Aer Lingus or Ryanair?

Old Jan 23rd, 2009, 06:19 AM
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Aer Lingus or Ryanair?

Here is my dilemma- I am flying from SFO to Dublin on Aer Lingus. Got great fares, etc.

I want to then fly from Dublin to Venice and then either Rome or Naples back to Dublin.

I started searching for fares/flights on Ryanair. Found awesome fares but I would have to spend two nights in Dublin on the way in and one night before flying home. Not too bad; just figured we'd also see Dublin. Then I started reading both positive and negative posts about Ryanair and it has me holding back on purchasing the flights. It's not the bag issue and the extra fees as much as it is the complaints of delays or cancellations without much recourse. Do I really want to take the chance on not making my return flight back to the US?

So now I've checked Aer Lingus. The flights are a little more and the baggage charge is twice what Ryanair charges....but I could catch a flight out to Venice just 7 hours after I am due to land in Dublin meaning I can now add 2 more nights onto Italy (my real destination). I would then fly back to Dublin on Friday night (late) as opposed to Saturday morning. So instead of two nights on the front end and one night on the tail end, I would spend no nights on the front end and two nights on the tail end of the trip (this is in Dublin). I would then have one full day in Dublin.

The difference in airlines is roughly $230. I am begining to feel like the cost is worth the security of making it to where I need to be, or at least having some customer service available if something arises.

Also, what are your thoughts on flying into Dublin and flying out on the same day? Remember, there is a 7 hour layover. Would you chance it?

Lastly, the fares are about 37 euros cheaper if we fly out of Rome instead of Naples. We will be ending the trip in Amalfi. Would it be better to just train into Rome for the late flight and save the 37 euros per person, or will the train to Rome eat up the cost savings? If I go with Ryanair, I have to give up one night in Amalfi and stay the last night in Rome to catch a very early flight out of Rome (CIA). Both flights out of Naples or Rome are late flights.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2009, 06:53 AM
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In the end I suppose it depends where you want to spend more time - Dublin or Italy.

I fly RyanAir regularly and haven't had an issue with flights being cancelled, delayed, etc. That's not to say there haven't been delays, but its not been the fault of RyanAir if there is fog, etc. I've never experiences a cancellation.

That said, in my opinion one day in Dublin is enough - I'd rather be in Italy.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2009, 07:03 AM
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Thanks asalamy. Does your screen name really mean what I think it means? If so, that's a good one!

Ultimately, our desire is to be in Italy.

What are your thoughts on the other questions regarding flying into/out of Dublin on the same day?

Thoughts on whether to fly out of Naples or Rome?
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Old Jan 23rd, 2009, 07:05 AM
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Seven hours only worry me from the perspective that I would be totally bored. I guess you can freshen up a bit at Dublin airport but not sure what type of facilities there are.

If you want to maximize your stay in Italy, why not fly Aer Lingus to Italy (the one with the 7hr layover in Dublin), and Ryanair back to Dublin (one night in Dublin).
You don't have to book return trips with either airline.

If that (esp. the return trip) looks too scary for you with re. to possibly cancalled flights, choose those connections with 2 nights in DUB on your return flight.

No matter if you chose Ryanair or Aer Lingus for your way back, neither airline will be legally responsible if you miss the DUB-SFO due to whatever circumstances. Not even EI, since you don't have the connecting flights on same ticket as you intercontinental leg.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2009, 07:06 AM
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Can't comment on the connection times or airports I'm afraid, as I haven't ever had to do a connection like that and none of those are my regular airports.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2009, 07:08 AM
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Cowboy, I get what you are saying about neither airline being responsible- I was just hoping that should some cancellation or issue arise (on the return from Italy to Dublin), that I will have some sort of customer service to try to rectify the situation. Doesn't sound like Ryanair is too good with that once problems arise.

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Old Jan 23rd, 2009, 07:10 AM
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thanks anyway asalamy.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2009, 07:25 AM
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I assume that Aer Lingus will offer customer assistance and feel a bit more obliged to help you if needed, since you also fly them to the States. How they will perform if things turn sour on your way back from Italy to Ireland cannot be anticipated, IMO.

Ryanair won't care at all. As much I don't like their general attitude, I have to admit that what you have planned later in Ireland is indeed none of their business.
Worst case scenario: Flight from Italy gets cancelled for whatever reason. You get your money back. How and when you get yourself from Italy to Ireland will be your business.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2009, 07:42 AM
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point taken which is why I'm leaning towards Aer Lingus. Hopefully should something go awry, they may feel a little more obligated to help than Ryanair.

What are your thoughts on flying out of Rome instead of Naples?
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Old Jan 23rd, 2009, 08:15 AM
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Don't presume too much on Aer Lingus within Europe. It has followed the Ryanair model.

Can you get AL to ticket you all the way to and from Italy? In that case, they would accept a responsibility, and sort things if connections did not work.

Otherwise, it's six of one and half a dozen of the other. They both have reasonably good service reliability. Neither is particularly good if things go wrong, but Aer Lingus is a little less mean about things.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2009, 08:24 AM
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Padraig, no I can't ticket it through.

