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    Ryanair

    Bargain basement prices and an impressive network of European airports have cemented Ryanair’s position as one of the most popular low-cost airlines around. The Irish airline has come a long way from its humble beginnings, flying commuters between Waterford and London, thanks to the business savvy of CEO Michael O’Leary.

    Ryanair is famous for its “no frills” service, with plenty of optional extras available to those who are willing to pay for them. 

    Why fly with Ryanair

    How to Check-in

    Online check in only. When you book your flight, you will receive an email with a ‘Manage My Booking’ link. Follow this to check in; from 15 days before departure if you’re feeling organised, or up to four hours before the flight if not. Checking in costs £7 for online bookings and £14 for bookings made at the airport or via their call centre. Print out your own boarding card before arriving at the airport, or you will be charged £70 for a re-issue. If you’ve paid for hold baggage, check in online as normal and drop your luggage at the manned bag-drop desk in the airport. These desks will be open from two hours before the flight up until 40 minute before departure.

    Baggage Allowances and Fees

    Each passenger is allowed one item of hand luggage weighing up to 10kg, with maximum dimensions of 55cm x 40cm x 20cm. This ruling is strict: if you buy some duty free while you’re waiting, this will need to fit inside your hand baggage. Bags are measured and weighed before boarding the plane. Checked baggage has to be paid for. Baggage fees vary depending on season and route. As a general guideline, a 15kg bag in the high season costs £25, while a 20kg bag costs £35. Bags purchased for flights to the Canary Islands and flights to Greece are £10 more expensive. Each person can check in up to two bags, and can choose whether the first should weigh 15kg or 20kg during booking. Second bags of 15kg can be booked in up to four hours before the flight departs via the ‘Manage My Booking’ portal, at a cost of £50 during the high season. If you wait until you arrive at the airport, this will cost £135.

    Seating

    Legroom is a fairly standard 30” but you get more space in the emergency rows 1, 16, and 17. Ryanair recently launched a reserved seating programme, so you can prebook these seats at a cost of £10 per person. You can also book seats in rows 2, 5, 15, 32, and 33, for the same price. For £7 you can purchase priority boarding, giving you first pick of the unreserved seats. Small children will always be sat beside their parents, but otherwise it’s every man and woman for themselves. As for comfort, none of the seats recline. Ryanair seats are the narrowest of all airlines, giving passengers a meagre 16”of seat space. But for the price, you can’t complain.

    Booking Fees

    If you pay for your flights with a credit card you’ll be charged 2% of the total transaction as a card handling fee. This applies to both online and offline bookings. With Ryanair, it’s always cheaper to book your flights online. Bookings made at the airport or via a call centre are subject to a £20 booking fee. If you’re booking online, there’s a much lower admin fee of £7 per passenger each way (£14 per return).

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