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Ryanair B737 plane at Athens Airport
Ryanair plane looks beautiful under the sunshine. It is common for Ryanair to use stands far from terminals instead of more expensive terminal gates where passengers can enter the plane via an air bridge.

Review: Ryanair's Five Ways to Make You to Pay More

  • By Finnoy Travel
  • February 23, 2018

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Ryanair Review: 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 airlines and is 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 loving them but as always, things have their other sides, too. We collected a few of them for 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 to the air as quick as possible. Ryanair does not operate long-haul flights.

Ryanair B737-800 taxiing
Ryanair flies holidaymakers to many sunny destinations.

Ryanair is not anymore alone in the low-cost class but it has more and more similar competitors. A few of them to mention: EasyJet, Wizz Air and Norwegian Air Shuttle.

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 .

Ryanair B737 sideview
Ryanair known for its signature yellow colours has been Europe's Leading Low-cost Airline (Year 2005 & 2003)

Cheap tickets are only a way to market Ryanair. The airline is also selling more expensive ticket classes but most of its 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 the 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 for 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 km from Paris. They fly to Barcelona Girona-Costa Brava Airport which is 98 km 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 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 a 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 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 a 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 without 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 like a random thing if this occurs only once but oftentimes this is the case. It is more than an inconvenience and almost equivalent to 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 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 in the cabin. Other people must involuntarily leave their cabin luggage to 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.

Baggage tag for hold baggage for Ryanair
It is probable that a non-priority boarding passenger gets a yellow luggage tag to his/her bag and then it will be transferred to the aeroplane's hold.

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 an oversize cabin bag about 50€ which is 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 with Ryanair's prescribed cabin luggage size and weight to avoid unnecessary fees.

Our Rating

Customer Service and Professional Skills

A Ryanair customer must defend himself/herself against aggressive marketing of all kinds of extra services by Ryanair staff. Oftentimes the cabin crew are tasked to sell actively onboard their products with annoying noisy marketing announcements thru microphones. We have also experienced rough landings with Ryanair on different occasions.

Cabins of the Planes

The cabin is really simple and has not much legroom. There is not any in-flight entertainment. Ryanair loves the bright yellow colour.

The cabin of Ryanair B737-800 plane
Unlike their close competitors Wizzair and Norwegian that are equipped with modern cabin interiors, Ryanair has just a simple yellow cabin.

Ticket Price

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 as being quite low but so are their ticket prices too. So price-to-quality ratio stays moderately good.

Overall Rating

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 the main cities.

It is important to compare flight prices because they vary a lot. Find the best flight deals on Skyscanner.

Ryanair Is A Good Choice For Budget Travellers

We fly 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 fly to every destination. 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 about your experiences with this airline. We would be glad to hear from you. Post your comments below.

Tags: , ,
Destination: Ireland

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Tips For Your Next Journey...

Book hotels and flights wisely

We recommend for hotel reservations. This agency has good booking conditions, excellent customer service and affordable rates. For flights, Skyscanner is one of the most popular tools to find the cheapest flights.

Relax at Airports

Make your journey a more pleasant experience. Head to an airport lounge and unwind before flying. Purchase single access from Lounge Pass or read our article about Priority Pass.

Don´t miss unforgettable activities and tours

Whether you are travelling near or far, make your trips more memorable by attending organized activities and tours. On GetYourGuide, you will easily find after sought sightseeings and tours at your destination.

Readers' Comments (3)

  1. 12-21-2018 at 12:29pm UTC by Ceasar/Finnoytravel :

    Hi Alvaro,

    Thanks for the comment. Sometimes, we just realized as the saying says, "quality has its price", though it doesn't mean, we should always pay for the expensive tickets. We just be deligent to find great offers from differrent airlines to save on flight tickets.

    Happy travels!

    1. 01-02-2019 at 11:53am UTC by Alvaro Montero :

      Thank you very much Ceasar for your answer,
      With Finnoy Travel was everything ok. With Ryanair I can not say the same...
      Best regards,

  2. 12-21-2018 at 11:44am UTC by Alvaro :

    Very bad experience flying with them, they are waiting for your faults, and if you dont pay abusive extra bills, you dont fly. Never again, at the end, cheaper with any other company. Always the same, lets see if I learn it and remember this for next time. 55 euros the paper in black and white that I show you, printed in seconds. Pay or you dont fly

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