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Ryanair, Dinard, Brittany, France

Sun shadeWe went to Brittany, France this week via Ryanair, the East Midland's Airport, and Dinard airport. We ate lots of crepes, swam in the sea and in a pool, and watched lots of TV that was dubbed over in French. TV highlights were: T.J. Hooker, a cop show featuring William Shatner. German show (Alarm für Cobra 11) featuring Autobahn Police where every 5 minutes there was some form of police chase involving a vehicle of some kind (such as a Hover craft, Bulldozer, Range Rover, VW Golf, Fiat Panda, BMW 5 Series, Large Trucks) most shows would feature several large explosions - it was EXCELLENT and should definitely be on UK TV. Malcolm in the Middle was also very funny in French. Photos now in the gallery.

East Midland's Airport claim have won an award as the "Best airport in the UK" - I personally find this claim award highly questionable for the following reasons: 1 - The layout of the airport is extremely poor meaning that queues (in check-in) end up blocking ALL walkways making it very difficult to actually move from one part of the airport to the other. 2 - The layout of the departure area is extremely poor - after you go through security you are automatically directed to gates 6+ whereas gates 1-5 are through a small doorway, almost as though they are completely seperate from the rest of the gates. Personally I don't think any airport should win an award unless they dramatically improve the customer's experience - there are still too many inconveniences, delays, and waiting in queues. The system in general seems to be improving with the additional of e-tickets, and "web checkin", but if you aren't able to take advantage of these on-line, then doing things the usual way is often very slow - for example the companies recommend check-in 2 hours before the flight is due to depart, yet there were still people queueing to check-in past the designated time-period due to the small number of staff checking people in.

Ryanair were fun though - the cabin crew made the usually routine and boring safety notices entertaining, and both outbound and inbound flights were around 25 minutes quicker than expected. However the "gourmet" coffee was disgusting, and the garish yellow and blue seats were shocking. They used patterns on the yellow areas, I think, to try and make it less in your face, but the yellow colour is so bold that nothing could make it less offensive. I've added a picture showing the actual colour scheme - although the picture seems quite toned down in comparison - the in-aeroplane experience is far more "engulfing". (original image: here)

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