Airline review: Ryanair economy, Barcelona to Fuerteventura (Canary Islands), Spain

Our rating

2 out of 5

THE ROUTE

Barcelona, Spain, to Fuerteventura, Spain (Canary Islands)

THE PLANE

Boeing 737-800

THE LOYALTY SCHEME

As famously no-frills Ryanair founder Michael O'Leary might say: "Are you having a laugh?"

CLASS

Economy, seat 7C

DURATION

3 hours, 20 minutes

FREQUENCY

Three return flights a week (Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday)

SEAT

A 76-centimetre pitch, 43 centimetres width, with the exception of several rows with 81 to 86 centimetres of extra leg room that can be purchased at extra cost of $15, including priority boarding. It's a 3-3 layout for the 189 economy-class seats, which do not recline. There is no business class.

BAGGAGE

No checked baggage is included. It cost $37 to check a bag of up to 20 kilos. One carry-on item is allowed with maximum dimensions of 56cm x 45cm x 25cm with a weight of up to 10 kilos. Unlike rival EasyJet, Ryanair now also allows passengers to take an additional small bag like a handbag or laptop for free in addition to the main carry-on.

COMFORT

After an hour, the very stiff seats are hard on my back. Visually, the overly bright blue and yellow interior of the aircraft is rather obnoxious.

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ENTERTAINMENT

None. Not even an in-flight magazine. Just a menu of food, beverages and other items available given to you upon boarding, with nowhere to put it but under your seat, given a lack of any storage for magazines or other items on the seat-backs.

SERVICE

There are way too many in-flight announcements offering product sales – ranging from food and beverages to duty free and even scratch lotto tickets – for the flight to be relaxing, but the crew is effective in processing purchases in several languages.

FOOD

None included, but an extensive list of food and beverage options is available for purchase.

ONE MORE THING ...

If you are travelling on an international Ryanair flight, even within the European Union, on a non-EU passport (such as an Australian one), you must get your boarding pass stamped at a separate Ryanair desk before going through security or you will not be allowed on your flight. Make sure you do so even if the bag drop agent forgets to tell you to do so. However, this step is not required for domestic Ryanair flights.

THE VERDICT

The rock-bottom price can't be beaten, but set your expectations very low. I would be willing to pay a bit extra for a flight on EasyJet on routes where it competes, after having tried both major European budget carriers.

Tested by Jamie Freed, who travelled at her own expense.

See also: Airline review: Easyjet economy class

See also: People, stop whinging about budget airlines