A flight with Ryanair is many things, but a premium travel experience is never one of them.
However, what happens when money is spent on a trip with the low-cost Irish airline?
A travel expert has filmed a fascinating attempt to make a £ 14 Ryanair flight ‘first class’, taking a limousine to the airport, buying every extra possible, reserving a free seat next to him on the plane and sipping gas. He described part of the trip as a ‘disaster’ and ‘on the verge of a scam’, but parts of the trip were vastly improved, he revealed.
Nicky Kelvin, director of The Points Guy UK, filmed a fascinating attempt to make a Ryanair flight of 14 pounds in ‘first class’. Step one: limousine to the airport (above)
The Escape Lounge cheered on Nicky after encountering ‘rude’ security personnel
The experiment was carried out by Nicky Kelvin, director of The Points Guy UK, who started a trip to Madrid, via London Stansted, donning a fancy suit and traveling in a Mercedes S-Class to the airport using a company called ‘Wheely’. (£ 204).
He said: ‘The car was on time. It was incredibly comfortable with a smartly dressed professional driver who adjusted the radio’s temperature and volume to desired levels and provided Evian ‘with water.
He had paid for fast track security at the airport (£ 7) but said the experience was “not premium … with rude staff accommodating passengers”.
However, the Escape Lounge (£ 22.99 or use Priority Pass) cheered it up.
He described this as “not the fanciest,” but it was a space “to escape the airport crowds with complimentary food and drink and comfortable seating.”
After purchasing a travel pillow (£ 14.99) to improve comfort in the air, it was time to board.
Nicky bought a travel pillow £ 14.99) to improve comfort in the air.
And here, the trip went wrong.
Nicky had paid for priority boarding (£ 20.85), but said: “The boarding process itself was a disaster. Priority boarding was ignored and once it got through the gate, all passengers were forced to wait on a staircase for about 15 minutes with their suitcases in tow until they were finally allowed to cross the runway to board the plane. ” .
On board, the experience improved again (mostly), because Nicky had secured seat 1A up front (£ 20), paid for the seat next to it to improve the spaciousness factor (£ 34.99), and ordered a Glass of prosecco (£ 6) and a hot veal lasagna (£ 5.10).
Nicky reserved seat 1A and the seat next to him for that premium feel
Prosecco on board. Sadly, Nicky says, it was served hot
Nicky’s beef lasagna was a winner – he described it as ‘delicious’
HOW TO UPDATE A RYANAIR FLIGHT
Step 1: switch to something smarter
Step 2: get a fancy ride to the airport (£ 204.60)
Step 3: Pay via the security fast lane (£ 7)
Step 4: Buy access to the VIP lounge before your flight (£ 22.99 or use Priority Pass)
Step 5: Buy yourself a comfortable travel pillow (£ 14.99)
Step 6: get priority boarding (£ 20.85)
Step 7: Reserve Seat 1A (£ 20)
Step 8: Book another ticket and reserve an empty seat next to you (£ 34.99)
Step 9: Order Prosecco once on board (£ 6)
Step 10: Get a quality meal (£ 5.10)
Source: The Points Guy UK for a trip from Stansted to Madrid.
He told MailOnline Travel: ‘Sitting in seat 1A with a free seat next to me felt like I had the best place on board. Being seen first, getting off the plane first, and having virtually unlimited legroom and room was a huge bonus. ‘
The Prosecco, meanwhile, “was as classy as it got on board” and was “hot and served in a plastic glass and therefore not as nice.” But the lasagna was ‘delicious’.
And the verdict?
We asked Nicky how her experience compares to, say, paying for business class travel with BA.
He said: ‘Some items were worth it and some were on the verge of a scam.
“The luxury airport transportation got the trip off to a wonderful start, but of course you could take a luxury car when you flew on any airline.
“I’d have a better time in some British Airways lounges flying business class and also enjoy chilled champagne and better Do & Co food on board, although to my taste buds the lasagna was a winner.
“ Paying for a front row seat and the free seat next to me, assuming it can be purchased at a reasonable price, created real value for me and I would definitely recommend it as a key way to greatly enhance the flying experience. with Ryanair.
Even in British Airways European Business Class [“Club Europe”]Except in the first row, you are seated in the same seats as the economy class passengers, although the middle seat is automatically kept free.
‘The priority boarding option in my case was a complete waste of money and was not respected by the airline.
In general, it will come down to the price. If you want a truly premium experience, you are unlikely to compare British Airways ‘overall business class experience to a low-cost carrier and low-cost airlines like Ryanair will remain the choice for those primarily cost-driven.’