Ryanair is one of the most recognisable carriers in the aviation industry. Gone are the days when flying was prohibitively expensive; Ryanair focuses on affordable travel that’s accessible to the masses.
For the most part, the company is hugely beneficial to the public — but there can be a price for such low-cost flying. Literally. Getting the most from travelling Ryanair is all about knowing a few tricks and workarounds to the company’s more restrictive policies. Tricks just like the ones below, in fact…
#1 – Use Clever Booking Strategies
If you’re booking to go back to the UK for Christmas, then when do you book? Realistically, you probably look at booking flights around October or early November — which is a sure-fire way to get the highest prices. As a general rule, you should always try and book extremely early (say June for Christmas) or extremely late (early December). Any prices in the near-but-not-too-near timescale tend to be the most expensive. This is true no matter what time of year you’re travelling.
#2 – Pack Light
Ryanair has a tendency to add charges to every conceivable stage of the flight process. The steepest additional charges are for checking a bag into the hold; this can cost more than your actual flight in some cases. If you can learn to pack light and only take hand luggage (which is free), then you’ll avoid any additional fees. If you’re going to visit friends and family, then it genuinely might be cheaper to send your supplies by post rather than checking them into the aircraft hold.
#3 – Take Your Chances With A Seat
You can reserve a seat on Ryanair but, again, it’s going to cost you extra. Don’t be tempted to do it. Even if your party gets separated by random seating, it’s only for the duration of the flight. Remember: the less you spend on each flight back to the UK, the more often you’re going to be able to go.
#4 – Be Ready For Delays
Airport delays are a simple fact of life with any carrier, but Ryanair’s reputation in this area is particularly poor. Make sure you’ve packed yourself a snack. It’s also beneficial to arrive at the airport with your mobile phone or tablet charged – games are a perfect way to kill time. With your mobile device you can while away the hours looking for new bingo websites or using social media as a distraction from the long delay.
#5 – Take Ear Plugs
Ryanair have a habit of blasting ads during their flights, as well as interrupting passengers for various non-important announcements. Take along a pair of earplugs to ensure you can get some peace and quiet. Just be sure to let a flight attendant know you are wearing earplugs, just in case you need to be roused in case of emergency.
#6 – Check Your Booking Carefully
If you make a typo while booking your flight, then — you guessed it! — Ryanair are going to charge you to change it. You have a 24 hour grace period if you booked directly with Ryanair, but after that the fee to change a typo becomes astronomical. So when booking, check, check, and check again before you submit the order.
#7 – Know Your Rights
If something does go wrong with a Ryanair booking or flight, then you may still be entitled to compensation. The fact you’re flying a low-cost airline doesn’t exclude you from high-quality customer service.
Ryanair can be inexpensive and useful for expats, provided you don’t fall into any additional charges traps. Just remember the tips above, and you’ll be ready to fly.