Flying with Ryanair is comparatively cheap but requires a whole lot of patience. Ryanair’s aggressive cost optimization strategies do not necessarily improve the flying experience of the passengers. But who cares? They have already bought a ticket. Nonetheless, there are countermeasures for the passenger.
If you are one of the guys that always want to board first, with Ryanair you will often find yourself waiting in the bus or on the flight field before the arriving passengers have finished disembarking the aircraft. Then the luggage gets unloaded, the garbage is thrown out, the plane is tanked, before you finally take off with one hour delay. And although the delay was clearly foreseeable, no information whatsoever was given to the passengers.
Ryanair’s goal is a turnover time of 25 minutes on all airports. The time between arrival and departure should not exceed 25 minutes. That is mostly wishful thinking, and in the course of a day, a considerable delay is normally accumulated. Passengers taking their time boarding are therefore frowned upon by Ryanair, and delays are therefore communicated as late as possible, if passengers get informed at all. As a consequence, you will often see people standing in line for hours at the Ryanair gates, or even worse on the flight field in the rain or snow, although the aircraft they want to embark has not even landed.
But it is actually easy to find out, when the airplane will really land, and when you know that time you can add at least 25 minutes for your take-off. All you have to do is to find out which airplane will bring you to your destination.
Let’s assume that we are booked for Ryanair flight FR6307 from Cologne to Sofia. The scheduled start is Sunday 18:30. “Your” aircraft will have a scheduled arrival time 25 minutes before the planned start, that is 18:05. Our flight to Sofia makes no exception here. Flight FR6306 from Sofia to Cologne is scheduled to land at 18:05, that must be “our” flight. Note, that the arriving flight does not necessarily come from your planned destination, especially when you are departing from one of the Ryanair hubs.
The official landing time can be found with Google. Just search for the flight number “FR6306” and you will be presented a nice table with all officially available information for current flights.
But you can find out exactly, where the aircraft you are waiting for, currently is. All aircrafts are sending radio beacons that can be received by anybody. Many people around the world receive these signals and publish them in real-time in the internet, and countless web sites offer the data in interactive maps.
The best-known service for real-time flight data is flightradar24.com. Searching for a flight number at Google will usually list the same flight at flightradard24.com as one of the first results. Searching the flight number at flightradar24.com will show you the exact current location of the plane, and you can even follow it moving.
It is Sunday 18:12, the aircraft I am waiting for is still in Northern Bavaria. Impossible that the same aircraft will take-off as scheduled at 18:30 here in Cologne although Ryanair has not listed the flight as delayed. But we know that there is absolutely no reason to leave our seat and join the other passengers that are waiting in line at the gate for already 10 minutes.
The little hack won’t make flying with Ryanair any more pleasant but it gives you a warm feeling that you have outsmarted them just a little. And never forget! Worse than traveling with Ryanair is working with Ryanair!
Have a nice flight!
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