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We’ve long discussed the pros and cons of flying with Ryanair. The European low-cost powerhouse’s core attractive feature is its budget fares. However, this approach has left several passengers actually forking out more than anticipated amid all the add-ons. Still, the airline has several fare types catering to different requirements.
From the basic offering to the most flexible ticket, Ryanair has taken plenty into consideration when implementing its ticket variants. In total, there are five main fare types. Starting from the cheapest, they are broken down into the following.
The Value Fare
There are no compromises with this fare. Even if you want to bring on a wheeled bag, you would have to pay extra. Nonetheless, you can bring in a small bag that can fit underneath the seat. So, if you’re a light packer with no extra baggage or are just making a short trip, this could be a cheap and cheerful option. This fare is often a favorite for travelers going on a break for the weekend. On the popular Dublin – London Gatwick route, the value fare is as low as €9.99 one way.
You can also only check in 24 hours before the flight and failure to do so online will result in a fee at the airport. Additionally, you’re seat will be randomly allocated unless you pay to choose any.
This provision may be the choice of fare for those with a little more to carry. As Ryanair explains:
“The Regular Fare is Ryanair’s newest fare class offering valuable travel extras for frequent flyers. Includes: Priority & 2 Cabin bags (one small cabin bag and 10kg wheelie bag onboard); Reserved standard seat (Rows 18-33 included).”
A regular fare is around €20-25 extra each way on the Dublin to Gatwick route. However, pricing is dynamic and based on ticket and fare class demand at the time. Therefore, you might see significant price differences between Value and Regular, while adding a checked bag might just be cheaper.
Ryanair charges anywhere from £6/€6 ($6.5-7.5) to £30/€30 ($32.4-37.7) for the Priority & 2 Cabin Bags and €/£2 ($2.2-2.5) -€/£15 ($16.2-$18.9) for the reserved seats. So buying this fare is a much better deal in most cases.
Photo: Tom Boon | Simple Flying
On this fare type, passengers can bring a small bag (that fits under the seat), a check-in bag weighing 20kg, and reserve a standard seat (Rows 18-33). Plus fares also allow you to check in for free at the airport up to 40 minutes before their flight. Note that you cannot bring a larger carry-on with this fare and don’t have Priority access to boarding either.
The operator is looking to cater to a range of leisure travelers, holidaymakers, and city breakers with this ticket. The cost is approximately €27-35 more on each flight between Dublin and Gatwick. Once again, this varies significantly and at times adding the checked bag separately might be a better deal. In a dummy search today, the price to upgrade from Value to Plus was €34 ($36.7) but adding a checked bag was only €25.99 ($28).
Ryanair introduced Family Plus to help families travel seamlessly across the skies. Taking children into account, there are free seats for passengers under 12 years old, so everyone sits together with discounted standard seats.
The fare also includes a small cabin bag per passenger each way, and a 10 kg check-in bag per passenger each way. Additionally, the ticket includes a 20 kg check-in bag. The cost is around €20 more per person on each flight between Dublin and Gatwick. This is a great deal for families since you have plenty of luggage allowance and you won’t be separated while flying.
The cream of the crop, this is the airline’s all-encompassing offering. As the operator explains:
“Flexi Plus is Ryanair’s Premium flying fare that includes loads of great services and travel flexibility. Includes: Priority & two cabin bags, Any reserved seat, Flexible tickets, Free airport check-in, Security fast track.”
As the name suggests, this is Ryanair’s best-fare class and is meant for those who frequently change their plans. However, adding this can be double the price of the ticket itself, so it is certainly an investment. There’s still no cancelation, but you can keep changing your travel date.
Across the board
So, there is something for all types of travelers throughout Ryanair’s fare spectrum. It could be worthwhile considering a fare upgrade rather than paying a single fee for add-ons. However, the best way is to choose the Value fare and then see the price of add-ons. If you only need one 10kg checked bag for example, there’s no need to pay for the Plus fare.
It can also cost between €45 and €60 to change a flight per passenger on a one-way flight. Thus, there is plenty of value to be had with a flexible fare at times.
What are your thoughts about Ryanair’s fare types? What do you make of the overall options? Let us know what you think of the airline’s services in the comment section.