Read about our experience of flying with Ryanair for a family break
When Monarch collapsed a week before our holiday was due to start we had to rush to book alternative flights.
The only option to our destination was Ryanair. At 6am in the morning I had to negotiate the booking process on my laptop, knowing lots of other people were scrambling to do the same after losing flights with Monarch.
In the end, to save time, I went for a family pack, which at £103 included two suitcases, priority boarding and seat selection.
With more time, I may have been able to pick and choose some of those options for slightly less money.
It is clear Ryanair are trying to make their process a little more straightforward but it can still be a minefield of potential charges.
Ryanair’s fleet is one of the youngest around. That means most planes are modern, clean and quiet. Ours was pretty good although not the newest they have.
As usual, overhead locker space was at a premium. We used our trick of one adult boarding early to sort out the children’s activities, drinks, snacks etc and putting bags in the locker. The second adult boarded later with the children so they had more time to stretch their legs.
The seats were surprisingly comfortable and in good condition. The legroom was fine but Ryanair, like lots of short-haul airlines, maximises space by taking away the pocket in which to put your valuables.
That can be a pain when you have children’s drinks, magazines and general paraphernalia, which has to go somewhere.
There were just two toilets which meant some queues. The heat was quite intense too, awaiting take-off on our return journey.
The offering is fairly basic with the usual snacks and drinks. Pre-ordered hot meals are the first to come round followed by the drinks and snacks trolley.
It was all efficient except they ran out of change for some passengers on the way back.
Ryanair is aiming to be more family-friendly but are they going far enough?
There were some nice touches.
Children’s pushchairs/strollers and car seats can be put in the hold for free but that is the same as other airlines.
Priority boarding with the family pack is useful and they are currently offering discounts on bags and seat reservations for families.
We didn’t have any complaints, boarding was smooth and efficient, the flights landed on time, there were no queues at check-in at either airport.
But as we all know, the problem with Ryanair is if something goes wrong, then you’re often on your own. We were lucky and found it to be stress-free.