Ryanair has been in business since 1985 and has steadily grown to the point where it currently carries over 73 million passengers annually. This low-cost, no frills carrier is famous for its cheeky advertising and a la carte pricing model whereby extras such as baggage, food, and priority boarding incur additional fees on top of Ryanair’s bargain-basement airfares. Among its accolades, Ryanair regularly wins awards for on-time performance, and claims to be “The World’s Favourite Airline.” The airline is unusual among its competitor airlines for its steadfast stance against charging fuel surcharges and refusal to join alliances or enter codeshare agreements with other airlines, which it claims would add costs to the business. Ryanair is a point-to-point airline and therefore does not offer connecting flights with baggage checked through to the final destination. Ryanair primarily serves Britain and continental Europe, with plans to launch transatlantic service in the near future. Their planes are recognizable by their white fuselage with blue and yellow accents.
Ryanair has transitioned to a single check-in method. All Ryanair passengers are expected to check-in online at least four hours prior to their flight’s departure, although online check-in is available starting 15 days in advance. You will need to print your boarding pass once you have checked-in for your Ryanair flights. Keep it in a safe place as there are hefty fees (up to £40) for having it reissued at the airport. When you arrive at the airport, deposit any checked baggage at the Ryanair Bag Drop desk no later than 40 minutes prior to your flight. Aside from a small number of seats that can be reserved at extra cost on select flights, there are no seat assignments on Ryanair flights. Passengers queue at the gate and board the plane on a first-come-first-served basis, with the first to board having the best choice of seats. So it pays to arrive early, especially for longer flights. If standing in line is not worth your time, you can buy Priority Boarding when you book your airline tickets, which entitles you to be among the first passengers to board the flight.
Checked Luggage Restrictions for Ryanair Ryanair charges for all checked baggage on its flights, and each passenger can have up to two checked bags. Checked baggage costs are outlined in the table of fees on the Ryanair website. Each bag can weigh up to 20 kg during off-peak periods, and 15 kg during peak periods. Full details on Ryanair’s checked baggage policies and restrictions can be found on the airline’s website.
Travellers are permitted only one carry-on item on Ryanair flights, including personal items such as purses, cameras and laptops. Cabin baggage can weigh up to 10 kg with maximum dimensions of 55 cm x 40 cm x 20 cm. Items exceeding these limits will be refused at the gate and travellers are given the option of checking them for an extra fee. You can check at the Bag Drop desk prior to going through security if you are unsure about the items you wish to carry on board. Detailed information about cabin baggage on Ryanair is available on the airline’s website.
Sports equipment, musical instruments, and infant equipment such as car seats and playpens can be transported as checked baggage on Ryanair flights. There are fees for each type of item which range from £10-£50 per item per flight. Each type of item also has its own weight limits which are described in detail on the Ryanair website. One stroller per child is permitted free of charge.
There are three seats on each side of the aircraft separated by a single aisle down the length of the plane. The seat pitch is 30” on Ryanair flights. Aside from a new Reserved Seating service being tested on select routes, there are no reserved or assigned seats on Ryanair flights, meaning that you choose your seat from those available when you board the plane. You can pay extra for Priority Boarding which ensures that you are among the first to board and choose a seat. There is a range of special assistance services available to travellers with disabilities who notify the airline at least seven days in advance of their requirements.
Don’t forget Fluffy! Unfortunately, animals are not permitted on Ryanair flights except for seeing-eye dogs accompanying a visually-impaired passenger. Such service animals travel in the cabin of the plane at the passenger’s feet.
A variety of snacks, sandwiches, and beverages are available for purchase on board Ryanair flights. The current menu is listed inside Ryanair’s in-flight magazine and includes wines, beers, and spirits; hot and cold beverages; hot sandwiches; and snack items such as crackers, granola bars, and candies. You can also bring your own food onto the plane, however beverages are not permitted onboard with the exception of those purchased in flight. Ryanair does not provide in-flight entertainment, however you can use electronic devices on board flights once cruising altitude has been reached. Acceptable devices include laptop computers, digital MP3 players and iPods, portable DVD players, and ebook readers. And there’s nothing stopping you from packing a good, old-fashioned book to enjoy during the journey.
Ryanair’s fleet is made up entirely of over 200 Boeing 737-800 airplanes that are configured for a single class of service with 33 rows of seats and a capacity of 189 passengers.
As a no-frills airline focused on keeping flights cheap, Ryanair does not operate any airport lounges. However, private lounges are available at many of the airports that Ryanair flies from, like the No. 1 Traveller lounge at London’s Stansted airport, and include amenities such as complimentary Wi-Fi, food and drinks, a business centre, televisions, and other entertainment options.