Current Location: Nyöping, Sweden
It's an event that I remember as if it were yesterday (except of course it happened in 2006). A naïve, first-time solo, traveler crossed the threshold into Rome's Ciampino airport to travel to Stockholm's Skavsta airport. I probably looked as green (if not more) as I imagine myself to have looked as I walked in with not one, but two, check-in bags and a backpacker's bag (you know, the ones that are for camping that can hold anything and everything) on my back.
I lined up in front of my check-in desk with every intention of making my flight to Stockholm which was due to leave within 2 hours. And so I waited and when it was finally my turn I rolled up my bags, gave my reservation number, weight my luggage ... and was told to pay €200. Now, of course, after studying abroad I didn't have this amount of Euro anymore and so I made a frantic call back home (where it was 2AM) for aid ... of the monetary kind. Despite all my effort, in the end, I wasn't able to get onto the flight and was forced to return to my school (with another student who had also missed her flight).
This is the vision of RyanAir that has remained in my mind for the last 3 years - inflexible and not helpful.
This time around, I was ready for them though and I walked straight into Skavasta without a single rolling bag but one backpacker's bag (it was even noticeably smaller than the one I had used in 2006). I walked up the counter and checked-in without a single issue. I felt like I somehow beat the airline at their own gain as, despite it being a carry-on, my bag clearly would not fit those "carry on bag" check-bins which you're supposed to put your bag in to see if it is suitable enough to remain in the cabin (I honestly doubt that people both to even check). This time, I had finally made peace with RyanAir and can now comfortably recommend it to those in my life ... with the only reminder that they should stuff all their things into a single bag because if not, then Euros will go jumping out of their pockets.
This time, I made and am once again back in Rome!