- Home base: Dublin, Ireland - Dublin Airport (DUB)
- Year established: 1985
- Major hubs: Frankfurt, Germany - Frankfurt-Hahn Airport (HHN), Girona, Spain - Costa Brava (GRO), Liverpool, United Kingdom - Liverpool John Lennon (LPL), London, United Kingdom - Stansted (STN)
- Cities served: 145
- Routes offered: 4116
- Website: ryanair.com
About this airline
The big daddy of them all, Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair maintains the most awe-inspiring route map and tends to add new destinations (and cancel unprofitable routes) at blistering, breakneck speed. Founded in 1985, Ryanair was Europe's original low fares airline and is still Europe's largest low fares carrier. At current count, Ryanair operates well over 1000 routes, from Kerry to Kos; Tampere to Tenerife.
It's easy to have lots of opinions about Ryanair; we certainly do. It's a big monster of an airline. We've been pleased as punch on Ryanair, psyched to take advantage of insanely cheap fares, and we've also been annoyed beyond belief with the airline, distressed by enormous surcharges on too-heavy luggage and staff who appear to be completely clueless.
With Ryanair more than with the other airlines we describe here, it pays to be informed about potential penalties and pitfalls.
Massive number of destinations. Really cheap fares.
Numerous extra charges when booking. Customer care isn't a priority. Food prices on board very steep.
• Carry-on: One piece of luggage not to exceed 10 kg. If you attempt to bring a carry-on bag that is larger, it will either be refused or placed in the hold for a €60 fee.
• Checked: Up to 2 bags, each weighing up to 15 kg or 20 kg, depending on the baggage allowance you purchase. If booked online using Ryanair, the first bag costs €15 - €35 for 15 kg allowance and €25 - €45 for a 20 kg allowance. The second bag is limited to 15 kg and costs between €40 and €60 if purchased online.
This is where it’s imperative to plan ahead with Ryanair, because if you’re caught having to buy your checked bags at the airport, you’re going to get slammed with massive fees: €60 to €140 for the first bag and €105 to €160 for the second bag! And if you go over your weight limit, it’s €20 per extra kilo.
* Please visit Ryanair’s website for more information on its baggage policy.
Since Ryanair is free for all when it comes to landing seats, it can sometimes be worth it to pay the €7 online (€10 at the airport) for priority boarding, or purchase a reserved seat (€10 online, €15 at the airport).
Check-in and Ticketing
Online check-in is mandatory for all passengers and is available from 15 days to 4 hours before departure. The boarding pass can be printed until 40 minutes before departure (though we wouldn’t recommend cutting it this close). If you lose your pass then you will have to pay a fee to have a new one reissued. Bag drop closes 40 minutes before departure, so make sure to have your bags in on time.
Book online whenever possible because fees are significantly reduced. Also familiarize yourself with Ryanair's table of fees.