Like all budget airlines, Ryanair keeps costs down by charging you for extra services. But no airline piles on the extras like Ryanair. Here's a breakdown of all the extra fees to look out for as well as some comparisons to another budget airline, easyJet.
01 of 09
Ryanair's 'Boarding Pass Reprint' Fee
If The Ryanair fee that the most people fall foul of. Everyone who flies with Ryanair has to check in online. That's right: everyone. You. Must. Check. In. Online. Lots of people forget and are forced to pay a 'boarding pass reprint fee'. Oh yeah, did I tell you? Check in online!
Even if you have printed your boarding card, you may still be fined. Reasons I have heard of include:
- Print-out is of bad quality
- Page is damaged
- Part of the page is missing. You must print everything, including the advertisement.
Note that Ryanair has started putting an advertisement pop-up over your ticket when you first view it online. You must exit this before you print.
- How Much You Could Be Charged: 45€ per person if you forgot to check-in online, 15€ if you did but forgot your print-out.
- easyJet Equivalent Fee: No equivalent. See more: Ryanair v easyJet
- How to Avoid This Ryanair Charge: Did I forget to say? Check in online! And use the Ryanair app to check in, then there's no need to... remember your print-out.
02 of 09
Ryanair's Name Change Fee
Ryanair's highest fee, so worth drawing a lot of attention to. If you misspell your name by one letter, or even if you write 'Rob' when your passport says 'Robert', you'll be charged when you reach the airport.
- How Much You Could Pay: 160€ per person if paying at the airport. If you notice before you get to the airport that your name is entered wrong, the charge is 'only' 110€. It's possible that if you notice a mistake before you travel and call, they will change the name free of charge. Be sure to check your information carefully and call if you notice a mistake.
- easyJet Equivalent Fee: 42€ online, 48€ at airport.
- How to Avoid This Ryanair Charge: Type carefully! If you make a mistake, consider rebooking.
03 of 09
Ryanair's Excess Luggage Fee
All airlines charge for excess luggage, but Ryanair has the lowest baggage allowance in Europe (15kg) and the highest excess luggage fee too. They will allow 20kg bags for an extra fee, and you can take a second small bag for free on the plane. Be sure to check for changes to this policy on their website.
- How Much You Could Pay: 20€ per kilo. This means that a 23kg bag that British Airways would allow will cost you 160€ to check in, and a 20kg case that easyJet would allow will cost you 100€.
- easyJet Equivalent Fee: easyJet has no maximum weight for hand baggage. Their excess weight is 12€ per kilo, or 21€ per 3kg when booked online.
- How to Avoid This Ryanair Charge: Don't assume that the amount of luggage you normally travel with will be under Ryanair's stingy limit. Weigh your bag before you leave.
04 of 09
Ryanair's Unusual Hand Luggage Dimensions and Extra Fees
Ryanair is almost unique in allowing hand baggage of just 55cmx40cmx20cm (the vast majority of airlines allow 56cmx45cmx25cm). So if you take your usual hand luggage bag, Ryanair may force you to check it into the hold.
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- How Much You Could Pay: 100€. If you've already reached your checked baggage allowance of 15kg and are forced to check in your 10kg hand luggage, you'll have to pay 200€ to do so (20€ per kg).
- easyJet Equivalent fee: No equivalent. easyJet's baggage dimensions are the industry standard and they have no weight limit for checked luggage.
- How to Avoid This Ryanair Charge: Measure your bag before you leave. But be aware that even if your bag does fit the metal frame, they may still charge you. See the surprising pictures: How Strict is the Ryanair Baggage Allowance?
05 of 09
Ryanair's THIRTY SIX Checked Luggage Fees
At the time of writing, Ryanair has 36 checked baggage fees (you can see them all here: Official Ryanair Charges Table).
- How Much You Could Pay: From 15€ to 150€, depending on too many factors to mention.
- easyJet Equivalent Fee: Normally 14€. You can pay more for extra weight, but not for extra bags. The standard checked allowance is 20kg.
- How to Avoid This Ryanair Charge: Try to travel hand luggage only.
06 of 09
Ryanair's Priority Boarding Fee
"Would you like to be one of the first passengers to board to the aircraft?" Ryanair asks when you book your flight. Unfortunately, Ryanair does not actually always offer this service, even when you've paid for it. Find out in what circumstances Ryanair fails to provide this service here: Ryanair's Priority Boarding Fee.
In an email to me, Ryanair's head of communications, Stephen McNamara, described this breach of contract as 'a trivial, non-issue'.
- How Much You Could Pay: Just 5€ per person. But it's the principle, right?
- easyJet Equivalent Fee: Varies. But this is one example where easyJet charges a lot more than Ryanair. At least easyJet's priority boarding works.
- How to Avoid This Ryanair Charge: Don't select it! When paying for your baggage, make sure you select 'no' when asked if you want this service.
07 of 09
Ryanair's Travel Insurance
Ryanair's travel insurance is a lot more expensive than that offered by most insurance companies, while its cover is considerably less comprehensive. Which?, a British consumer rights publication and website, has a page on suggested minimum travel insurance requirements. Ryanair's insurance falls well short of this. For example, Ryanair's policy only offers 50,000€ of medical cover; Which? recommends a minimum of two million pounds.
- How Much You Could Pay: 15.50€ per person.
- easyJet Equivalent Fee: Yes, they have their own travel insurance. No, you shouldn't buy it. So it doesn't matter how much it costs, does it?
- How to Avoid This Ryanair Charge: Ryanair no longer adds insurance as standard, as it used to. This is a very welcome improvement.
08 of 09
Ryanair's Flight Change Fee
Ryanair's baggage drop desks are known for their long lines. In an extreme case, Ryanair opened just 11 check-in desks for 255 flights. If you don't check in in time, you'll be denied boarding.
If you are a non-EU citizen, you also need your boarding card stamped by the Ryanair Visa/Document Check Desk.
If you are a UK citizen and you don't have a passport, you can't fly with Ryanair, even within the UK.
These aren't legal requirements, just hoops Ryanair requires you to jump through. If you don't, you may be denied boarding. More: Denied Boarding by Ryanar - the Reasons
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- How Much You Could Pay: If you can't board, you'll pay a 75€ to 90€ flight change fee and price difference.
- easyJet Equivalent Fee: 48€ and the difference, but the chances of this happening to you with easyJet is much lower.
- How to Avoid This Ryanair Charge: Arrive early.
09 of 09
Ryanair's Expensive In-Flight Food and Drink
A recent study found that Ryanair charges most for snacks out of all British and Irish airlines. Can you last a five-hour flight from Edinburgh to Tenerife without refreshments?
- How Much You Could Pay: A bottle of water costs 2.99€ (more than a sweet J20 juice drink).
- easyJet Equivalent Fee: All air food is expensive, but easyJet's costs less than Ryanair, with water at a fair price.
- How to Avoid This Ryanair Charge: Liquids bought past passport control can be taken on board (as long as are in your single piece of hand luggage). Food can normally be brought through passport control, but check current restrictions (health scares can periodically prevent you from carrying certain foodstuffs abroad). If in doubt, buy at the airport. Yes, it's expensive, but it's cheaper than Ryanair.