When flying I do most often travel with Ryanair. I go through the usual routine, herded like cattle onto the plane to sit in cramped conditions for up to 3 hours with screaming babies, grumpy passengers and everything else that goes with it! That is what we have come to expect from Ryanair but we tolerate it for the low fares.
Recently, however, I have had the pleasure of travelling with Aer Lingus a number of times, and the difference is staggering! With Aer Lingus I was actually treated like a person, not a seat. I was greeted by very friendly staff who were kind enough to have a quick bit of banter with me before showing me to my seat (assigned seat I might say). Then the seats are so much more comfortable than Ryanair, there is actual legroom and the seats recline. Is that luxury or what?
I couldn't have been more happy with my latest flight from Dublin to Madrid. That was at least until I had a drugged up idiot park himself next to me. He seemed okay at first, a little odd but no matter. Then he fell asleep, having taken a cocktail of various pills to knock himself out. He began drooling and lost all sense of personal space. I didn't mind so much when he put his feet under mine, or when his arm fell over the arm-rest onto my side. But then he actually dropped his head on my shoulder and I swear he was trying to spoon me! I was never so disgusted, no matter how much I shook him or pushed his (rather heavy) head off of me. It wasn't long before other passengers began to take notice, laughing and pointing. The whole thing was quite embarrassing. But God bless those Aer Lingus staff. When one of the stewards saw what was happening he immediately went to look for an alternative seat for both myself and Andrew (my friend who was moving to Madrid with me). He very kindly set us up with seats in the emergency exit row, affording us even more legroom and further validating my already sky-high opinion of Aer Lingus.
The fares were similar to Ryanairs. On many routes the prices only differ by €20 to €30. So my recommendation is, if you get the chance. Choose Aer Lingus!