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Worth paying for Priority Boarding with Ryanair - have young children
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# 1
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lalamb77
Old 23-06-2009, 10:43 PM
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Default Worth paying for Priority Boarding with Ryanair - have young children

Looking for some sound advice, if poss.

A large family group of us are traveling from Birmingham to Reus next month. There are 6 adults, 3 children (aged 5 or under) and two babies less than 1 year old.

We don't mind being split up into smaller groups but for the obvious reasons we want at least one parent sat next to the children.

I know that at one point priority boarding was used by the majority of passengers because of the "free with online check-in" saga but wondered if PBers were still the majority, or whether we could get a way with not paying out for Priority Boarding if we got to the gate early?

Any advise on this would be appreciated, particularly from people who have flown recently with Ryanair and can advise me on whether PB is essential for families with young children.

Many thanks in advance.
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# 2
Pont
Old 23-06-2009, 11:01 PM
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I can only comment on a recent flight to Poland (April) from Birmingham. In my view it was totally pointless for anyone to pay for priority boarding as after going through the gate we were herded onto a bus to take us out to the plane. The priority boarders all rushed to the furthest side of the bus, but when we got to the plane the 'non priority door' opened first and so the non-priority flyers got all the best seats.

In the past, when the DDs were small, we paid for Dad to have priority boarding (6 foot 3) so that he could physically charge onto the plane and nab the seats for me and kids!

My advice - perhaps pay for the 2 biggest, burliest, loudest, pushiest members of the party to have priority boarding, and send them on to scowl and be obnoxious to the rest of the plane (I mean, of course, to reline across several banks of seats until the rest of you are on the plane)!
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# 3
pinkcandyflossprincess
Old 23-06-2009, 11:01 PM
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well you will get stung on charges as wont be able to book online because of the infants so check out other flight options before committing to ryan air x
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# 4
sooz
Old 24-06-2009, 1:27 AM
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You can now do online check in with infants. It started in the last month.
I'd personally pay for PB & get there very early. You still need to queue. However, if you are then put onto a bus, it rather defeats the point.
But no one really wants to sit next to other people's children, epecially if their parents are not near them. If there really are no sets of two seats to allow a parent to sit next to a child, ask nicely
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# 5
MrSmartprice
Old 24-06-2009, 1:42 AM
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I travel regularly with Ryanair and never use priority boarding. I always manage to get the seats I want, without fail, the exit seats in the middle. Few people bother and it's a waste of money.

We came back from Reus last week and they do not use a bus, you walk to the plane. With kids you cannot have exit seats but you will have no problem getting seats together as long as you get to the gate on time. It is a small departure lounge so once you get past the obligatory 'building site' bit which they seem to have at every Spanish airport you will be fine. Also, the plane was not full either way so don't worry.
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lorweld
Old 24-06-2009, 2:18 PM
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# 7
AnnaV
Old 24-06-2009, 2:53 PM
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I can't see how they would allow young children to sit on their own anyway!! Surely that is a health & safety issue?
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# 8
dazzer68
Old 24-06-2009, 2:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnaV View Post
I can't see how they would allow young children to sit on their own anyway!! Surely that is a health & safety issue?
eh hello, this is ryan air were talking about! they are a law unto themselves.
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# 9
littlemisslettings
Old 24-06-2009, 2:59 PM
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Dont bother with PB - its a total scam. I dont know about Ryanair, but EasyJet always load up PB, then families with small children, then internet/group A boarding cards, then group B. I imagine that most airlines follow this order.
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# 10
terryya
Old 24-06-2009, 3:32 PM
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I wouldn't be too sure! On all the ryanair flights I've taken it was just PB and then everyone else, no kids first!

For the little it costs I'm paying for PB for when I travel with the kids, just to relieve the worry about getting on through the scrum (after first checking that the airports don't use buses!). When it is just me and the wife we don't bother and stand back to laugh at everyone rushing around!
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# 11
noddyboffin
Old 24-06-2009, 3:44 PM
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I would like to echo some of the comments from previous posts and say from my view having travelled many times with Ryanair it is a waste of time.

Although Priority Boarding passengers are called to the gate first the luxery seems to be lost once the gates are open and people are let to the plane.

What we do when travelling with our 2 year old, 6 month old and 3 bags is when we get to the plane I take 2 bags and the 2 year old and find the seats and leave the girlfriend and the 6 month old to collapse the buggy and bring the other bag on board.

As long as I can get on and find a block of 3 we are sorted and there will always be some kind person to carry an extra bag for you (hopefully)
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# 12
itsmylife
Old 24-06-2009, 3:53 PM
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Ryan air have never given me preferential boarding with my little boy, but I've never bothered with the priority boarding... as there is a group of you, maybe someone could battle through the scrum and save some seats while the rest get the kids on board.
tying hard to cut down grocery shop bill...
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# 13
lalamb77
Old 24-06-2009, 4:05 PM
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Huge Thanks for everyone's advise. You are all fantastic
I think the thing that worries me is paying out for PB (even for only a couple of our group) but then finding it a total waste of money because they bus us to the plane. I hate being short changed!

From what I can work-out you don't get bused at Reus. But does anyone know if you do get bused at Birmingham if travelling to Reus?

Also does anyone know what percentage of people now use PBing? If its small then we can probably get away without paying for it but if 90% do then we almost guaranteed not to get seats together unless we also pay-out- if you know what I mean!

As far as some poor person being stuck with my two DDs - - it would be a rough start to their holiday!
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MrSmartprice
Old 24-06-2009, 6:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lalamb77 View Post
From what I can work-out you don't get bused at Reus. But does anyone know if you do get bused at Birmingham if travelling to Reus?

Also does anyone know what percentage of people now use PBing? If its small then we can probably get away without paying for it but if 90% do then we almost guaranteed not to get seats together unless we also pay-out- if you know what I mean!
As I said in my earlier posts they do not use buses at Reus. There are only about 7 gates, 3 of which do international flights. They only seem to bus people to the little planes which park on the airport fringes. It is quite a small airport.

The deal at Birmingham is similar. They depart from Terminal 2, which used to be called Eurohub. There are about 10 gates, lettered rather than numbered, and there are 2 queues, priority and other. Few people bother with priority. As you get checked through the gate, you walk to an airbridge, but then go down steps to walk to the the plane rather than on via the airbridge. If you can, use the rear steps for a greater choice of seats. They do not seem to use buses.

Hope this helps.
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# 15
lalamb77
Old 24-06-2009, 10:08 PM
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Thanks MrSmartprice!

You information has been fantastic and really helpful.

I think we are going to risk non-Pbing and hope that if we can't find seats together that some kind soul will be happy to move to make sure the little uns are next to one of us. I'm sure getting there early and running like mad men will ensure we are sat together.

Thanks for the tip in regards to the rear doors, there will be at least one party of 11 charging towards them next month.
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# 16
lijaloo
Old 24-06-2009, 10:34 PM
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Just make sure you get to the correct gate on time. At Reus last week they had put up a sort of partition dividing the departure lounge so that to get to the last three gates you needed go through a second type of security. There was a long queue for the Birmingam and Dublin flights which were departing from two of the last three gates. The departure gate appears on one of the screens so keep an eye on them and as soon as your departure gate is announced go straight to the gate where you need to queue in the "other Q". There may be a long walk to the airplane. The airplane at the departure gate will probably not be the plane you are going to board so if the children walk slowly don't all stay together. As most people will go to the steps at the front of the plane, go to the rear.
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Bob the Saver
Old 24-06-2009, 10:38 PM
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Arrive early. Get to front of 'others' queue, then unless 170 people are in the priority queue (now that you pay - seems about as much chance of that as Gordon being there this time next year) just leg -it and get on the plane ahead of the other 150 or so pax - bums reserve seats at no extra charge.
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Teahfc
Old 24-06-2009, 11:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob the Saver View Post
Arrive early. Get to front of 'others' queue, then unless 170 people are in the priority queue (now that you pay - seems about as much chance of that as Gordon being there this time next year) just leg -it and get on the plane ahead of the other 150 or so pax - bums reserve seats at no extra charge.
I am sure I read they sell only 72 PB tickets per flight, checking on alot of the flights of late there are still some very very cheap prices I cannot imagine as many planes are going to to be full this summer than normal, If I fly alone I never take PB if I have the family I always do.
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# 19
MrSmartprice
Old 25-06-2009, 12:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lijaloo View Post
Just make sure you get to the correct gate on time. At Reus last week they had put up a sort of partition dividing the departure lounge so that to get to the last three gates you needed go through a second type of security. There was a long queue for the Birmingam and Dublin flights which were departing from two of the last three gates. The departure gate appears on one of the screens so keep an eye on them and as soon as your departure gate is announced go straight to the gate where you need to queue in the "other Q". There may be a long walk to the airplane. The airplane at the departure gate will probably not be the plane you are going to board so if the children walk slowly don't all stay together. As most people will go to the steps at the front of the plane, go to the rear.
Were you there last Wednesday by any chance? We got through that security check quite quickly as we were near the front. But there was certainly a hold up afterwards. There was a flight to somewhere in Morocco going too, and they seemed to be checking them all for that flight very thoroughly.

Just a point for the OP about seating parents with kids. I am sure I have read that it is against CAA regulations to seat young children away from their supervision. As Ryanair is open seating, and the stewardesses are usually very helpful, I'm sure this will not be a problem.
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# 20
lijaloo
Old 25-06-2009, 9:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrSmartprice View Post
Were you there last Wednesday by any chance? We got through that security check quite quickly as we were near the front. But there was certainly a hold up afterwards. There was a flight to somewhere in Morocco going too, and they seemed to be checking them all for that flight very thoroughly.
It just so happens that I was at Reus on the 17th. I was on the flight to Stansted!!
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