Most people who have traveled around Europe have heard of the illustrious Ryanair (note the sarcasm), the canary yellow airline that offers the too-good-to-be-true ticket prices and flies almost anywhere in Europe.
Of course, there are a few catches to flying Ryanair.
In 2008, Consumer Magazine Holiday Which? described Ryanair as “the worst offenders” for charging optional extras on flights, and the magazine wasn’t far off. Some of the extra fees that RyanAir charges include:
- Using a credit card
- Printing your ticket at check-in
- Checking baggage
- Checking in sports equipment and musical instruments
- Seat selection
There are more, just check their Table of “optional” fees table on Ryanair.com.
In order to adequately prepare for your first flight on Ryanair, here is some vital advice and supplies that will make your cheaper-than-cheap airfare stay cheap and relatively comfortable:
Ryanair won’t charge you a check-in fee if you can fit what you need in a carry-on the size of a backpack. I suggest rolling your clothes after you fold them to create more space in your bag. Also, try to keep it to only one extra pair of shoes. Trust me, it’s not like American Airlines where your carry-on can double as a body bag and you can get away with it..Ryanair employees will measure any carry-on of a suspicious size and will not hesitate to tack on a late check-in fee to your bag.
I don’t care if you’re going to the desert in the middle of August, wear layers to the airport;I’m not talking about a cute cami with a light sweater or an undershirt topped with a cardigan. I’m talking cami, a t-shirt, a hoodie and jacket. You may not be able to stuff everything in your bag, but who says your body can’t double as your carry-on?
Note: Ryanair flights are jam-packed and uncomfortable. Remember, you’re getting what you pay for, so don’t be surprised when you’re wedged into a seat that’s just wide enough to comfortably accommodate an Olsen twin. And don’t expect any free pillows or blankets either. This is where your layers come in handy. Who needs a pillow and blanket when you have three hoodies and a jacket?
Cover your eyes
Advertisements cover the glaring yellow interior of the plane and can be found on everything from overhead bins to airsick bags. Recently, the airline has decided to also sell advertising on its fleet’s wing tips and front and back air fuselages. If the plane’s signature yellow isn’t enough to keep your eyes open, the extensive advertising will.
They may not be the most stylish things on the market, but you won’t hesitate to pop those puppies in once your flight is in motion. Keep in mind, this is an airline that once seriously considered charging passengers to use the bathroom, so when it comes to in-flight advertising, Ryanair has no shame. During your flight, pleasant jingles are played over loud speakers that advertise everything from cognac, to cigarettes, to cologne and, of course, the Ryanair magazine.
Trust me, you won’t think twice about neon Styrofoam in your ears.
Many Ryanair flights do not fly to main airports, but rather to ones more off the beaten path—this helps keep the airfare low. It always helps to double check your destination airport and make sure that if you are flying into the boonies, there are buses and trains that will take you where you really want to go. Trust me, it’s easier to do this before the flight then after you land dazed and wondering why Brussels all of a sudden looks like Midwestern farmland.
All that being said, you really can’t find cheaper flights than those offered by Ryanair and if you take the right steps, you can get to where you need to go quickly, cheaply and somewhat comfortably.