How to Survive Booking and Flying with Ryanair
Ryanair have had allot of bad press over the past few years, mainly due to the scandalous taxes and other added costs they try to sting you with. Or the way you feel you are being cattle herded into containers. But there is a way you can make the most out of them! You have to learn to play the Ryanair game and be careful when going to book your flights.
I have heard countless Ryanair, the "low cost airline" horror stories. People getting upset from hidden taxes, baggage allowances, the endless pushing you to buy things during flights and the staff being rude to people. Personally I have not had too much of a problem with them, and if all you are planning is a short flight which takes a few hours, they have been pretty good. Don't get me wrong, you would not want to travel more than 3 hours with them.
Do not over do the luggage
I am a light traveller and if I am planning to go for less than a week, I will fly hand luggage only and take as little as possible, squashing everything I can into my rucksack. Though be careful your bag fits into the 55cm x 40cm x 20cm, 10kg hand luggage restrictions or you will find yourself paying an extra €50 to have it checked in.
The times I do travel for a longer period of time, then you have to resort to a suitcase, which for families with young children can be a problem. Ryanair have costly baggage allowances, at the time of booking you get to choose from either a 15kg or 20kg weight allowance. Families should choose the larger weight at €30 each suitcase. You do have to be careful though if you go over the weight limit as you will be charged an astonishing €20 per kilo over! Be cheaper to post your baggage back by courier!
Careful of endless extra services
One other thing you must watch out for when booking your flights online is all the unnecessary, extra services they try to fob you off with. Do you want to buy a suitcase?, do you want insurance?, do you want to hire a car?, do you want to pay for priority boarding?, do you want a text message sending to you of flight details? Blah blah blah! Make sure that everything is un-ticked and check your final bill before paying!
If you are scared of flying and prefer a window seat, then you will have to pay the extra charge for priority boarding to be able to get a seat where you feel most comfortable.
They have also been known to be naughty with exchange rates and are normally much higher than what the real exchange rate should be. Though, I still think if "all" you are wanting is your flight ticket and nothing else, Ryanair can still be cheaper than other airlines.
Take your own entertainment
Take headphones for music or your computer to drown out the constant calling throughout the whole flight. I'm not joking! From the minute you get into the air, the whole flight is full of stewards trying to sell you something. Maybe they are on commission or something but it does not stop! From perfume, cigarettes, scratch cards, phone cards and finally comes the food and drinks, by which time you have hopefully fallen asleep to the sound of your music.
The planes and the flights are ok, never had a bad landing or unnerving experience with them. You just have to be careful and clever when you go to book with them. And what ever you do, don't exceed your baggage allowance!
We want to hear what your experiences have been with Ryanair? Have you a horror story to tell or have you been pleasantly surprised by the low cost airline?