And I am still undecided! : (
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Old Jan 23rd, 2009, 09:59 AM
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I think you are asking a bit the impossible here.

You cannot get a great fare on one hand, forego the security of having the connecting flights on same ticket, and ask for peace of mind.

You take the risk that due to some unforeseen circumstances you may not catch your flight back home, have to change reservations to a later flight for a hefty surcharge and lose more money than a regular ticketed flight SFO-Italy had cost.

I assume that this risk is around 1 percent (especially since all your routes back to Dublin include one night in between flights in Dublin).

If you chose Aer Lingus for Italy-Dublin, maybe they would be willing to waive some charges for your new reservations for DUB-SFO, maybe not. Who can tell.

To divert that issue a bit from its track:
You know that Ryanair has a 15kg limit on hold baggage, while EI lets you check 20kg. Could that matter?
Ryanair will probably fly to Venice-Treviso. How much is the shuttle to get to Venice proper? EI should go to Marco Polo airport (not sure!), which may be more convenient and/or less pricey to get into town.
You mentioned that you would have to add a night in Rome to catch an early flight from CIA if you opted for Ryanair. Would that make your stay at the coast less nice if you had to train to Rome for nothing but to get up at 3am next morning to catch 6.30am flight?
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Old Jan 23rd, 2009, 02:31 PM
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Ahhhhh, so many good points you make cowboy and you are so right in all you say.

Okay, with that I do believe that I will go with....

drum roll please....

Aer Lingus!

Thanks everyone for your advice and insight!

Namaka
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Old Jan 23rd, 2009, 02:44 PM
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You're welcome -- and have a great trip!

P.S.: So far, my record with Aer Lingus is some 10 flights, all of them on time, except for one or two minor delays of up to 30 minutes due to serious weather conditions in Dublin.

P.P.S.: Aer Lingus also has more convenient check-in deadlines than Ryanair. You don't have to be at the airport hours before departure. But check your flight confirmations on specific deadlines for your airports and flights.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2009, 03:04 PM
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I don't understand why you can't ticket with AerLingus through to Italy? We have taken advantage of New York to Dublin sales and then connected there to Italy with AerLingus. We called them instead of using their website and found that it was cheaper than we thought. We did the 8 hour layover on our way to Venice and felt it was worth the savings at that time. This year we decided to spend a little more and go through Zurich on SwissAir and miss out on the looong layover in Dublin. If you haven't already, give AerLingus a call and see what they can do for you.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2009, 10:53 PM
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<<< but its not been the fault of RyanAir if there is fog, etc >>>

Actually it is as the aircraft they operate have a lower spec than the "average" and so flights will be cancelled in conditions that other airlines will still be flying
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Old Jan 24th, 2009, 12:22 PM
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I called Aer Lingus today. I first asked if I could've ticketed it through and they said "yes", but I would have to have done it when I purchased the original tickets- too late now! Lesson learned there.

I also asked about the baggage fees on the flights from Dublin/Venice/Naples/Dublin and they said that I will not have to pay the fees as long as those flying dates are within 14 days of my transatlantic flights (either side). So when I purchased these inter-Europe flights on-line, they instructed me not to pay for any bags as they cannot refund the costs once I pay. So I saved myself 120 euros there. It still ends up being about $200 more than the Ryanair flights but I feel better about it.

Thank you all for your guidance/advice/experience!
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Old Jan 24th, 2009, 03:21 PM
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namaka:
About 3 years ago I booked individual tickets...chicago to dublin and then dublin to Bologna and back. I ended up calling and asking about putting it together as one booking....and they did. We had no problems at all and had great flights on all.

We just booked for this summer Chicago to Paris on Aer Lingus and then coming back staying in Dublin for 3 nights before going back to chicago. They put it all on one ticket and it was MUCH cheaper than any other airline. Can't wait for July.
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Old Jan 24th, 2009, 06:21 PM
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I did call today and ask hoping that they would be willing to put it all on one ticket but they said it would have to have been done when I initially purchased the tickets. Maybe I'll try again.

The down side is that two of the four tickets are paid with from miles and I am stuck with what I originally asked for and received.

I'm okay with the separate bookings; I do just hope that I don't end up paying for our bags on the European legs since the agent told me I need not pay it. I also hope that in the event that something should go awry with my flight back to Dublin from Naples, that they take care of us (like a different agent said they would).

Lastly, I did not pay to reserve my seats. I didn't know I had to until I went to reserve them. I just bypassed this because the agents I spoke with were pretty adamant about not paying any fees because I won't get them refunded; of course reserving the seats wasn't mentioned. Should I have reserved the seats?
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Old Jan 24th, 2009, 11:25 PM
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I never pay for advance seat reservations with Aer Lingus. The flights are simply too short (1.5 - 2.5 hrs) to care about it.

You can check in via the web 30hrs prior to departure. So even with that 7hr stopover in Dublin, you should be able to print your boarding passes for Dublin-Venice while you are still in the States.
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