For my flight from Edinburgh to Dublin, I stumbled upon Ryanair‘s amazing £14.99 ($20) fares; even better, the airline had just introduced Business Plus fares and offered an additional discount for this product.
I have flown Ryanair a few times before, including from Marrakech to London, and consider it a quality product to fly. However, it’s fraught with monumental hassles – the checked bag requirements and the boarding pass printing procedure are just ridiculous.
Now with Business Plus, Ryanair promises to take away these ridiculous requirements and make flying more of a breeze. The package includes a free 20kg checked bag, free priority seat selection and personalized check-in where they issue you a boarding pass for free at the airport. Priority boarding is included as well, so all this sounded perfect for me.
Our check-in at the airport in Edinburgh was staffed by a Swissport employee who could not be more friendly or helpful. She printed our boarding passes, tagged our bags in seconds and then tagged our boarding passes for FastTrack security. Security at Edinburgh Airport was tremendously crowded at 7AM on a Monday morning, with domestic flights and Middle Eastern airlines all boarding before 9AM.
There are two Priority Pass/Lounge Pass lounges at Edinburgh Airport and the No 1 lounge I randomly selected actually served hot food and drinks (champagne at a surcharge) most of the day. It’s a very stylish affair and both Middle Eastern airlines use it for premium passengers.
Boarding was as chaotic as expected, with lines formed on the stairs and the apron, as boarding had started when the inbound plane had just parked but not deplaned. It was a sunny day, but I would have rather avoided that if it had been a windy or cold day. After 20 minutes of waiting, we finally boarded.
The priority seats in row 2 have ample legroom. They’re good seats – you just need to stow your bag in an overhead bin.
Take-off and landing were both perfectly on time. The flight time was under 40 minutes for the 250 miles covered.
In summary, Ryanair has finally grown up a bit and offers a Business Plus product that just about makes this airline normal. The boarding procedure is still not my favorite, but everything else works out to be a pretty good product now.