This Ryanair review will cover everything you need to know before booking with Europe’s largest low-cost carrier. Ryanair is known for having some of the cheapest airfares around, but also plenty of additional fees and a no-frills flying experience. We’ll examine Ryanair’s pros and cons, routes, fleet, pricing, and what passengers and employees have to say. By the end, you’ll know whether booking that rock-bottom Ryanair fare is worth it for your next trip.
Ryanair is known for ultra low fares but also extra fees and uncomfortable cabins. However, recent improvements to their fleet and customer service are making Ryanair a more appealing option for budget travelers. Read on to see if booking with Ryanair is the right choice for your next trip.
Ryanair Review – Introduction
Ryanair is an Irish low-cost carrier and one of the world’s largest and most popular budget airlines. Founded in 1984, Ryanair pioneered the ultra-low cost carrier model in Europe with a focus on minimising operating expenses and passing savings on to customers through very cheap fares. While Ryanair flies shorter routes between secondary and regional airports, it has an extensive network covering over 200 destinations in Europe and North Africa.
Direct flights from London
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|Tickets from GBP 391
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|Tickets from GBP 48
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|Tickets from GBP 95
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When was Ryanair founded?
Ryanair was founded in 1984 by the Ryan family as a small regional airline operating a short hop between Waterford and London.
Top benefits of Ryanair
- Ultra low fares, especially when booking early
- Extensive route network across Europe
- Secondary and regional airports provide proximity to many destinations
- Newer fleet improves comfort and efficiency
- High growth with new routes added frequently
Current Ryanair Aircraft Fleet
The Ryanair fleet is made up entirely of Boeing 737 models. It currently operates over 450 Boeing 737-800s and has 133 of the new fuel-efficient Boeing 737 MAX 8/9 on order.
Best Features of Ryanair
While Ryanair puts simplicity and low costs first, flying with them does come with some advantages:
- High Frequency of Flights – Ryanair often operates multiple flights per day on busy routes, giving customers more scheduling flexibility. Frequent flights also reduces delays if any single flight encounters issues.
- Fast Turnarounds – Ryanair prides itself on quick 25-minute turns. This keeps costs down but also gets you to your destination reliably and punctually. Delays are minimized compared to airlines with longer turnaround times.
- Low Fares – Ryanair’s fares are simply unbeatable most of the time. The carrier’s focus on keeping costs down means customers benefit with crazy cheap deals, especially when booking months in advance. Just be aware of all the extra fees that may apply.
Ryanair offers base fares for as little as €10-15 on short routes, but additional fees for checked bags, seat assignments, priority boarding, food, and other extras can quickly increase total ticket cost. Be sure to factor these in when comparing Ryanair pricing to other airlines.
Ryanair Pros and Cons
Flying with the largest low-cost carrier in Europe comes with tradeoffs. Let’s examine the key pros and cons of Ryanair objectively.
- Ridiculously cheap base fares when booked early
- Extensive route network connects most of Europe
- High flight frequency on popular routes
- Efficient operations mean reliable on-time performance
- New Boeing 737 fleet improves comfort
- Potentially high fees that increase total ticket cost
- Shorter routes between secondary airports
- Older fleet had cramped legroom and uncomfortable seats
- Poor customer service historically
- Lots of pressure from staff to upgrade and spend onboard
While base fares are ultra low, the airline’s panache for upselling can frustrate some customers. However, Ryanair’s extensive network and more comfortable planes make it a decent budget option.
Ryanair Passenger Reviews
I’ve flown Ryanair over a dozen times in the past few years. While I used to dread boarding their cramped old 737s, the new planes are a huge improvement with modern seats and plenty of legroom. The staff even seems friendlier compared to the horror stories of old. Yes, you still have to pay for every little thing if you don’t prepare in advance. But with tickets often under €40, it’s easy to justify paying extra for seat selection and a checked bag. As long as you know what to expect, Ryanair gets you there affordably and on-time.
Ryanair Employee Reviews
Current and past Ryanair employees note the fast-paced work environment on board and behind the scenes. Flight attendants in particular have to be efficient in serving passengers while selling upgrades and duty-free items. The airline has made efforts recently to improve training and company culture. Pay also increased substantially in 2021 with several new benefit offerings that were welcomed. Overall, employees seem to recognize that working for an ultra low-cost carrier will be high-stress, but say Ryanair is fair and provides opportunities to advance internally.
Conclusion: Should You Book With Ryanair?
For budget-conscious travelers who just need to get from point A to point B cheaply in Europe, Ryanair is a decent option. The crazy low base fares make it affordable to take more trips on a limited budget. Just be ready for fees if you don’t travel light or prepare in advance. With Ryanair rapidly improving its fleet and service, flying with the mega low-cost carrier is not as bad as its reputation once suggested.