We’ve found the last civilized way of getting to London for Christmas – RyanAir via Luton.
This was our second experience of RyanAir, and was again favorable.
RyanAir’s price structure is rational – it charges virtually nothing if its load factor is low, then ramps to a maximum that, even after adding Euro “Greenfly” taxes (typically $100 per flight) is about 50% of the highcosters.
If you want something that carries a cost, you can get it, at a price. You pay to check a bag (but can carry on 10 Kg at no cost, double what the highcosters allow). You can’t reserve seats, but can pay for priority boarding (highcosters let you reserve seats, but only 1 or 2 days before the flight). If you don’t take your own food and drink. you can buy RyanAir’s, which we found better than the highcosters.
Flight operations aim to ensure the maximum return from its (mostly new) airplanes. That means quick turnarounds, hence no assigned seats. Plus the interior is designed for fast cleaning – the emergency instructions are laminated to the back of the seat in front, just where you’ll need them in an emergency.
Late takeoff or arrival costs RyanAir money, so it works really hard to stay on schedule – our flight to London took off a exactly on time.
And landed on-time at London’s Luton airport, the only one not operated by the awful British Airports Authority (BAA).
Luton is basic, so we had zero delays clearing immigration, and were on a bus to central London 15 minutes after touchdown, arriving 50 minutes later. That’s better than we’ve ever achieved from the BAA hellholes of Heathrow, Gatwick, and Stanstead.
Your experience may be different, but we’d recommend carrier and airport (and have stock in neither).