It’s pretty common knowledge that Ryanair is probably the cheapest airline out there. Everyone knows that they are the biggest crooks in the history of airlines but we all book them anyways, don’t we?

My first “I’ll never fly Ryanair again” situation was when I flew from Düsseldorf/Weeze (which is actually their first trick: they are not even allowed to call that airport Düsseldorf, which is about 70kms away from Düsseldorf, but they do it anyway) to Girona and that whole flight (which is 2hours normally) took over 6 hours. SIX HOURS! After 2 hours I realized that we were flying circles and at some point the crew informed us that the radar system was broken and France wouldn’t let us cross the country. Fine. Happens. Not their fault. Since my dad is a pilot, I knew that a missing radar system isn’t such a big thing. But yes, we flew circles… and then: BACK TO GERMANY! Another hour passing by we landed in Frankfurt/Hahn, because obvouisly this is the closest Ryanair homebase and it won’t cost them anything to fix the system there. Meanwhile, passengers weren’t allowed to leave the plane or even stand up from their seats. After another hour fixing time we finally took off towards Spain again. Another two hours flight, without food, drinks or anything else (there wasn’t enough on board for that occasion). Finally landed in Girona, the last bus to Barcelona was already gone. Great. No service from Ryanair, obviously. And clearly no chance to get my money back. That night, I was sure I’d rather book a more expensive flight than ever fly with Ryanair again.

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But as it goes, last saturday night, for lack of a better option I found myself booking a Ryanair flight. To Berlin. And what could go wrong on an one hour flight from Weeze to Berlin. Nothing, right? Wrong! I didn’t think of how bad their website system would be. I already had issues chosing the flights I wanted because of some server error. But somehow I managed to go through the whole booking process and was able to fill in all my data. I checked TWICE if everything was right, because this really isn’t the first time I book flights:

Luggage? No, thank you. Travel insurance? No, that’ll be fine, thanks. Priority boarding? Oh, no, not needed. Car rental? Nope. Newsletter? Nah. Your blood sucked? Hmmm, maybe. Or actually, no. Online check in, right flight dates, right name and credit card information.

I paid about 53€ in total and confirmed the booking. And after that… (dramatic pause)… I got my reservation number and a summary of my flight information. Wait a minute! What? Flying when? Somehow I got completely different flights than the ones I chose. Not kidding! Instead of flying in the evening I got flights at 6 in the morning, the return being on a totally different day! The good thing about that is, that they only charged me the prices for the morning flights which is 42€ in total. But what could I do about that? Nothing, actually. There was no possibility to cancel or change flights without an extra charge of 100€. Or to write an email (which is actually also againts the law in Germany). Or to call a hotline (because it was weekend), which charges you 2€/min (so thats how they make their money!). After some research I had the idea to call the Irish hotline on Monday, which only charges the normal costs of a call to Ireland. But all I got out of it was 10 minutes of hanging in the queue, a rude Ryanair employee with poor English and the conclusion that I had to pay an extra 35€ for each flight to change them to the right dates, regardless of whose fault it was that the booking was wrongly done. And if I just wanted the taxes back I would be charged 20€ administrative fee. Cheers, Ryanair.

Ironically, in the end it was cheaper just to book completely new flights. And guess what? My cousin, who wanted to fly to Berlin at the same time as me, just told me there had been an error in her booking as well and now everything is booked twice. Nice, Ryanair. Hard not to wonder if this is just some kind of trick to earn even more money.

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So whats the moral of the story? I, for myself have a burn mark for a lifetime to never throw money in these crooks’ mouths ever again, even if that means I have to walk barefoot to my destination (remind me of that, later, ok?).

Tell me what you think about Ryanair in the comments below. I am stoked to hear your horror stories!


This post was written by Nina Hüpen-Bestendonk, who has a funny name even for Germans; she is a wicked go-getter and creative freelance designer, photographer and blogger.

She has an eye for beauty and even finds it in ugly apartment blogs. Her weekly photo chronicle “My week in pictures” has already become a classic among urban Berliners. Find out more at smaracuja.de.

 

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