Guest Blogger

I had to pop on a plane to Dublin this week, for a very short meeting.  I flew out in the morning with Aer Lingus, and back with Ryanair less than eight hours later.

The experience was somewhat different.

Aer Lingus

The gate information was displayed to the minute when promised.  I strolled leisurely to the gate and was greeted by a warm and friendly (outsourced) smile that ushered me and my fellow passengers into the waiting area.  Staff voluntarily supported anyone who needed a little bit more assistance, such as mothers with young children.  We all boarded as instructed in seat order, and three cheery cabin crew were either “living the dream” or feeling “top of the morning”.  Don’t you just love the Irish.  It was easy to store my hand held luggage in the overhead compartment and I settled down for a pleasant, uninterrupted flight.  Feeling relaxed I disembarked and headed off for the centre of Dublin.


Arriving back at the airport with over two hours to kill I settled down with my decaf skinny latte. Forty minutes before the flight was due to leave the gate information finally popped up, as “Boarding”, skipping completely the “Go To Gate” warning.  Slightly worried I sprinted to the gate, which was a surprisingly long distance from the departure lounge.  No friendly smile greeted me, in fact nobody at all was there, other than my fellow passengers who were lined up in a disorderly queue at the “now boarding gate”.  And we waited.  And waited.  For twenty minutes.  When we finally started to approach the plane ground crews snatched off unsuspecting passengers their walk on luggage as the flight was expected to be very full.  Passengers almost wept in confusion as they were given little yellow labels and told that they would be reunited with their precious belongings at the baggage reclaim.  For the passengers who evaded the bag snatchers an even worse horror was to unfold – finding some space in the overhead compartments to place their luggage in.  From the second I placed a toe onto the plane to the second my heel left I was bombarded with messages of items to buy – magazine, gifts, food, scratch card etc etc.  Or at least that what I think was on offer as a string of rather poorly spoken crew members took to the tannoy.  Hardly relaxing.

Be best at what matters most

So it may come to a surprise to you that if I were asked to recommend an airline to travel to Dublin with it would be Ryanair.  As we bounced onto the runway at Gatwick the flight attendant informed us that we had arrived on time.  As we turned off the runway a pre recorded message informed me that so far this year over 90% of Ryanair flights had arrived on schedule.  When we reached the terminal building a final announcement advised that we were on stand fifteen minutes early.  NewsUk were paying for the flights, so cost wasn’t a personal consideration.  I expect all airlines to be safe.  So any decision to purchase or recommend is going to be based on reliability and punctuality.  I cannot recall if my Aer Lingus flight arrived promptly, or overall how punctual thye are is.  Ryanair taught me that they are.  They stood out at being best and the thing that matters most to me.

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