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Ryanair Charges

Top Ten Ryanair Charges and How to Avoid Them


Like all budget airlines, Ryanair keeps costs down by charging you for extra services. But no airline piles on the extras like Ryanair.

How does Ryanair compare to easyJet? Throughout this article, I have added the easyJet equivalents so you can see for yourself the difference between the two airlines.

See also:

1. Ryanair's 'Boarding Pass Reprint' Fee

Madrid Airport Crippled By Sudden Strike
Jasper Juinen/Getty Images News/Getty Images

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
60€ per person (from 2012).

easyJet equivalent fee No equivalent. See more: Ryanair v easyJet

How to Avoid This Ryanair Charge
Did I forget to say? Check in online!

Ryanair's spokesman, Stephen McNamara, tried to justify this fee to me. You can read his defense here: Ryanair's Boarding Card Reprint Fee.

2. 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€.

easyJet equivalent fee 42€ online, 48€ at airport. See more: Ryanair v easyJet

How to Avoid This Ryanair Charge
Type carefully! If you make a mistake, consider rebooking.

Update Thanks to Olivia, a reader who told me that, after reading this article, she noticed she had made this mistake and called up Ryanair, who agreed to change the names free of change. But make sure you call before you check in.

3. 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.

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. See more: Ryanair v easyJet

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. Update Ryanair now allows 20kg bags for an extra fee.

4. Ryanair's Unusual Hand Luggage Dimensions and Extra Fees

Ryanair is almost unique in allowing hand baggage of just 55cmx40cmx20cm (the vast majorit of airlines allow 56cmx45cmx25cm). So if you take your usual hand luggage bag, Ryanair may force you to check it into the hold.

Furthermore, at many airports, if you buy from the airport shops before boarding, Ryanair will charge you if it doesn't fit in your single piece of hand luggage.

How Much You Could Pay

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. See more: Ryanair v easyJet

How to Avoid This Ryanair Charge

Measure your bag before you leave and make sure there's enough space for duty-free. 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? Consider buying one of these bags: Ryanair Hand Luggage 

5. 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. See more: Ryanair v easyJet

How to Avoid This Ryanair Charge

Try to travel hand luggage only.

6. Ryanair's Credit/Debit Card Fee

Many budget airlines charge for the use of a credit card, but only Ryanair charges per person, per flight.

How Much You Could Pay
Ryanair's credit card fee is 5€ per person per flight. This means a family-of-six on a return flight will pay a collosal 60€ just in credit card fees.

How to Avoid This Ryanair Charge
The only way to avoid this is to obtain a Ryanair-branded Prepaid Mastercard (a new policy as of November 2011). Visa Electron Cards used to get around this fee, until Ryanair changed to Prepaid Mastercards in late 2009 and then to their own card in 2011. How long will the latest measure last?

7. 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. See more: Ryanair v easyJet

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.

8. 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? See more: Ryanair v easyJet

How to Avoid This Ryanair Charge
When asked during the booking process, make sure you select 'no'. But remember to book your travel insurance elsewhere.

9. 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

How Much You Could Pay
If you can't board, you'll pay a 55€ 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. See more: Ryanair v easyJet

How to Avoid This Ryanair Charge
Arrive early.

10. Ryanair's Expensive In-Flight Food & 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 2.70€ (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. Interesting, the currency conversion on easyJet flights between British pounds and euros is way off - if you have pounds left, bring them on your plane. See more: Ryanair v easyJet

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 - see above). 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.

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