Ryanair often gets a bad rap from passengers who have had a bad experience with the airline. While it’s true that things can go wrong from time to time, the majority of experiences with Ryanair can be pretty pleasant, especially when you think that you’re getting what you pay for. Here are ten reasons why flying Ryanair isn’t as bad as you think,
1. It’s cheap and (mostly) cheerful
Ryanair is a low-cost carrier, and some of its fares are among the cheapest you’ll see anywhere across the aviation industry. While the days of its £1 ($1.35) fare are behind it, it is still possible to fly one way for as little as £7.99 ($10.82).
While fares typically ramp up nearer the travel date, it is often possible to book flights for half that of competing “full service” carriers. This has opened the door of travel to many who may struggle to afford it otherwise.
2. You pay for what you want
Ryanair is a no-frills airline. This means that you’re not going to get some of the amenities traditionally offered out on full-service carriers (of course, these airlines have been cutting their offerings in recent years).
Not including these frills in the ticket price means that passengers wishing to use them pay extra. However, on the flip side, you can end up saving money. Don’t want a checked bag? You don’t have to pay for one in your ticket price.
3. You get what you pay for
Of course, you get what you pay for. You’re never going to receive a first class service when you spend a few pounds on your airline ticket. You get what you pay for when you fly with Ryanair, but as long as you’re willing to accept this, then the travel experience won’t be so bad.
While a more comfortable experience may be favored on longer flights, with an average block flight length of two hours and 10 minutes (according to 2022 flight schedule data from Cirium), most can put up with the service on relatively short flights.
4. They’re (almost) always an option
Most traditional carriers such as British Airways and Lufthansa will operate as hub-and-spoke airlines, meaning that all of their operations are focused on one or two major hubs. Ryanair, on the other hand, focuses on point-to-point operations. The airline has many smaller bases across Europe, serving more than 230 airports. This means that if your local airport doesn’t have a Ryanair service, one nearby likely will.
5. The legroom isn’t bad
Many will claim the legroom in Intra-European economy cabins is less than ideal. Ryanair crams 189 seats on its Boeing 737-800s, with an extra eight seats found on each of its 737 MAX jets. However, each aircraft features ample leg-room. At 6ft 3in tall, I’m well qualified to comment on a lack of legroom, and I’ve never found this to be an issue on Ryanair flights. There’s also always the option of the extra leg-room rows for those particularly concerned about this.
6. No annoying interruptions (early in the morning)
You may know Ryanair for its mid-flight announcements. At times it seems as though they’re never-ending when catering, drinks, duty-free, and scratch cards are offered up on a one-hour flight. Michael O’Leary famously once said that “We already bombard you with as many in-flight announcements and trolleys as we can. Anyone who looks like sleeping, we wake them up to sell them things.”
Things have become a little calmer on flights very early in the morning and late at night in recent years. Of course, safety-critical messages will still be played, but you’ll likely be spared scratch-cards and the on-time arrival trumpets very early and late in the day.
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7. You’ll get to your destination on time
Speaking of the notorious on-time arrival trumpets… Ryanair is keen to let you know if you arrived at your destination before the expected arrival time, and you’ll likely hear this sound on a Ryanair flight. The airline operated 837,703 flights in 2019, with 92% arriving on time. Last year, 96% of the airline’s 339,858 flights arrived on time.
8. Ryanair’s fleet is young
Ryanair operates a reasonably young fleet, and with the arrival of 210 brand new Boeing 737 MAXs, this is set to get even more youthful. The airline’s average fleet age is 9.1 years, according to Planespotters.net. Younger aircraft use less fuel and emit fewer emissions.
This is good for airlines and passengers. Airlines have lower overhead costs, meaning that ticket prices for passengers can be lower. It also means that passengers are responsible for fewer emissions. The Boeing 737 MAX is even amplifying these benefits.
9. Ryanair has a high level of safety
While you may think that a low-cost airline wouldn’t spend as much on safety, this is anything but the case for Ryanair. Like most airlines, the carrier is aware that this is one area where you can’t avoid spending money. According to the ASN Aviation Safety Database, Ryanair has never had a fatal accident or incident and only has a single hull loss on record.
10. Europe’s cleanest & greenest airline
Ryanair claims that it is Europe’s cleanest and greenest airline group. Passengers traveling with the airline can be reasonably confident that they are focused on its environmental impact. The airline allows passengers to offset their emissions.
By using newer planes with more passengers, Ryanair can cut emissions per passenger. With a high load factor, emissions get smaller by splitting it between more passengers. Additionally, using less fuel means that the number split between passengers is already smaller.
Ryanair aims to be 100% single-use plastic-free by 2025 and to use 12.5% sustainable fuel in its operations by 2030. Also, by 2030, the airline wishes to cut its per passenger per kilometer co2 emission to less than 60g, a 10% reduction.
Have you flown with Ryanair? How did you find the experience? Let us know what you think and why in the comments!