I absolutely love Ryan Air. Paris to Wroclaw for $16?!?! Yes, please! I have read a ton of bad reviews for Ryan Air, especially by Americans on different online forums.
Here are some ways to fly Ryan Air and love it.
You get what you pay for
- As an American we expect to get on a flight be given free drinks, snacks, and not be too concerned with carry on restrictions. Flight attendants cater to us, the ride is smooth, and seats are comfortable. Budget flights in Europe are rarely like this. I have never been given free drinks and snacks on a budget flight; the flight attendants have come around with a menu on a longer (2-3 hour) flight before, but nothing was free. While I have never been incredibly uncomfortable there have been non-cushy seats and bumpy flights. Flight attendants are incredibly kind from my experience, but they aren’t there to cater to us; they are there to ensure we have a safe flight.
Check carry-on restrictions
- This one is a shocker for a lot of people, but after reading Spirit Air’s carry-on policy I am incredibly thankful for Ryan Air’s policy.
- You can have one large bag with these dimensions: 55 cm x 40 cm x 20 cm (21.65 in x 15.75 in x 7.87 in) that weighs 10 kg (22 lbs)
- You can also have one small bag with these dimensions: 35 cm x 20 cm x 20 cm (13.78 in x 7.87 in x 7.87 in)
- Anything greater than these sizes and you must check them. Be sure do that ahead of time to prevent paying 50 euros + at the gate.
You will probably have to take a bus or taxi to the airport
- In Paris, Rome, and Barcelona there weren’t any metros to the budget airline airport. Make sure to check in advance and add those costs to your ticket to make sure that it’s worth it for you. EX: Flying from Paris (BVA) to Wroclaw (WRO) is much cheaper even with the 17 euro per person for the bus to BVGA compared to flying from Paris (CDG) to Wroclaw (WRO) at $150 per person. Some cities have only one airport (Wroclaw, Dublin, etc;) so just do a little bit of investigating prior to buying your ticket.
- Flights are delayed and you have to take buses to get to the tarmac where your plane is. Things happen and it will be okay if you plan accordingly.
Print your boarding pass
- Not having an EU passport means you MUST print your boarding pass. If you do not and you get there in time you will be charged a boarding pass re-issue fee of 15 euros. However, if you don’t get there in time you won’t be able to fly.
- You MUST check-in online from 2 hours to 4 days prior to your flight departure time. If you do not do this you will have to pay 45 euros as a fee.
- You must be at your gate at least 30 minutes prior to boarding. you must check in bags at least 40 minutes before boarding. I plan on being at the airport 2 hours before my flight. It sucks sitting in an airport for that long especially if the flight continues to be delayed, but for us saving money>than comfort.
Really, flying budget airlines is all about your travel style. I love the experience of flying a budget airline, because it is so different than flying in the states. If you have the money, no time, and don’t care for the experience buy the $150 flight over the $16 flight. See and experience your travels the way you want to. Check out how to find cheap airfare here.