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It’s no secret that Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary isn’t a very likeable person which is mostly linked to how he operates his commercial aviation business. We know that he is “somewhat comfortable to be hated” and that he is ok with it.
Ryanair is indeed a very different beast compared to its rivals, they still manage to consistently make headlines given their questionable business practices and scandals. It wasn’t that long ago we were hearing about their pilots threatening to go on a strike unless their demands were met, how did Michael O’Leary respond to that? He recorded a video message in which he said their jobs were at risk!
Back to the subject, so if you decide to fly with Ryanair, how can you protect yourself from getting screwed should they decide to “mess up their pilot roster” again? Below are NINE KEY ways to protect yourself when flying with Ryanair:
By this, I mean “check-in online.” Use their app and get a mobile boarding pass, also print one out, it doesn’t mean you are old school, it just means that you’re clever with a backup plan in case your mobile battery dies on you, so without a printed boarding pass you’ll be forced to pay a “boarding pass reprint fee €60”.
Make sure that boarding pass print-out is good quality and not damaged, or they’ll charge to print a new one.
“We think they should pay €60 for being so stupid.” — Michael O’Leary
This statement above was made by the man (Michael O’Leary) himself about the passengers with no boarding pass.
#2. LUGGAGE WEIGHT
Although not as miserable and penny-pinching as they once were but still pretty close, Ryanair has the least baggage allowance in entire Europe.
- For Non-Priority Passengers:
Non-priority customers can only bring one small bag.
40cm x 20cm x 25cm OR 15” x 7” x 9” Inches
With these dimensions, it will fit into the sizer. However, if non-priority customers want to bring a second bigger bag, they have to pay and it must not exceed “10kg check-in bag” for at the time of booking online.
However, if your bag is overweight chances are you might get stopped by their staff (or you might get lucky), if you get stopped, they’ll charge you a “€50 Excess weight fee” on top of that you have to wait at baggage claim. Double whammy.
- For Priority Passengers:
Only priority boarding passengers will be permitted to take one small bag.
40cm x 20cm x 25cm OR 15” x 7” x 9” Inches
Plus a larger cabin bag.
55cm x 40cm x 20cm OR 21” x 15” x 7” Inches
With a maximum weight allowance of “10kg” into the cabin “free of charge.”
When it comes to a baggage overweight, same goes for the priority if your bag is overweight chances are you might get stopped by their staff (or you might get lucky), if you get stopped, they’ll charge you a “€50 Excess weight fee” and you’ll have to wait at baggage claim.
#3. PAY IN ADVANCE
As in, pay in advance for everything possible. Otherwise, if it’s a “busy” season, such as “Christmas, Valentines, Paddy’s Day, Easter, or Summer,” you will be subject to prices that are higher than usual when you get to the airport, and there is not much you can do except just pay it, so be clever and “pay in advance” where possible.
#4. TRAVEL INSURANCE
People with travel insurance may not think much about it and when they do, they believe they’re covered regardless, but what most people fail to realise is that many policies only cover very “specific reasons for cancellation.” Therefore you must ensure that your policy specifically states that “you’re covered when an airline cancels your flight for causes that are beyond your control”.
#5. WRONG NAME
If by chance you were distracted when making your booking and ended up spelling your name wrong (you’ll be surprised by how often this happens) Ryaair will punish you for it by charging anywhere from “€110 all the way up to 160 euro” to change it. In certain situations, it may be cheaper for you to purchase a new ticket, rather than paying for a name change.
#6. BE EARLY
Have you ever heard of the phrase “fashionably late?” Yes, leave that fashion statement back home and come early to the airport instead, why? Ryanair queues are always lengthy and treacherous, and “non-EU members need to get their boarding pass stamped by the official Ryanair Visa check desk,” yes real pain in the backside.
#7. DRINKS & SNACKS
That is unless you want to pay more for small Pringles, M&M’s and a bottle of water than you might have paid for your ticket. Ryanair charges more than all other budget airlines for such luxuries, with a “bottle of water costing €3” the last time I flew with them just 3 weeks ago. So “grab your bottle of water for a €1 at the airport” after you pass the security protocol checks to prevent yourself from dealing with the misery of being parched or sorely ripped off.
“If drink sales are falling off, we get the pilots to engineer a bit of turbulence. That usually spikes sales.” — Michael O’Leary
#8. YOUR RIGHTS
If your flight is “cancelled or delayed by 3 or more hours EU law states that you can claim up to 600€ per passenger as compensation,” don’t be afraid to ask for meal and drink vouchers. Don’t let anyone jerk you around. Trust me I know, “I’ve claimed a little over €8,600 Euros in total in my lifetime of flying due to the delayed flights, cancellations, and being moved to different seats” so I know what I am talking about, and that includes other airlines beside just Ryanair such as Aer Lingus, British Airways, KLM and Air France.
And that’s all from me. Don’t forget, “if you do it right, Ryanair can be your best friend” when it comes to getting the best bang for your buck or euro I must say.
#Credits: (Outbound Links)
- How Much Can I Claim in Compensation for my Delayed Flight?
- Ryanair Magazine & Menu
- Ryanair Baggage Allowance