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Is Ryanair Europe's Favourite Airline?
Ryanair, the Europe's favourite airline as they used to call themselves before, is a low-cost airline coming from Ireland. Ryanair is one of the oldest low-cost airline and now considered the biggest low-cost airline in Europe. They have been developing the low-cost business model in Europe progressively. They have always been trying to create an image that people are really loving them but as always, things have their other sides, too. We collected a few of them to this article.
Ryanair 's route network inside Europe is extensive especially in the EU countries. They are flying with Boeing 737-800 fleet with a total of 87 bases in Europe. An average flight route is short and thus fast operated. Turnarounds are also really fast because Ryanair wants to return their planes in the air as quick as possible. Ryanair does not operate long-haul flights.
Ryanair Flights: Cheap but Expensive Extras
Ryanair has become famous with their madly cheap flights. It is almost possible to fly for free with their extremely cheap flight tickets. There is however a trap for passengers being asked to pay extras for exaggerated fees in return for these cheap tickets .
Cheap tickets are only a way to market by Ryanair. The airline is also selling more expensive ticket classes but most of their profits are generated by selling countless add-ons like priority boarding or seat selection services. Ryanair has been famous for controversial and misleading advertisements in the past, used as strategies to overcome their competitors. Rumors are also telling that Ryanair charges for using toilet and offers standing tickets but that is not true. They just want to have much publicity in the media and in that way, this airline advertises itself.
We decided to list 5 methods, how Ryanair is asking you to pay a lot more than your ticket originally cost. Some of the services are voluntary but if you refuse to pay them, your journey will be much more uncomfortable. Some of the extra services are almost mandatory.
1. Distant Airports
Low-cost airlines traditionally prefer to fly to smaller but distant airports. Ryanair is not an exception. They prefer to fly to secondary airports outside major cities to help them to reduce costs. For example, Ryanair is flying to Paris Beauvais-Tillé Airport which is more than 85 kms from Paris. They fly to Barcelona Girona-Costa Brava Airport that is 98 kms from Barcelona. To reach these airports from the city centre, you often need to use Ryanair's or their partners' bus connections. A bus ticket may cost a lot more than the flight ticket itself.
When flying with Ryanair, expect that the airport is difficult and expensive to reach. The flight schedule may also be so bad (so late arrival) that there is no public transport available. It is really important to calculate these extra costs to the ticket price.
2. Check-in Restrictions
Ryanair's airport check-in is not free. That is not a big issue as many airlines are charging for the airport check-in too. Ryanair, however, has made getting the boarding pass difficult.
If you are not able to use Ryanair's mobile app, you have to check-in using a web browser and print the boarding pass. Using the mobile phone abroad isn't always easy because there are roaming charges. Printing the boarding pass before the journey may become the only option.
Checking-in and printing boarding passes at home for a return flight sounds a handy idea. That would be possible if the check-in opened early enough. But because Ryanair wants to make you to pay more, the free check-in opens only 4 days before the flight. If you buy an assigned seat, the check-in opens already 30 days before the flight. So you are almost forced to buy seat selection service to overcome check-in problems.
3. Separated Seats for Passengers Travelling Together
Almost all airlines charge for the seat selections. So does Ryanair too. However, airlines normally assign people in the same booking to sit together whenever possible with out any charge.
Ryanair makes an exception. If you do not pay their seat selection fees, they will surely make you separated from your travelling companion. It may sound a random thing if this occurs only once but oftentimes this is the case. It is more than an inconvenience and almost equivalent as punishment to passengers for not buying their extra services.
4. Cabin Luggage Restrictions
Ryanair charges for check-in luggage. That is quite a common protocol in short-haul flights among airlines.
On Ryanair flights you are allowed to take a normal size cabin luggage inside the plane. But there is, of course, a fine print. Only people who have bought Priority Boarding are guaranteed to have their cabin luggage into the cabin. Other people must involuntary leave their cabin luggage to the hold just before boarding. This is a free service but it slows down your travelling. By buying Priority Boarding you can keep your cabin luggage with you.
5. Fines Called as Service Fees
Ryanair's ticket terms are really strict. You need to follow the procedures carefully to avoid unnecessary excess fees. You must only carry approved cabin bags. Take note that Ryanair charges exorbitant fees for oversize cabin bag about 50€ which is obviously more costly than your flight ticket. If you are a non-EU citizen, you always need a paper boarding pass that must be stamped at the airport. In the case you are missing the paper boarding pass, its printing cost at the airport will be 20 euros.
Make sure to have all your travel documents and comply strictly to Ryanair's prescribed cabin luggage size and weight to avoid unnecessary fees.
Customer Service and Professional Skills
A Ryanair customer must defend himself/herself against aggressive marketing of all kind of extra services by Ryanair staffs. Oftentimes the cabin crew are tasked to sell actively on board their products with annoying noisy marketing announcements thru microphones. We have also experienced rough landings with Ryanair at different occasions.
Cabins of the Planes
The cabin are really simple and not much leg room. There is not any in-flight entertainment. Ryanair loves bright yellow color.
If you manage to ignore Ryanair's marketing and avoid buying any extra services, you may end up getting an extremely cheap ticket.
Price to Quality Ratio
We described the quality of the services being quite low but so are their ticket prices too. So price-to-quality ratio stays moderately good.
Are Other Low-cost Airlines Better?
Yes, they are. Other low-cost airlines have similar fees but they are not pushing you aggressively to buy them. For example Norwegian and Wizzair are letting you to sit together with your travelling companion without buying a seat selection service. They are allowing you to take your cabin luggage into the cabin as long as there is enough space. Norwegian uses also main airports that are cheaply and easily reachable from main cities.
Ryanair Is A Good Choice For Budget Travellers
We fly every now and then with Ryanair. The reason is simple: They often have the cheapest ticket offers for selected destinations . Since we believe that travelling does not have to be expensive, Ryanair could be a good choice for budget travellers like us. Even though Ryanair is the largest low-cost airline in Europe, they are not flying to every destinations. Normally you will opt to fly with traditional airlines which have often good bargains too. Consider to book with Skyscanner*, one of our favourite travelling tools that has really user-friendly interface.
Have you flown with Ryanair? How was your flight with them? Finnoy Travel wants to hear your experiences with this airline. We would be glad to hear from you. Post your comments below.