Ryanair has become notorious for offering cheap flights to travellers but charging through the nose for almost everything else, including many things that other airlines offer free of charge.
To minimise your spending once you get to the airport, here’s how to avoid some of the most popular Ryanair extra charges.
Extra Baggage/Priority Boarding Charge
From November 2018, the Ryanair baggage policy is changing. Previously passengers were able to bring one small bag into the cabin, and another larger bag to go in the hold, all free of charge.
But in order to “improve punctuality and reduce boarding gate delays” the policy is changing for the second time this year.
Here’s how the extra bag policy works.
Up to 31st October 2018:
Everyone is entitled to take on one small item of hand luggage for free. According to Ryanair, the cabin bag size is 35cm x 20cm x 20cm — which is about the same as a regular rucksack. You can bring a second large bag free-of-charge (55cm x 40cm x 20cm, maximum weight 10kg), but this will be put in the hold, meaning you’ll have to wait at the baggage carousel at the other end even if you’re only taking hand luggage.
If you exceed the Ryanair luggage dimensions, you could be charged another £50 at the gate.
If you purchase a “Priority & 2 cabin bags” or a “Plus/Flexi” ticket, you can take two bags onboard with you as usual. These tickets cost £5 if purchased at the same time as your flight, or £6 via the Ryanair app on the day of your flight. However, be aware that Ryanair’s terms and conditions state: “Passengers who have purchased Priority Boarding will not be asked to place their cabin bag in the aircraft hold, unless necessary due to operational reasons.” So although it’s unlikely, you could be asked to place your bag in the hold anyway.
From 1st November 2018:
You will be able to take one “small personal bag” into the cabin, as long as it fits under the seat in front. Ryanair defines a small personal bag as 40cm x 20cm x 25cm — slightly larger than the current definition.
If you pay for priority booking (£6 at the time of your booking or £8 as an add-on), you’re also permitted to bring an additional 10kg bag (55cm x 40cm x 20cm) into the cabin for no extra cost. However, be aware that priority booking is capped at 95 out of 189 passengers per flight for space reasons.
The alternative is to pay £8 at the time of booking or £10 after booking to have this extra 10kg bag checked in to the hold.
Larger checked-in luggage will still cost £25 per bag.
There are a few exceptions to the policy, both before and after 1st November. These include:
- Duty Free purchases, which can be brought into the cabin along with your hand luggage.
- A baby changing bag up to 5kg.
- Medical items, providing you’ve contacted Ryanair’s special assistance line in advance.
- If you have reduced mobility and have pre-booked airport special assistance, you will be able to carry both pieces of your cabin baggage into the cabin with you.
If you’re concerned about bags which adhere to Ryanair’s new policy, take a look at our four favourite Ryanair
How to Avoid the Extra Bag Charges:
Make sure everything you’ll need in the air will fit into a bag sized 35cm x 20cm x 20cm, opt not to bring a second bag if possible and make Ryanair aware in advance if you need special assistance/medical equipment.
Instead, the check-in time has gone down to between 48 hours and 2 hours before departure.
If you don’t check in within this reduced window, you’ll be charged £55 per person! And Ryanair don’t allow you to check-in at the airport normally, so if you happen to forget to check in before you arrive, expect to pay an extra £220 for a family of four!
Of course, you can purchase one of Ryanair’s infamous add-ons to avoid this. A seat reservation will set you back between £4 and £15 and will allow you to check-in up to 60 days before departure.
A Ryanair spokesperson said: “This is more than double the 24-hour check-in period operated by British Airways, Lufthansa, Norwegian and Iberia. This will give reserve seat customers more time to select their preferred seats prior to departure.”
What they don’t mention is that all of those airlines enable you to check in when you get to the airport for free.
How to Avoid to the Check-In Charge
Set a reminder in your calendar or phone for two days before your flight and make sure you check-in there and then.
Boarding Card Re-Issue Fee
If you opt to print out your boarding card and then forget it, the page is damaged, the print-out is of poor quality, or part of the page is missing (including the advert), you’ll be forced to pay a £20 boarding card re-issue fee.
How to Avoid to the Re-Issue Fee
The easiest way is to check-in using the Ryanair app.
Name Change Fee
If you spell your name in any way other than how it appears on your passport, or if you want to transfer the ticket over to someone else, you’re looking at paying Ryanair’s most expensive charge by far.
If you realise before getting to the airport, you can make the change online for £110. But if you get all the way to the airport and then have to change a name, you’re looking at a whopping £160!
How to Avoid to the Name Change Fee
Check and double check everything before you make your Ryanair booking. If you do need to change it later, it might even be cheaper to book an entirely new flight.
Allocated Seating Charges
There are three different fees depending on what kind of seat you want:
- Standard Seats from £4.00
- Front Seats from £13.01
- Extra Legroom Seats from £15.00
If you’re happy to sit anywhere, you can check-in as normal and a seat will be selected for you. However, if you want to guarantee you’re sat with whoever you’re travelling with, you’ll have to pay £4 per person to do this.
Parents flying with children under 12 are required to pay for allocated seating.
How to Avoid Allocated Seating Charges
If you don’t mind being separated from your group, you can be randomly allocated a seat but will most likely be sat with strangers.
Fees For Children
If you’re travelling with a child that’s less than 2-years-old, they are permitted to sit on your lap for the flight and you’ll be provided with an infant seat belt. This will cost you £25.
However, if your child turns 2 while you’re away, they’ll be subject to the usual adult fare, taxes, fees and charges for the return flight.
You are able to bring two items of baby equipment for each child free of charge. This includes one pushchair and a car seat, booster seat or travel cot.
Any further pieces of infant equipment will cost you £15 per item.
How to Avoid Fees for Children & Equipment
Try to avoid going away during your child’s second birthday and ensure you only need to bring a pushchair and a seat or cot aboard.