Love it or hate it but Ryanair is one of Europe’s largest and most popular low-cost airlines. Known for its incredibly cheap fares and extensive route network, Ryanair can be a game-changer for those looking to explore Europe on a budget. However, to make the most of your experience and avoid any unexpected surprises, there are a few things you should know before travelling with Ryanair. In this article, we’ll cover some essential tips and information that will make travelling with Ryanair smooth and enjoyable.
What do you need to know before travelling with Ryanair?
- Booking your flight
When booking a flight with Ryanair, it’s essential to be flexible with your travel dates and times. By doing so, you’ll increase your chances of finding the best possible fares. Keep an eye out for sales and promotions, as Ryanair frequently offers discounted tickets. Additionally, it’s a good idea to book your flight well in advance, as prices tend to increase closer to the departure date.
- Baggage policies
One of the ways Ryanair keeps its fares low is by implementing strict baggage policies. As of now, passengers are allowed to bring one small personal item on board, such as a small backpack or handbag, with dimensions not exceeding 40x20x25 cm. If you need more luggage space, consider purchasing a “Priority & 2 Cabin Bags” add-on, which allows you to bring an additional cabin bag with a maximum weight of 10 kg and dimensions not exceeding 55x40x20 cm. Ryanair’s website states that “Priority & 2 Cabin Bags costs between €/£6 to €/£35.99” but in reality we usually see that it costs between 20 to 25 euros per flight.
For checked luggage, Ryanair offers a few options, with weight allowances up to 10 kg and up to 20 kg. Be aware that fees for checked baggage can be quite high compared to the ticket price. The 10 kg checked in baggage will cost you between €/£12.99 to €/£35.99 online and €/£45.99 if you decide to drop it at the bag drop desk. The 20 kg checked-in baggage will cost between €/£ 20.99 and €/£ 59.99 online and it will be more expensive to do at the bag drop gate. If you exceed the weight limit be prepared to pay €/£ 11 per kg at the bag drop desk.. To save money, make sure to book your checked luggage online and pack within the allowed weight limits.
- Online check-in
Ryanair requires all passengers to check in online, as airport check-in comes with a hefty fee. Online check-in is available between 48 hours and 2 hours before the flight departure time. Make sure to print your boarding pass or download it to your phone, as printing it at the airport will also incur a fee.
- Seat selection
When booking your flight, you’ll have the option to choose your seat for an additional fee. If you don’t mind where you sit and are looking to save some cash, you can let Ryanair assign you a random seat at no extra cost. However, if you’re travelling with family or friends and want to ensure you sit together, it’s worth paying the small fee for seat selection.
- Airport locations
Ryanair often uses smaller, secondary airports located further from city centers. While this helps keep costs low, it’s essential to factor in the time and cost of transportation to and from these airports. Make sure to research public transportation options or consider pre-booking airport transfers for a hassle-free journey.
- Be punctual
Ryanair is known for its punctuality, so it’s crucial to arrive at the airport well ahead of your flight’s departure time. The airline recommends arriving at the airport at least two hours before your flight, as gates close 30 minutes before departure. Missing your flight due to tardiness will result in additional fees or even having to book a new flight.
- Be prepared for a no-frills experience
Remember that Ryanair is a budget airline, which means the focus is on getting you from point A to point B at the lowest cost. Don’t expect luxurious amenities or extensive in-flight entertainment options. If you’re on a longer flight, bring a book, download movies or shows to your device, or invest in a portable charger to ensure you have enough battery life for the duration of your trip.
Meals, snacks, and drinks are available for purchase, but they can be quite expensive. To save money, consider bringing your snacks and an empty water bottle, which you can fill up after passing through security.
- Keep an eye on your belongings
Due to the limited baggage allowance, many passengers try to bring as much as possible in their carry-on bags. Overhead storage space may fill up quickly, so it’s essential to board early or choose priority boarding to secure space for your belongings. Be mindful of your valuables, as they may be more accessible to others during the flight.
By keeping these tips in mind and preparing for your journey with Ryanair, you can enjoy a smooth and budget-friendly travel experience. As an experienced traveller, being aware of the airline’s policies and quirks can help you avoid any unexpected surprises and make the most of your trip.