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Ryanair Myths

Many People Have Got Ryanair Wrong - On Both Sides of the 'Divide'


There are many myths about Ryanair. Misunderstandings about how much they charge, where they fly to, who they benefit and what's really the worst thing about them. Read on to find out why so many people, including respected journalists, have Ryanair so wrong.

See also: Why Hate Ryanair What the BBC documentary forgot to tell you.

Myth 1: Ryanair is always the cheapest airline, despite the extra charges

Ryanair are often the cheapest airline, but not always. And their record of cheap fares gets worse if you want to check in any luggage.

Need evidence? See all of Ryanair's flights to Spain compared with their nearest rivals: Ryanair Alternatives or see a detailed Ryanair v easyJet Price Comparison.

Myth 2: The worst thing about Ryanair is their customer service

Many travel journalists, used to being pampered on all-expenses-paid press trips, bemoan Ryanair for their poor customer service. They miss the point that most Ryanair travelers are looking for cheapest fare and don't mind being treated badly for a couple of hours if it means they can get to their destination cheaper.

More: Why Many Travel Journalists are Wrong About Ryanair

Myth 3: Ryanair flies to Three Barcelona Airports

The majority of Ryanair's flights to Catalonia, the region where Barcelona is found, are to Girona and Reus, two airports 100km from Barcelona. Ryanair is the only airline in Europe to call Girona airport 'Girona (Barcelona)' and neglects to mention the distance between the two cities on their website. Ryanair recently started flying to the main Barcelona airport, but has few flights there.

See also: Ryanair's Flights to 'Barcelona' | Why Ryanair Calls Girona and Reus 'Barcelona' - Ryanair Responds!

Myth 4: Ryanair are great because I got a 10€ flight; only the stupid pay more

No airline can make money from a 10 euro flight. You got your cheap flight because someone else was caught out by one of their many little 'ways' when they got to the airport. Your cheap flights are being subsidized by other people's mistakes. And next time, it could be you that makes that mistake.

It is not just 'stupid' people that are caught out. It is actually the most frequent flyers who assume Ryanair can't be that different to other airlines who are caught out most - people who assume that the bag they use for every other airline will fit Ryanair's, etc.

Myth 5: Ryanair's hidden charges are no worst than any other airline in Europe

Ryanair is the only airline that charges 40 euros to check in at the airport, the only airline that charges multiple credit card fees and has the lowest baggage allowance in Europe, which means many people fill a case they have used perfectly well on another airline, only to find it is several kilos overweight on Ryanair. It is the only airline that charges to check in online and has some of the highest baggage check-in fees and excess luggage fines in the world.

See the evidence: Which is the Best Budget Airline in Europe?

Myth 6: Ryanair does low-income families a good service

Ryanair's policies benefit sole-traveling business travelers and weekend-breakers. Their policies are most detrimental to large families on their annual vacation.

Don't see how that is true? Read more here: Just How Cheap Are Ryanair?

Myth 7: Ryanair's good lost luggage record is evidence of their good service

Airlines don't lose luggage, airports do. Most of Ryanair's airports are in the middle of nowhere, where the plane parks right outside the terminal and the baggage handler only has to drive 50 meters to deliver your luggage. It would be very difficult to lose luggage in such circumstances. Compare that to Barcelona airport, where Ryanair doesn't fly to but the likes of easyJet and British Airways do, and you have a vast and complicated baggage handling system where baggage can easily get lost.

If Ryanair were to post their baggage loss records at some of the large airports that they do fly to, such as Malaga, I'm sure that one would find they lose just as many bags as other airlines.

See also: Ryanair v British Airways: the Real Story

Myth 8: I got a flight for 1p, so I'll fly for 1p

Many airlines impose extra costs on customers when they reach the airport - overweight or oversized luggage is the most common extra. But no airline makes you jump through more hoops than Ryanair or will charge you so much for it. The highest excess luggage charges in Europe for the smallest baggage allowance, fines for buying too much duty-free, a fine for not checking in online, the most expensive in-flight food and drink of any British or Irish airline.

See also: Ryanair Fees and how to avoid them.

Myth 9: Ryanair's good punctuality record is evidence of their good service

Again, Ryanair's policy of flying routes that no-one else goes to helps them with this statistic. It means they can make up their own flight times, posting flight times longer than it actually takes to fly there.

See also: Ryanair Punctuality

Myth 10: Ryanair's Priority Boarding Always Gets You on the Plane First

When you book Ryanair's Priority Boarding, you are asked (in bad English) "Would you like to be one of the first passengers to board to the aircraft?" Unfortunately, their interpretation of 'one of the first' is quite loose - when boarding by shuttle bus, Ryanair thinks being first onto the first bus (and so last off it and onto the plane), which places you no better than half way through the order of passengers, is enough.

Read more about: Ryanair's Priority Boarding.

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