Ryanair US site – tips for flying

I have flown 90 airlines to all continents of the world (except for Antarctica) and one airline continues to dismay me: Ryanair.

People keep flying Ryanair for one reason: cheap fares. I avoid them because of their seats, customer disdain, staff attitude, ethical concerns and their flying to random secondary airports nowhere near the city I am flying to. My experience of Ryanair is that they are like a bus. If you like bus travel, its fine. If something goes wrong, then you are on your own.

The airline has made a concerted effort to improve its image following a dip in profits last year. These changes are still filtering through.

Ryanair is now making a concerted pitch for US customers by launching a website aimed at the USA. www.ryanair.com/us The biggest advantage of the site is that it is denominated in US dollars.

The reality is that flying point to point, Ryanair can have some unbelievably cheap fares within Europe. You can save hundreds of dollars over regular fares. If you want to take advantage of Ryanair and risk their awful service, then consider these tips:

  1. Consider trains on some sectors. When you factor in waiting time at airports, European high speed rail is often faster and cheaper if booked in advance
  2. Given the choice, I always fly Easyjet and Air Berlin before Ryanair even if they are a few dollars more
  3. Be aware that seat pitch and width on Ryanair are the smallest in the industry
  4. Check where the airport is. Ryanair fly from remote airports sometimes and often the only way is to take a long (and pricey) bus ride. Sometimes the bus ride can be as expensive as the Ryanair flight
  5. I avoid flying Ryanair late at night. If something goes wrong, you will be bedding down in the airport in a strange country by yourself. In many European airports, everything closes.
  6. Make sure you need no extras such as baby seats, sports equipment or children under two. Ryanair charges for these
  7. Be aware that there is a 2% credit card fee on all bookings
  8. Note there will be extra taxes and charges on top of the fare you start with
  9. Avoid buying Ryanair’s insurance package. You should have your own travel insurance
  10. Plan no changes to your schedule. Ryanair charges between 30 and 60 Euros per passenger to change a flight and if you do it at the airport, the charges bump up to 90 Euros per passenger. I have known people to abandon their original booking because it is cheaper to start a new one than change their existing one
  11. Buy your luggage allowance when you purchase your ticket. It costs more at the airport.
  12. Plan very small, light luggages. Ryanair police their luggage in a way that shocks people. Their luggage limits are 15kg (33lbs) or 20kg (44lbs) depending on what you luggage allowance you purchase. They are strict on hand luggage size and won’t let you on the plane if your bag is too heavy
  13. Make sure you will be able to print your boarding pass before you get to the airport. Ryanair charges 10 Euros per passenger to re print a boarding pass and 70 Euros per passenger to check in at the airport.  If you are spending a brief time in a city, the stress of finding an internet cafe or printing service can be frustrating – and if you fail expensive
  14. Be on time. Its 110 Euros per passenger if you are late and need to change to a new flight. There are no excuses including long lines at immigration
  15. Plan your meals. Ryanair sells snacks.
  16. You will get no frequent flyer points or bonuses
  17. Be aware that you will usually have to walk up and down stairs to the planes as Ryanair avoids paying to use boarding gates. Sometimes you will board a bus for a journey from plane to gate that feels longer than the air ride!

Related Posts:

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A friendlier Ryanair cuts fees
Another Stunt: Ryanair v Aer Lingus -Episode 586!
Why is Ryanair so bad?
Ryanair Boarding Pass Charge halted (for the moment)
Website: I hate Ryanair to close

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