Six Tips and Tricks to Know Before Your Ryanair Flight

Six Tips and Tricks to Know Before Your Ryanair Flight

Ryanair and I have been friends for a long time now. We’ve had our ups and downs, and I’ve learned a lot through numerous flights together. These are the six things I have learned and abide by as our friendship continues, and that hopefully you can learn from as well.


1) Boarding Passes and Visa Checks

If you are not a citizen of the EU (European Union) you have to print your boarding pass. You cannot have your boarding pass on your phone. If you don’t have it printed, you will be fined.

Also, on your boarding pass you will see in very *small* letters that it says “visa check” in the top right corner. This means that you have to go to the check-in counter before your flight and have a RyanAir employee check your passport. If you don’t do this, you will either be fined or refused entry on the flight.

Both of these areas are where people get screwed over the most, so be extra cautious of this.

2) Check Into Your Flight As Late As Possible

The more I started checking-in late to my Ryanair flights, the more I started noticing a pattern. I realized that the later I checked in, the better the seat I received. I also realized the earlier I checked in, the worse the seat I received.

imageThis plan is not foolproof, but it has about a 90% success rate. Usually, when checking in as late as possible, you will receive a seat towards the front of the plane (I always get row 3) or the emergency exit row (row 16), which has the most legroom. You are welcome in advance.

3) How To Avoid “Free Checked Baggage”

On 95% of my Ryanair flights, I have fallen victim to the “free checked baggage”. Basically every Ryanair flight you take will probably be full, meaning that there will not be enough room in the overhead compartments to hold everyone’s luggage. The way Ryanair fixes this problem is by checking people’s bags, meaning you have to pick up your bag at baggage claim. This can obviously be annoying, especially if you’re in a hurry to go somewhere and don’t want to have to wait at baggage claim.

imageHow to avoid this: GET IN LINE EARLY. Once you get to your gate, get in line as soon as possible. I, on the other hand, am lazy and never get in line early. For you lazy individuals like myself, I have found a solution. When they put the “free checked bag” tag on your bag, rip it off when you’re waiting to get on the plane. What the flight attendants don’t know won’t hurt them.

4) Always Expect Delays

If you book with Ryanair, it is most likely that you can expect delays. When booking your Ryanair flight, I would take a look at Google flights first. They usually are able to tell you ahead of time if the flight will be delayed. It looks like this:


Their delays are so frequent that they actually play special music when they land on time, which my friends and I find hilarious. The delays are never that bad (around 30 minutes), but it’s good to expect them just in case you have somewhere urgent to be right after your flight.

5) Don’t Fret Too Much About Baggage Size

Many people worry about “Ryanair” sized carry-ons and weight limits. The first time I went shopping for a Ryanair-sized suitcase, I went with measuring tape in hand. I weighed my packed-suitcase to make sure it was under 10 kg. I made sure my purse fit in my bag… I was a bit paranoid to say the least.

imageWhat I have discovered is that Ryanair does have restrictions, but they are also pretty lenient. Not once have they weighed or measured my suitcase, and I have always been able to take my purse (which is pretty sizable).

They also allow you to take a duty-free bag, which I usually fill up with extra clothes if I know I will be traveling for a while. I have successfully packed 30 days worth of winter clothes within Ryanair restriction limits, and you can too. If I were you, I’d make sure my suitcase is within the Ryanair limits, but don’t fret too much about the rest.

6) Double Check the Airport You Are Flying Into

imageI cannot stress this enough. So many people buy Ryanair flights without realizing the airport they are flying into isn’t actually in the city they planned on flying into. I explained this in detail in one of my previous posts, which you can read here. If you fly into an airport that’s far away from the city center, this can add a lot of unexpected extra expense. This is never fun, and kind of defeats the purpose of a budget-airline ticket in the first place.

All in all, Ryanair is an unbelievably cheap and amazing airline that has let me and many others fly all over Europe whilst on a serious budget. People may have their negative opinions about this airline, but I really cannot say anything bad. Just be smart and keep these tips and tricks in mind when buying your ticket, and you’ll be lifelong friends with Ryanair in no time.

Flying with Ryanair soon and have questions? Love Ryanair as much as I do and have something to add to this post? Leave me a question or suggestion in the comments section below! 🙂 

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8 thoughts on “Six Tips and Tricks to Know Before Your Ryanair Flight”

  • 1
    Yuri on May 26, 2016 Reply

    Tip #7. When they say the gate will be closed 30 minutes before departure, that is NEVER true. The gate closes when they depart. So don’t worry about getting to the flight early. You really only need to be there maybe about 15 minutes before the flight departs just to be safe. But keep in mind traffic delays and such so you’re not actually late arriving to the gate. They say to arrive 2 hours before your flight. If you’re not check baggage, you can really plan to be there about 30-40 minutes before departure which would give you enough time to get through security and a comfortable 20 minute margin (depends on the airport maybe?)

    • 2
      Finding Bridget on May 26, 2016 Reply

      This is so true. I never abide by the “be there 2 hours before” rule when I fly with Ryanair. Great tip!! Thanks for sharing.

    • 3
      Ada Diaz on May 27, 2016 Reply

      While that is mostly true, not every airport is the same. Trust me, I had that mentality that “oh, I’ll just show up 15 minutes prior like I USUALLY do” but in one airport, can’t remember if it was BCN or Shannon Airport in Ireland, but I showed up to the gate just in time as I normally do and they almost denied us since everyone was already boarded. They were so mad and told us to be there prior to 30 minutes departing but they let us in after being scolded. I still love Ryanair and have been on over 20 flights, I’d do another 20 flights with them any day.

  • 4
    Brandy on May 28, 2016 Reply

    I actually never get in line til the end.. We have assigned seats and by this time everyone has boarded and sat down.. It lessens airplane wait time and standing in line time. I show up to the airport two hours ahead so I can park in long term parking and either walk in or shuttle in also because some times airport security lines can take forever.. I also am pretty flexible with where I want to go and I will check the three airports nearest me to get the best rate possible. I try to plan a couple months in advance to get the best rate and will check back over a couple of weeks if I don’t find something the first time.. I have bought tickets from Frankfurt to London RT for 19.99€ each. Happy Traveling!

  • 5
    Elle Kirsten on May 31, 2016 Reply

    I have quite a few RyanAir flights booked for my European wanderings at the end of the year and cannot say enough how helpful I have found this post! Thanks so much for sharing – you’ve more than likely saved me time and stress 🙂

    Elle Kirsten

    • 6
      Finding Bridget on May 31, 2016 Reply

      No problem! I’m so happy you found it useful. Let me know if you have any more questions. 🙂

  • 7
    Andy G on August 20, 2017 Reply

    Excellent article – thanks so much for sharing your tips!

    • 8
      Finding Bridget on August 20, 2017 Reply

      Thank you! You are so welcome 🙂

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