Amman to Bucharest and 17EUR for a flight from Bucharest to Milan, you figure there may be some interesting characters onbaord. And indeed there was.
Here’s some random observations about my flights.
- In Amman (AMM), they started boarding on-time…but the aircraft had not even arrived yet. We all were herded down into a narrow passageway connecting the jetbridge to the terminal. The air conditioning was either weak or off, creating sultry conditions. We stood there for 20 minutes before boarding commenced.
- Ryanair thankfully has assigned seating, but boarding is a free-for-all. To save money, Ryanair opts for remote stands and bussing over jet bridges. That’s not so bad a thing because that allows for boarding via the front and rear of the plane. Small problem, though. No one used the rear stairs. Everyone made a beeline for the front. I would have used the rear, but I was seated in row 12, which would have made for a difficult upstream journey once onboard.
- The lady sitting next to me would not stop scratching her head. I listened to her scratch the entire journey to Bucharest. It was so annoying.
- Across the aisle from me, a lady chose to sniff rather than blow her nose. No kidding, it sounded like someone was using a spray bottle the entire flight.
- I was on the aisle, the lady scratching her head was in the middle, and the man seated at the window brought a chifforobe onboard. A small one, obviously, but I laughed when I saw it..and it took up an entire overhead bin.
- Speaking of chifforobes, the man sitting in front of him used his seat as a chifforobe…hanging his coat behind him. But the man sitting behind him said nothing.
- One woman decided to spend the flight pacing back and forth down the aisle. Literally every two minutes she would appear, making small talk with a number of passengers. The crew was clearly annoyed while trying to hawk their duty free items and meals, but somehow they managed to peacefully co-exist.
- Toward the end of the flight to Bucharest, I had to use the lavatory and went to the back where both lavatories were occupied. I stood there for a few, briefly chatted with the flight attendant, then he flipped open the lavatory locked from the outside (the way FAs lock the lavatories for takeoff and landing). It was empty. That was odd…
- A stampede situation nearly developed at Bucharest (OTP). Two Ryanair flights arrived at once and everyone converged on the escalator. There was not enough room in the small landing between escalators, causing a lot of screaming, swearing, and pushing.
- I really detest Bucharest Airport. A cup of coffee is more expensive than Frankfurt, Munich, Paris, or London. Seriously…I spent $12 for a small lunch and there are no Priority Pass lounges.
- My flight from Bucharest to Milan Malpensa was absolutely drama-free. I scored an exit row seat, the middle stay opened, I fell asleep after takeoff, and that was that. Ryanair even uses Terminal 1 at Malpensa, not the budget terminal.
I’m not sure you need a full review of Ryanair, as the above about sums up the experience. I didn’t buy any scratchers or food, though they were hawked frequently. But both flights were pleasant enough. In all honesty, I was very thankful for the opportunity to get from Amman to Milan so cheaply.