As I previously mentioned, last week I flew back to England for the first time since moving to Oslo. My previous flights (here and back for my interview, then here to move) have all been with British Airways. I get a geeky thrill being at airports, Heathrow T5 (the BA hub) feels like the crossroads of the world.
Sadly, cash-flow was an issue this time around and my hand was forced onto the Ryanair website.
Ryanair fly from London Stansted (otherwise known as the Arse End of England Airport) into Moss Airport in Rygge (RYG), about 40 miles south of Oslo. By budget airport standards, that’s around the corner. There’s a direct bus from the Oslo Bussterminal to the airport which costs 250kr return. That’s about GBP £28 but sadly is considered reasonable for Norway. The buses are timed to arrive well before each Ryanair flight, so you needn’t worry about arriving in time. In fact, you arrive quite a bit earlier, no doubt to encourage you to put some cash behind the airport bar!
I managed to get a cracking seat, despite not paying the £6 “priority boarding” charge, or as I like to call it, the stupid people tax. All you need to do is arrive in reasonable time and immediately go to the gate, bingo you’re at the front of the “second” queue, as long as you’re not distracted by shiny things like shops or beer! Getting a good seat is crucial when flying into Stansted, as flights tend to arrive in batches and if you’re last off the plane, you will be at the back of a very long queue to get through passport control.
I said my seat was cracking. Well it was an aisle seat, just four rows back from the front, what could go wrong? How about an excitable Iranian-Norwegian family with three loud kids and an obnoxious wife filling the two seats to my left and the three seats to my right? Yeah. In went the iPod headphones and 1h45m of teeth grinding later, I was off that plane like a shot. Getting through passport control at Stansted took about 20 minutes, which I’m told is about average for that time of night (11pm UK time)
The journey back from Stansted was a breeze. I took the easyBus from Baker Street for £8.99 (cheaper than the train and the coach) and the journey through security was straightforward. Again I managed to get to the front of the second queue without rushing, meaning I got a great seat on the plane.
Good things about flying Ryanair from Stansted to Rygge:
- The return flight cost approximately GBP £36
Annoying things about flying Ryanair from Stansted to Rygge:
- The return bus trip to/from Oslo is nearly GBP £30
- They sell scratchcards on the plane. Scratchcards. That’s the second stupid people tax
- If you haven’t got a lift or a car waiting for you at Stansted, it’s nigh on impossible to get anywhere except Central London
- The incredibly tacky recorded fanfare, played when the plane lands on time
At the end of the day, GBP £36 for a return flight is an absolute bargain, and putting up with a bit of hassle is probably worth it.
To close things off, here’s a video that sums things up quite nicely: