I’ve changed my mind about Ryanair. After my last flight with the budget airline I decided that I’d never travel with them again if I could avoid it. Then I was invited on a press trip to the Italian island of Sicily, flying on Ryanair’s new route from London Stansted to Comiso in the southeastern corner of the island. I love Sicily and was keen to explore the Baroque towns and UNESCO world heritage sites of the area so I accepted the invitation and decided not to think about the journey. I needn’t have worried – the flight was fine because Ryanair have changed a few things.
Ryanair now give every passenger on every flight an allocated seat. There’s no charge for this but if you want to choose a particular seat you do have to pay extra. I asked one of the cabin crew if people who book together are allocated seats together and she said that they are. This is really important for families with young children who need (by law) to sit with an adult. The lack of allocated seats (unless you paid for one) was one of the reasons I avoided Ryanair. I didn’t like the scramble for seats when boarding the plane. Nor did I like having to ask other passengers to move so that I could sit with my children. I’m really pleased that Ryanair have made this change.
Besides the 10kg cabin bag you can now take another small bag on board as well as one carrier bag of shopping from the departure lounge at Stansted. (There aren’t any shops at Comiso airport yet). I find it much easier to have a small handbag as well as a cabin bag and it makes flying with only hand luggage slightly more achievable. The allowance for checked-in bags is still only 15kgs though.
Ryanair say that they now offer ‘a 24 hour grace period to correct minor booking errors’. 24 hours isn’t long but at least it gives passengers some chance of correcting things like misspelt names without having to pay to do so. The charge for reissuing a boarding card if you’ve already checked in online has been cut from an extortionate 70 euros to a more reasonable 15 euros. I didn’t need to correct any booking errors or have my boarding card reissued but I like the shift in approach which these changes represent.
If you’re one of those people (I’m not) who enjoys travelling when you should be tucked up in bed, fast asleep, the flight from Stansted to Comiso will suit you because it leaves at the horribly early time of 06.55 which means getting to the airport for 04.55. I always choose a more sociable flight time if possible. The Comiso to Stansted flight is fine as it leaves Comiso at 13.05.
Ryanair is now back on my list of airlines to consider when booking flights.
Disclosure: Thank you to Ryanair and the Sicily Tourist Board for organising the press trip to Sicily.