My husband and I need to book a flight from the FCO airport in Rome to Palermo for Saturday, April 9,2016. Our flight arrives in Rome at 9:45am. Checking various websites the options for flights on to Palermo appear to be Ryanair and Alitalia. We would prefer to use Alitalia but this would require hanging out in the Rome airport for approx. 5 hours for the flight at 2:55pm. Ryanair has an earlier flight at 11:45am but I am hesitate to book with the negative feedback posted online regarding this airline. Please share your experiences and any suggestions you may have. Thank you, Tess
I would take the Alitalia flight. Nothing against any airline or no preference for one over the other.
IF everything is on time and you clear customs quickly, the early flight will work. But if anything runs late, there is a slowdown in customs, or you have to wait for your bags to recheck, that two hour window can easily disappear meaning you miss your flight. Better to have an extra 3 hours as a cushion.
I agree with Mark. Go with the later flight. We flew into Rome shortly after the fire this past spring and it took well over an hour to clear customs. If we had another flight within 2 hours, we would not have been able to get our bags, recheck then and clear security in time. I know this is an extreme example, but you never know...
EDIT: Ryanair has a flight at 1:10 also.
As stated, Ryan Air is fine AS LONG as you KNOW and FOLLOW their rules to the letter. This is no forgiving the unknowing tourist. They generate most of their income from extra fees. Second, I would not book an independent flight that close. Last May on a Saturday morning on a flight from NYC, took over two hours to clear immigration. Just never know.
Have you already booked the ticket to Rome and were you not able to get the connection to Palermo included in the same ticket, by code-sharing or by Expedia or a travel agent pairing them together? That would reduce your issues if the first flight were delayed and might not cost any different. Alitalia does work with other airlines, while RyanAir does not.
I agree with Kaeleku and Frank. There is nothing wrong with Ryanair as long as you understand that they mean it when they post their rules. As far as operations, every Ryanair flight I have taken has left promptly, was as comfortable as one could expect given the price, and arrived either on time or early. But the others are right - better to take the later flight just in case of problems with the first leg.
IMO RyanAir is bottom of the barrel. They nickel and dime you for everything short of oxygen, they cram as many seats as physically possible into a 737 (if you're over 5'10 your knees will be beggin for mercy), a lot of the airports they use are in the middle of nowhere, and they stifle dissent:
Go with the Alitalia flight!
Yeah I agree it is pretty damming considering the website in question is still being held hostage by Ryan Air five years later.
if you don't like their a la carte pricing, don't pay for extras. The passenger chooses what to pay for. I don't care about choosing a seat or priority boarding, so I don't pay for those things. Nothing is hidden, and if they pay attention to the rules (which are clear) there are no surprises. The airports they use sometimes are not a factor, and sometimes are an advantage. They aren't always inconvenient. Some people avoid Ryanair on what they believe to be principle, but have never actually flown with them. The people on that website, almost without exception, caused their own problems. Things have changed in five years, too.
The web site in question only passed on news stories about the airline and their day to day operations. It wasn't a forum for individuals to list their grievances.
Not much has changed:
I will actually be flying with them next week from Dublin Airport to John Lennon Airport in Liverpool & back over the course of a few days & will be happy to report back on my experience. Of course, I know enough to pre-print my tickets in advance, & I bought a business class ticket to avoid any extra hassle & will be traveling fairly light - at least for that leg of the trip. After 14 days in Ireland, my bags may have swelled a bit...
Thanks to everyone for their feedback. Alitalia seems to make more sense for us and will give additional time in case of delays .
Understand the original poster has probably already resolved their question but I couldn't help but chime in..
I have a little different opinion than many here on many of the travel issues, airlines, hotels etc. I am a frequent business traveler to europe as well as leisure travel. Probably 10 to 12 trips a year for business and pleasure. Since I travel so much and much of it for business, I'm not as much concerned with always getting the absolute lowest fare. If I did that I would probably start to hate travel. If it was once or twice a year then I probably would have a more tolerant attitude.
The problem I have with airlines like Ryan Air, Easy Jet and others is that they feel almost abusive in nature. I've flown them all but only when forced to a last resort when I needed to get somewhere and nothing else was available.
Very dense seat pitch, and a cattle car mentality. Even if you go for lowest cost, In general once you add up all the extras the fares aren't that much better than a coach ticket on the full service airlines but you are still absolutely crushed into 30" pitch seats. I personally would much rather just pay a higher fare and cut out all the nickel and diming as I just find it irritating. Obviously most of the public disagrees with me as it seems that the majority shop for the lowest fares and then complain about terrible service and experiences.
Part of the problem is I work in a related industry and I've sat in meeting rooms and listened to their CEO's candidly refer to people as cattle with a smile on their face. I guess that rubs me the wrong way.
That said, I stay off the budget carriers and stay with the more high end major european carriers within europe. The Lufthansa's, Air France, British Airways, Austrian Air.. Yep, I pay a little more.. Not much of a fan of Air Italia but I would prefer over Ryan any day of the week.
Personally, I'm using the trains much more within europe. No need to get to an Airport 2 or 3 hours early and the terminals are usually centrally located. They are fast and sometimes you can use them overnight and skip the hotel. Trips from Hamburg to Frankfurt for example (I do this often) are much more pleasant and take me just about the same amount of time from door to door but I'm much more relaxed.
It just isn't all about cost for me any more.
Just my $0.02
I wouldn't book a connecting flight on the same day. If you miss the connection you might have to purchase a new ticket.
Thank you for the feedback. We opted for Alitalia for peace of mind.
Not so much for the original poster, but for anyone else who might be curious in the future, my own experience with RyanAir was as follows: I too read the reviews & noticed they were mixed, but as my only other option going from Dublin to Liverpool was a 5 hour ferry ride, they were really the only game in town.
So when that's the case, you just play by the rules of the game. I ordered my tickets online & printed my boarding pass in advance of my flight (they will not let you do it too far in advance). Make sure that you have it with you or they charge a fee. Also make sure that if you expect to be bringing a lot of baggage that you opt for a Business Class ticket, as you'll avoid another price bump. When it comes to Business Class, this is the only real advantage - they also claim you get pre-boarding, but that only really amounted to about a 10 second head start for one flight. For the return flight, there was some sort of miscommunication & while those of us with Business Class tickets went first, we were all herded into a dark stairwell with everyone else right behind us until our plane was ready for boarding.
The crew was was fine, there's a bit of silly music that's played on landing by only the sticklers & they sell lottery tickets that apparently go to a charity. There's a menu of various food items if you haven't eaten in the terminal, but I didn't bother sampling anything as my flights were so short.