Ryanair is as I am sure that you are aware a budget airline that flys around much of Europe. It is known for it’s cheap flights and sadly a misperception with regards it’s level of customer service. Know what to expect and they are straight forward to deal with. As a guide I tend to fly with them 6-8 times a year so am used to flying with them and booking flights.
I actually quite like to fly Ryanair and I thought that today I would share some tips and comments on my experiences with the airline. I have found that if you just follow the T&C they are cheap and simple to fly with. Where else would you get to fly to far flung destinations for such good prices?! I don’t know about you but some of these places I would not have traveled to if the prices were not so amazing.
Booking your Flight
Keep an eye on the website for amazing deals – a few weeks ago they had €2 return flights from Dublin to Liverpool if you fly during February. That is cheaper than my bus journey into town! If you do see an offer – buy the flights and be flexible. Don’t wait around as they do go quickly. I have flown to Oslo for less than €20 and to London for €10 – it is worth a weekly check in.
Another point related to this is airport location, sometimes the airports are not right beside the city that you are visiting – you may need to get a train or bus into the city. Take this cost and factor the time as well when you are booking.
Buying Insurance (or not buying!)
When you are booking it asks if you would like insurance – the ‘DO Not Insure’ me option is about half way down the drop down listing. I have seen people online say that there is no way to opt out for paying insurance – there is – just look through the drop down menu.
Seating on board
I have never paid to chose my seat and to date have always ended up sitting right beside who I am travelling with. Once person normally books them so when we are checking in we are checking in togeather so this may be why but I find that so far so good on this point. Also, to note… the seats do not have seat pockets (also no sick bags!). Why this bothers me when it is something so trivial I don’t know – but I find it frustrating. I am presuming that with no seats pockets they can turn the plane around quicker as there would be less cleaning.
I have never purchased priority boarding, I tend to get to the gate a little early and simply pop to a seat near where the queue starts and presto I will be one of the first 15 on the plane (most of the time!). But if you are travelling and want to be one of the first off the flight etc. then perhaps it may be worth paying for this. It may also come in useful for those who get stressed when flying as they won’t need to join a long queue to get onto the flight. Also, please remember to get to the gate before it closes – they are strict with this and if you miss the check in time they will not let you board.
Ryanair are clear on what they charge fees for and what they do not charge for, Take 5 minutes and read them. I honestly believe that half the issues that happen with people booking in is because they do not read these. They are clear and it will save you handing over money later if you do something wrong. Here are some of the more common fees;
Check in before your flight
There is free check in at the airport, you musts check in online. It is very simple to do especially since their recent website design. Yes they do ask for your ID details so have these to hand. There is an option to check in early if needed and if you are not going to be near a printer then it may be worth taking this option (and the fee), as it will still be cheaper than paying for them to check you in. When you get the email reminder to check in – just check in!
Print your boarding passes
They tell you to pre-print your boarding pass before you arrive at the airport or else they will charge you. So print your boarding pass. I know that this may sound obvious but I did forget to do this once and it ended up costing me more than the flight did!
To note.. they now have an App that you can download and you can check in via the App, I haven’t used this yet so can’t really comment on how easy it is to use but there is also a rumour that you can free priority boarding with the App but I don’t use it yet.
Patience if things go wrong
If something does go wrong and you go to the Ryanair desk at the airport for help be patient. The person on that desk has been there listening to many (from what I have seen) quite irate passengers – don’t be another one. Be nice – it pays. I once missed my flight and honestly I went to the desk resigned to the fact that I would have to pay a lot more for the next flight but when I got talking to the girl at the desk she was amazing and helpful and it didn’t cause me nearly as much as it should have. They will help you but you need to be reasonable. If you didn’t print your boarding pass and they need to print you one – it will cost you. There is no point in yelling at them – they are following company procedure.
Hand & Storage Luggage
If you want your hand luggage in an over head locker beside your seat then you must board the plane as one of the first, otherwise your luggage could end up down the end of the plane or has happened on the flight that I am on a few weeks ago (en route to Amsterdam), my bag was put in the hold as we were very late getting to the gate. This is why some people buy priority boarding but normally we would just get to the gate early.
Also, remember to check if you are to board at the front or the back of the plane – it will be printed on your ticket and will make it easier to get to your seat. There is also nothing more annoying that realizing that you are sitting at the back of the plane and you have just walked up the front stairs.
Follow their luggage rules! Another point to note with regards luggage, they are strict with both carry on and storage luggage and the weight/size allowed. You can check-in up to two bags once you have purchased a checked baggage allowance of either 15 kilos or 20 kilos when you make your initial booking. You can carry one cabin bag weighing up to 10 kg with maximum dimensions of 55cm x 40cm x 20cm, plus 1 small bag up to 35 x 20 x 20 onboard the aircraft. Be sure to check if you are travelling in high or low season!
Eating on board
The food on the Ryanair flights has dramatically improved in recent years but it is going to cost more than if you brought it in a supermarket. I have never had an air-hostess ever say anything to me when I open my pre-bought food or drinks so I tend to just bring something light if I think I will be hungry. Also on a sidenote, if you bring your own food then you can choose healthier options.
On board competition
Currently Ryanair a running a Twitter competition where you are in with a change to win a €100 voucher when you share a picture of you and an on=board purchase using the hashtag; #RyanairInflight – It could be an easy way to win €100!
I hope that you found these tips helpful and are there any that you would add if you have flown with them before?
All fees are as of 28/02/2016 and are sourced from here.