We recently flew with a new airline (at least to us!) – Ryan Air or RyanAir, a budget airline, based in Dublin Ireland. They service the European continent with extraordinary deals, that are perfectly suited to budget travellers.
So what did we think of them – below is our review of Ryan Air!
Booking Ryan Air Flights
Ryan Air is a very popular Airline, servicing over 200 destinations across Europe which provides travellers a huge range of options, and a convenient way to travel through Europe. With over 1800 flights per day, from 31 countries, there is certainly no shortage of options with Ryan Air.
Ryan Air was founded 31 years ago, and in there first year transported 82,000 passengers. Today Ryan Air services over 103 Million passengers in an average year, with a forecast of 160 Million in 10 years time!
Ryan Air have some amazing options for booking tickets. Two options I love include booking via their Route Map, with which you can put in your starting destination and see multiple different options for destinations and the corresponding prices. This is brilliant for researching possible destinations and I have used this extensively.
Another option I discovered last just last night is their Fare Finder. What I LOVE about this is that you can put in your departure location, set your destination as “Anywhere” and then set your budget – if you are looking for super cheap fairs just set that as €20 and it will display all of their best possible prices.
Ryan Air Prices
Ryan Air is a budget airline. Their no frills, low cost business model revolutionized air travel in Europe. And for a good reason! Their prices are AMAZING!
For as little as €9.99 you can find yourself traveling on Ryan Air from one side of Europe to another! But book early! In the month leading up to the travel date, prices start to rise dramatically – we’ve seen as much as 1300%. So if you know have a good idea of where you want to go, and when, book early and secure the lowest possible price!
But, even with a cheap fair, you need to be aware that there are a whole lot of extra costs. Ryan Air charges for everything. Want to book a specific seat? That’ll be €5 online or €9 at the airport. Want to check-in at the airport? That will be a massive €45! But with a little care and forward planning, you can get super low fares with Ryan Air.
Ryan Air Check In
Ryan Air Baggage
Baggage allowances on Ryan Air depends entirely on how much you want to spend. You can prepurchase a 15kg or 20kg baggage allowance, which then allows you up to 3 checked in bags.
Business Plus customers receive one 20 kilo checked bag included free of charge.
RyanAir Hand Luggage
They have a generous carry on luggage allowance (10kgs as opposed to most that are 7kgs). This was brilliant for us as we are right on the 7kg limit and we usually have to juggle our belongings around to make sure each bag is within limits. This time, there was no hassle at all!
The main piece of luggage cannot exceed the Ryanair baggage allowance size which is maximum dimensions of 55 x 40 x 20 cm. A second item, which can include a handbag, briefcase, laptop, camera, shop purchases, etc. must not be larger than 35 x 20 x 20cm.
Something to note: Ryan Air have a policy of only 90 carry on bags allowed on board. If you are not in the first 90, they will store your bag underneath, free of charge, which you can easily get back as you exit the plane.
Ryan Air Onboard
There is absolutely no onboard entertainment – this is, afterall a budget airline. For us this wasn’t an issue though as we all have iPads, plus a 3Ds, plus a Kindle.
Food on board was really impressive! They had a massive range of food – breakfasts, main dishes, desserts, snacks, hot and cold beverages and alcohol. Of course if you want anything it costs extra but the prices were quite reasonable.
Legroom isn’t brilliant – it was certainly one of the tightest I’ve been in, but when you consider that most flights are only a couple of hours long, it really isn’t too hard to endure. I certainly wouldn’t say it was uncomforatble… but nor would I say it was super comfortable!
Ticket changes with Ryan Air
The good news is, changes to your bookings CAN be made! The bad news is, it is yet another opportunity for them to sting you – in the amount of £30!!! OUCH!
RyanAir Customer Service
From our experience, the RyanAir Customer Service was fantastic. There is always a flight attendant coming up and down the aisle, selling food, drinks, perfumes and more, and any request we made was seen too quickly and easily.
Our flight ran very smoothly – so I can’t say I have any experience with their service if things go wrong, but so far, so good!
Ryan Air Pro’s and Con’s
• Tickets are CHEAP! From as little as €9.99 ($USD10.95/$AUD14.95) to fly from one side of Europe to the next! You do pay extra to select your seats, but at only €5 ($USD5.50/$AUD7.50) for a standard seat you can get away with a flight across Europe, with a great seat, for far less than on other airlines. To get these prices though you need to book well ahead of time!
• Electronics are welcome from boarding to landing (in flight mode), which is just awesome, and quite different to many airlines. I have been a bit amused and a little confused by the different airlines varying policies on electronics. One airline we flew with recently did not allow ANY electronics upon boarding, making us wait until we were in the air with the seatbelt sign off, before we could pull an iPad out (particularly important with two kids in tow). I guess it’s not a big deal, but when other airlines (like Ryan Air) allow electronics for the whole trip, I can’t help but feel a little ripped off, sitting onboard with nothing to do (especially if there is a delay and the plane sits on the tarmac for an extra 30 minutes!)
• Great Customer service – in 3 languages!!! Every announcement has been in English, Spanish and French, so a huge range of customers are catered for. And unlike some other airlines, we could actually understand the English!
• A great range of food. It is by far the biggest range of food I’ve ever seen on board. From hot and cold drinks, breakfast dishes, hot meals and loads of snacks there really is something for everyone. You do have to pay for it but the prices aren’t too bad. A drink, main meal and snack is €10 ($USD11/$AUD15).
• Ryan Air flights generally leave from smaller airports, out of the main city areas. This means extra costs to get to the airport. Our trip to Tille Airport today cost €62 ($USD68/$AUD92)
• Limited leg room – there’s not a lot of room to spare. Furthermore, the seats don’t recline. I wouldn’t say we are crammed in like sardines, but it definitely feels tighter than most other airlines I’ve flown with. If, like Cam, you get stuck next to a person who thinks they own the armrest and keeps elbowing you in the ribs, you might want to hope it’s a short flight!
• No food included. I get that these lines are budget, which means you pay for extras (like food), but surely a tea, coffee or even just a cup of water isn’t too much to ask!!!
• Not so cheap if not booked well in advance. If you are going to be travelling and have a good idea of when and where you want to go, this is a non issue. Just book well ahead of time. But, if you need to book within only a few weeks of travel, you will struggle to find the awesome prices available to those that book early. One example of a flight I looked at was a €9.99 ticket 6 months out, which became a €30 a few weeks to a month out and with only a week out, I’ve seen prices sky rocket to over €120! So book early!
• No onboard entertainment. A problem for some but certainly not for us. With 4 iPads, 2 iPhones, a 3DS and a kindle we have no shortage of entertainment
• No onboard power supply, at the airport or onboard. We might have our own entertainment but if they go flat we’re in trouble. I have to say I love an airline with a USB slot for each seat!
Ryan Air Summary
Overall I’m REALLY impressed. For the price you pay, and the money you can save, the pros FAR outweigh the cons. For those that like a bit of luxury this certainly isn’t the airline for you, but for those travelling on a budget whose priority is the act of getting there affordably, Ryan Air ticks all the boxes. A little forward planning will ensure that you get to your destination, without breaking the bank.