On my recent trip to Athens, I decided to give using the Ryanair app a go on the return journey. The reason for this, was due to the fact that Ryanair have a new ticket printing procedure that didn't work out for me. For those that may not know, Ryanair's new procedure is to now offer allocated seating only. The drawback though, is that you can only print off the boarding passes 7 days or less if you want to do it for free. As I had 9 nights in Athens, I was not able to print off my return flight boarding pass. On top of that, the hotel I was staying in didn't have a printer that worked. So, the logical choice was to try using the Ryanair app.
Now, its probably worth mentioning at this point that I have a distinct love/hate relationship with Ryanair. And I guess I'm not the only one! I love the cheap flights, but hate the way they try to milk money back from us. (Read my previous post on packing for Tbex and a quick Ryanair rant). This new ticket printing procedure is a perfect example of this. Charging to print off a ticket more than 7 days in advance is easy money for them, and general principle prevented me from paying in order to print one off more than 7 days in advance! Using the Ryanair app though seemed to be an ideal solution. The only question was, would it work?
Using the Ryanair App
The Ryanair app is available for Android and Apple devices, and can be found in the Apple App Store, and in Google Play. As I have an Android phone, any screenshots you see here have been taken from that. I am not too sure how much the platforms differ.
My first concern, was that the Ryanair Mobile App was going to be as dreadful as their website. Once it was downloaded though, I was pleasantly surprised to see a simple, but well laid out user interface. This is at the total opposite end of the spectrum to their website, which seems to develop extra layers of unneeded complexity as the years go by.
There were a number of simple options to follow in order to manage my booking, all of which flowed smoothly with none of the hassle of the website. The pages were cleanly laid out, and everything was pretty instant. Although I haven't used it for this yet, it also looks possible to book flights from the Ryanair app.
When I was checked in, the boarding pass was stored onto my phone. Once this had happened, accessing it did not require an internet connection which was a relief! That's pretty much all there is to the app – Its well designed, straight forwards, and does make life easier. Of course using the Ryanair App was the easy part. The next step was to see how the airport reacted to it!
Using the Ryanair App in the Airport
There are normally several points in an airport where you need to show a boarding pass. These include getting through to the departures area, the queue to leave the gate for the plane, and sometimes, on the plane itself again. With this in mind, I made sure that I had plenty of battery life in the phone, as without it, I basically wouldn't have a ticket! I was in the airport quite early in the morning, and there were no queues which was a bit of a result. Getting the phone ready, I approached the passport control area and braced myself for…. Nothing. They just waved me through. They didn't ask at the baggage scanning either.
That left the gate area as the last place that I would be asked. In the queue, I was noticeably the only one who didn't have a ticket and was using the Ryanair app. This was a touch concerning! When it was my turn, I showed them the phone half expecting them to say that it wasn't accepted. They took a look at it, wandered off, and then got a ticket from behind their counter with my name and seat number. It wasn't exactly what I was expecting, and kind of made the whole paperless thing pointless, but whatever. Using the Ryanair app worked for me, and I will use it again in the future!
Thinking of getting a new Android phone? Check out the – Samsung Galaxy S5 SIM-Free Smartphone – Black