Monday, 29 November 2010

The Dummies Guide to Ryanair

Ryanair are great, I love them!

On my 50th low cost flight (sitting on the plane, counting my fingers), I couldn't help but notice all those little things that if you do NOT know about, flying with Ryanair can be a right disaster.


The way I see it, sometimes in life if you do not have enough money, you have to trade some comfort for pleasure. We watch free TV even though we are bombarded with adverts. Similarly Ryanair is like a cheap cinema ticket to a fantastic show, anywhere in Europe, but before the show begins we need to sit through the ads.

So how do you go through the process with as little anger (and cost) as possible?

Lets start with pre-flight:

  1. Dont search for bargains on their site, use SkyScanner to quickly see when the cheapest fares are in the month you wish to travel.
  2. If you are a frequent flyer it is worth having a Prepaid Mastercard because it saves you (as the Visa Electron used to in the past) £10 per person per return flight. Vaivara and I travel approximately 10-15 times a year, so it saves us almost £300.
  3. Always remember to do your online check-in and take your ticket with you - if you forget to and plan to do it at the airport, those slimy Irish folk at the Ryanair desk will ask you for £40.
  4. Pack some lunch - food and drinks are ludicrously expensive on the flight and you will get hungry.
  5. Take an empty water bottle - (Thanks Tom) Obviously you can't take a full one past security but an empty one can always be filled once inside, saving you up to £4 each way.
  6. Not all airports do but some Ryanair flights will have your handluggage weighed and if it is 10.1kg and there is nothing more you can take out, you will have to pay for it to be checked in. BANG, another £35.
  7. One hand luggage means, one hand luggage - so don't even think about hand-bags, laptops, bottles, duty free stuff or anything else really being outside.
Then at the airport:
  1. There's only one major thing to say here and that is - if you haven't flow with Ryanair before dont risk taking too much luggage the first time before you know if your bag fits in their size check (which is smaller than that of all other airlines by the way). If it doesn't you will have to check it in and pay £35.
And finally on the plane:
  1. Try to get on quickly and sit either right at the front or move quickly to the middle because other than at those two sections, you will feel the pain after 2 hours becuause clearly those who put the seats so close together knew they would never have to sit in them.
  2. Don't forget to clap with the rest of the relieved Eastern Europeans when you hear the cheesy jingle and then roll your eyes when they tell you Ryanair is Europe's no.1 airline because it is always on time - well of course they are always on time; they schedule a standard 2 hour journey as a 3 hour one (which makes planning a nightmare because you never know exactly how long it will take).
Love 'em or hate 'em though, Ryanair still rock! I have never had any major issues, all the ones above were lessons I either learned lightly or have seen others learn the hard way.

Any more suggestions, please let me know.
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