Ryanair from Palma to Madrid

We had booked ‘business’ tickets on Ryanair from Palma to Madrid. Since we knew we’d likely need to check our larger backpacks, the extra cost for ‘business’ made sense because it was about the same cost as checking bags but also came with priority boarding, premium seat selection, and more leniency in policies (like no fee for printing boarding passes at the airport).

Once at the airport, we took our bags to the Ryanair check-in desks. These desks were at the far end of the departures area. They seemed to just be setting up the desk even though we had less than two hours until departure. As such, check-in took a long time despite only one couple being ahead of us.

Sizing boxes at the Ryanair check-in
Once we finished checking our bags, we easily and quickly cleared security and made our way to the Salas VIP lounge in terminal D, which we had access to through JT’s priority pass.
The lounge was a nice place to relax and get snacks before joining the Ryanair gate madness.  Our tickets said the Ryanair flight would close 30 minutes before departure, so we left the lounge 45 minutes before departure.

Decent spread of snacks in the Salas VIP lounge
JT’s snacks at the Salas VIP lounge

When we arrived at the gate there was a queue of bags stretching from the gate (apparently this is common on budget carriers in Europe, but we had not witnessed this before), but no actual plane at the gate. After waiting at the gate for 15-20 minutes, we finally saw our plane land and pull up to the gate.

Line of carry-on baggage at the Ryanair gate
Our Ryanair plane arriving at the gate

We boarded through the premium boarding queue, but due to pushing and shoving, it did not let us board the plane first.  Everyone had assigned seats, so we are not sure why people were so frantic about boarding very quickly.

They put a ribbon across the door until boarding began
Ryanair Cabin
Ryanair Flight 2054 – Palma to Madrid
Palma de Mallorca (PMI): Terminal D, Gate D86; Runway 24R; Scheduled: 6:00p; Pushback: 6:14p; Takeoff: 6:25p
Madrid–Barajas (MAD): Terminal 1, Gate C43; Runway 18L; Scheduled: 7:35p; Landing: 7:34p; Gate Arrival: 7:46p

Flight Time: 1h 9m; Actual miles: 393
EI-FIW; Boeing 737-8AS; First Flight: Oct 10, 2015; 189 seats (189 E)
Seat: JT: 1B (middle) assigned 1C (aisle) flown, Katie: 1A (window), “Front Row Seat”

Our seats were 1A and 1B, so right by the boarding door. We wanted to board early to ensure out small backpacks were right above us (since we were in the first row and hence could not put them at our feet).
We somewhat regretted paying to check both big backpacks, as it seems on this flight we could have carried JT’s backpack on.  The agents seemed to completely disregard the carry on bag restrictions both in terms of number and dimensions. We saw some very large bags be carried on.  It’s a gamble, apparently, as you will pay dearly if you attempt to carry on a large bag and get caught.
The actual flight was fine. As was expected, all food and drink was costly, lottery tickets were sold, and duty free items were pushed.  But outside of announcements for these, there were not blaring ads.

Selling of lottery tickets and duty free on Ryanair
 Our front row seats right by the door
Heading to the bathroom after we disembarked, we got a bit lost in the poorly-marked airport – we couldn’t find a baggage claim sign anywhere! After asking at an information desk, we found our way out a few minutes later and picked up our bags, which were circling the belt when we got there. We looked unsuccessfully for an Iberia check-in desk to be able to check-in for our flight in the morning. 
We were hungry and a bit grumpy from the Iberia situation. So, after confirming that there was no food options within a decent walk from our hotel for the night, we grabbed dinner at the nearby Adolfo Suarez restaurant. There were small sandwiches for €6-7, so we opted for full “menu” meals. JT got a burger and fries with a beer (Menu Burger) for €12.95 and Katie got a Menu Huevos Rotos for €11.95. Both meals left us full and ready to go wait for the hotel shuttle.

Expensive but delicious airport arrivals food in Madrid

Leave a Reply