For a long time, I refused to fly on low cost airlines like Ryanair because of their hidden, super expensive fees. If you end up having to check a bag at the airport or you don’t bring your boarding pass ahead of time, you could be paying twice the cost of your ticket. For a boarding pass.
Last year, I started to come around because it’s so cheap and so easy to get from one place to the other. I mean, sure, you can wait for a real airline to have a deal and maybe fly somewhere for $150-200. Or you can travel for $20-30 and in exchange all you have to do is fly like you’re homeless.
Boarding a Ryanair flight is always a nightmare because the gate agents are like the gestapo, making everyone test bags in the sizers as they board, even pulling them out of the boarding line. This seems like a waste of time, because all the luggage would fit since people save money by not paying for carry-on luggage.
The rules on Ryanair change all the time, so what was allowed a month ago now suddenly incurs a charge. For instance, a recent change, which made the free carry-on size the shape of a handbag, forces everyone to fly “priority” so they can at least bring a change of underwear. And it’s a ridiculous thing to have the priority line be everyone, but that’s what the Ryanair boarding looks like now. I assume that the people in “the other Q” just get sent to the wood chipper and made into whatever they serve on board for 5 euro.
But despite all that, at the end of the day, Ryanair is not that bad. Priority is only like $10 each way, so it’s not like this is a huge cost, as long as you have the foresight to book it in advance. Downloading the Ryanair app and getting your boarding pass on your phone saves time and paper. And ultimately, it gets you where you need to go… assuming your flight doesn’t get cancelled without warning.
When you think about it, the last minute cancellations aren’t even the worst case scenario. If your flight is scrapped at the last minute, Ryanair will either rebook you on the next available flight or refund you, and if you’re delayed over 3 hours in arriving at your scheduled destination, you’re eligible under EU rules to get up to 600 euro in compensation. For an investment of $40 on a ticket and three hours of your time, a 600 euro return is actually pretty stellar. The worst case scenario would probably be disappearing into the Indian Ocean, and they haven’t done that yet.
I would venture to say that the absolute worst thing about Ryanair is the other passengers. The flights are cheap, so they’re constantly packed. And for whatever reason, people who fly Ryanair are the worst bunch of savages.
Ryanair passengers are those people who get in line to board an hour before takeoff when the inbound plane hasn’t even landed. They will have three people shuffling around so they can sit next to their friend for a flight that lasts an hour and five minutes. They’re loud and disorganized, and they’ll throw a rollerboard full of bricks on your laptop in the overhead bin without giving a fuck. They’re the kind of people who will play wrestle with each other inside a packed airside transfer bus, because they have no idea how to behave in public.
As long as you adjust your expectations and you’re prepared for that clusterfuck, traveling on Ryanair isn’t so bad.