Ryanair is Europe’s #1 airline. A low-cost airline founded in 1985, with headquarters in Dublin, Ireland. It operates over 2,00 flights daily, to approximately 220 destinations, mostly in Europe and North Africa.
I often hear aweful reviews about Ryanair, mostly coming from first time customers, whom have not “educated” themselves about the airline and its practices. I, on the other hand, love Ryanair! I wish Ryanair flew within the United States and from the United States to Europe and North Africa. I envy the Europeans, because they have Ryanair. If I lived in Europe I would be Ryanair’s most loyal customer and would catch a flight every weekend and go everywhere and anywhere!
I have flow Ryanair twice, once from Madrid to Morocco, and a second time, from Rome to Barcelona. The cost for our trip to Morocco for our family of 3, was a whopping $75 dollars, round trip (yeah for the three of us, not each ticket). From Rome to Barcelona, we paid $45 dollars each. I subscribe to Ryanair and they often have special prices for a few euros, something that never happens in the United States. I have to say that the first time I purchased tickets in Ryanair, I was hesitant to purchase. I could not believe it, air travel from one continent to another for $25 dollars, roundtrip? But I went ahead and gave Ryanair a try. And glad I am!
Do your Homework:
There are a few things I recommend you do, before you travel with Ryanair. If you do this, you will fall in love with Ryanair. Do your homework! And by this, I mean, read and get familiar with the services Ryanair offers, and the fees they charge. Ryanair is a low-cost airline, but they are in business to make money. They are running a business, not a charity. Logically, if the fare is cheap, they got to make their money somewhere else. Well, they make money by charging extra fees for check-in luggage, picking your sitting location, front seat fees, boarding pass re-issue, or to change your flight. There is an extra fee for not checking-in online or for not printing your boarding pass. There are no free snacks and drinks during your flight, except water. Bring your phone and tablet charged, as I have not seen any chargers on Ryanair planes. Bring your water bottle or purchase one for a few euros. Ryanair charges €25 for a 20 kg check-in bag, it costs less to pay for your bags at time of booking, to save money, pay for your bags at time of booking and not at check-in.
Types of fares
- Standard Fare- this is the bare minimum, lowest fare and includes 2 small cabin bags.
- Plus- in addition to Standard fare features, it includes a reserved standard seat and a 20 kg check-in bag
- Flexi Plus- all features of standard and plus fares, and a reserved anywhere seat, security fast track, free airport check-in, and flexible change ticket, meaning that you have the option to change the flight if necessary
- Family Plus– Includes 2 check-in bags of 20 kg each, 2 small cabin bags, and free seats for kids, this I really love, because parents or caretakers can sit next to their children.
- Small bag- free
- The fees for additional bags vary between €10- €40, depending on the weight and time of purchase.
They will measure your bags, and weigh them, so please do not try to be smart, and pack extra pounds in your luggage, you will pay extra to take them.
Comfort and Service:
Ryanair staff are very friendly, professional, and respectful. The planes are comfortable, clean, with standard leg room, clean, and much better than many airlines in the United States. So many people whine because the fly attendants sell duty free items, raffles, etc. Hey! so what? That doesn’t bother me, they are doing their job, plus, they are not obnoxious. I am more concerned about getting to my destination safely, on time, and joyous, because I only paid $25 roundtrip to get from one continent to another.
So, with all the fees, is it worth flying with them? Yes, Ryanair is geared towards a budget minded traveler. Someone who does not care where they sit, travels light, is not expecting the latest entertainment during the flight, carries their own water bottle, and is not expecting to be fed during the flight. It is also geared to those of us who don’t mind paying the extra fees, because even after paying the extra fees, Ryanair offers the best price.
I highly recommend Ryanair for flights within Europe and North African travel destinations. Take advantage of booking in advance, the fares are even cheaper than cheap. Go prepared with your phone charged, bring a book, or take a nap, bring your water bottle, and a snack. If you need a pillow and blanket, bring those too. Also, download the Ryanair application, and remember to check-in on line or print your boarding pass, the extra fee for check-in at the airport and printing your boarding card at the airport will be much more than what you paid for your roundtrip fare, don’t let them get you! Some airports need a hard-printed copy of the boarding pass, print one just in case. Also, save yourself some trouble and follow the rules for carry-on and check-in baggage, or pay for your bags at time of booking, this will save you some cash. In my book, Ryanair is a yay!
Disclaimer: This review is my own experience, and I paid for my own tickets. I haven’t been compensated by Ryanair or any other company for this article.