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.
This 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.
How 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.
What 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
I 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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