Picture: Tony and Nat Boneventura – Picture by Karen Chapple

A very good friend of ours – Tony Bonventura and his fiancee Natalie – invited us to their wedding in Italy last weekend, so off we went.

I have never flown with a low cost airline before and I must admit it was a different experience. We fly from Stansted on Ryanair – or should I say RiotAir!

I am not a lover of flying, I hate crowds and I hate being treated like cattle, which is exactly how you feel at Standsted. A smile cost nothing, but the staff of RiotAir must be charged per smile as I have never seen such a grumpy lot in my life.

We had the flights booked for us by Sarah Godwin of Travel Councillors and she booked us one “priority ticket” – this concept allows you to board the plane first and grab a good seat – I had no idea that you didn’t get a seat allocated.

As we were delay on the M25, and had stood in a queue for 40 mins getting checked in by the grumpy team, we just had to run to get to the gate. Then the scrum started – I got dragged through the priority lane, leaving poor Karen to cope on her own!

I got a good seat – then the trouble started – I reserved a seat for my wife, which apparently isn’t allowed, so I had to fend off everybody who wanted to sit there – mostly very grumpy Italians who didn’t speak English. A few seats in front of me, some guy was having a massive argument with the stewardess, whose customer care was from the Fawlty Towers training school, told the customer “If you don’t like it just get off!” – simply amazing.

Poor Karen was the last person on on the plane and had literally been kicked about in the queue – I say the last person but somebody was refused entry to the plane as he squared up to the Steward…….there has to be a better way!

Anyway, the wedding was fantastic – even if a little long – a full Catholic wedding in Italian…..just under 2 hours, but at least I caught up on some sleep…!

The reception was just unbelievable – a 10 course meal – after 6 courses I wanted to throw up so I could eat more…just amazing.

The flight back was even more chaotic and disorganised – and on arrival at Stansted we had to queue once more to get into passport control – over 45 mins – apparently this is a new system to speed up your transit through customs – guys, let me tell you it isn’t working!