A RyanAir Review
Can you really get 5€ flights with RyanAir?
When I tell people how I have found such cheap flights in Europe, I have often been met with skepticism and disbelief as we are so used to paying out the big bucks for a flight. Besides, you usually get what you pay for right? After all, isn’t a flight not an area where you’d want to ‘get cheap’? The truth is, there are several really great budget airlines in Europe. I say, ‘great’ in that they offer a valuable service, not because of their customer service or reputation for being nice. In this article I am going to give you a personal review of RyanAir.
I have taken RyanAir several times in my travels. I’ve flown from several different countries in Europe and even to another continent with them. In my experience, I have found that RyanAir is quite popular among Europeans, but rarely do outsiders know about their services. Can you get 5€ flights? Is the plane going to fall apart? Will you survive? I will try to answer that all here.
RyanAir is in many ways the MegaBus of the sky. If you aren’t familiar with MegaBus, it is a budget bus company that provides extremely cheap bus tickets by cutting a few corners. From what I can tell, RyanAir’s pricing scheme is very much like that of MegaBus. I believe it operates on a bell-curve in that those who purchase tickets early will get incredibly good deals on flights, while those who purchase at the last-minute will get the market rate. They are able to keep costs low by reducing the quality of customer service and giving you just a bare minimum flight. You will get from city A to city B, but don’t expect to be pampered.
So, where does RyanAir fly to?
RyanAir flies to a surprising amount of destinations, roughly 29 countries by my count. The majority of its destinations are in western Europe, Scandinavia, or central Europe. Their website boasts 186 destinations. The airline is originally Irish though so some of its major hubs are in Ireland and the UK. I’ve flown to some of their major areas with connections to Italy, Spain, France, Germany, Canary Islands (Spain), Portugal, and even when I went to Morocco.
You can check out their many destinations here. (The map doesn’t always work, but the destinations are listed there)
Can you really get 5€ flights with RyanAir?
In short and theory, you can get flights for 5€ with RyanAir. I can honestly say that I have seen them before, and would say that I could probably find one now if I looked for a few moments. Realistically though, you should expect the range from 20-50€ if you book early. The 5€ flights, or 5£ flights, are much like the $1 or 1£ trips with MegaBus. It is a marketing ploy to get you in. You can occasionally find those excellent deals, but most often you will just find good deals. Prices between 20-50€ are about average of what I have paid. I have paid more and probably slightly less, but that is a good range for you to expect.
What’s the catch with RyanAir?
Nothing can be too good to be true right? Surely, there has to be a catch with RyanAir right? There are a few.
Because of the fact that RyanAir is a budget airline, it makes sure to charge for absolutely everything extra. They have very expensive baggage fees and strict guidelines for travelers to follow. If you step outside of the line, then they will likely charge you for it. I strongly recommend you to read up on their guidelines before choosing to fly with them. In a later section of this article, I will tell you what to expect as far as fees go.
Another problem with RyanAir, is that they do not always fly directly into the center of the city where you wish to go. Sometimes they do, but other times, you have to worry about the commute in between. This is not that significant, to me at least, because there is usually a local bus service that can take you to the airport.
- Online Check-in – You have to check in online to RyanAir from 15 days to 4 hours before flying.
- Print your boarding ticket – You have to take a copy of your Boarding Ticket with you that can be printed when you check in online.
- Visa Check – EU members need a different ID, but international travelers need their passport and boarding ticket to be checked before they can go to the terminal. Your name has to match the ticket exactly.
- Baggage limitations – Backpackers need to have a bag that fits into RyanAir’s baggage limitations. There are strict size limitations and weight limit (10kgs). Malleable backpacks are generally safe as long as they are within the weight requirements. Also, if you have more than one bag check their pricing guide on the website. They can get expensive.
- Hidden, underlying things – There are a few things extra that you should know. The airports they use tend to be a little outside of town, which will add to the cost of your travel. There are no seat assignments. Lastly, you do not need everything that they try to sell you.
Budget airlines have a tendency to make profits on the side. They do this by having regulations and rules that must be followed. Without following them and adhering strictly to their guidelines, you will receive hefty charges that could equal out to a regularly priced flight. RyanAir is no exception. If you miss any of these things, then you are surely going to pay for it.
For a complete listing of RyanAir fees and guidelines check here.
The Booking Process
The booking process with RyanAir is where they try to make some of their money back. Let’s say that you find a cheap flight and it is between the destinations that you wish to book for. Next thing that you do is click book and go through the process. They will try to make you think that you need many things such as insurance or early flight check-in and more. However, you likely don’t. That is a decision for you to make, but you will be charged accordingly for each additional service.
Other things will get you such as an ‘administrative fee’ if you pay with a different type of Credit/Debit card than they accept. So, you just need to be mindful when you book about the potential added costs.
My review of RyanAir in short
RyanAir, like most budget services, are great things for travelers to use to save a little money. Like all budget services, they are usually good as long as you are willing to inconvenience yourself just a bit to save some money. This is exactly the opposite of why people choose to pick luxury services: for eliminating inconveniences.
I’ve used RyanAir a few times and have had mostly good experiences. I will say that their baggage requirements can be tough for long-term travelers and backpackers and you have to keep that in mind when planning for a trip. You will have to pay extra if you cannot fit your bag into their confinements.
I will likely use them again, so when I travel to Europe I am always mindful of the weight and size of my bag. You can have too much. Make sure that if you decide to fly with RyanAir that you “dot your i’s and cross your ts” and you should be fine. So that’s my RyanAir review, hope it helped you.
A little RyanAir humor for you (warning rated R, not for the little ones):
Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed the post!
What are your thoughts or questions?
Have you taken RyanAir before? What was your experience, did you enjoy them or not at all?
*Tags: Ryanair review, review of Ryanair*