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Welcome to my guide to flying Ryanair, jam-packed full of Ryanair tips and hacks. Ryanair priority, Ryanair bag drop, Ryanair check in time, Ryanair bag drop, I’m going to walk you through all of it.

I love flying Ryanair. Always have, always will (yes, even now after the cancellation scandal). What’s not to love? They enable me to fly places with minimal cost. PERFECT! I’ve been on hundreds of Ryanair flights in my life to places like Denmark, UK and Portugal. No doubt I’ll have been on many more before the end of the year. And they’re so cheap that even if I change my plans, it’s no big deal to just miss the flight.

The thing is, lately, my patience is growing very thin with people complaining about how they didn’t check in online and had to pay to have their boarding pass printed at the desk. I mean, that isn’t nice, but it’s also completely your own fault. Stop playing the victim when in reality you actually just didn’t read the instructions.

ANYWAY, I thought I’d put together a helpful  guide to flying Ryanair to make it a completely smooth flying experience for you. Hopefully this will open the eyes of some people to the merits of flying Ryanair. For those of you that don’t need a run through of the basics, just skip to the highlighted tips with the stars **.

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Ryanair Hacks, Tips & Tricks

Booking the Tickets

Ok, let’s talk basics. This may seem simple, but stick with me! There’s some stuff in here that you need to know. Go online, select your destination, dates and departure times. Now enter your details. You can select additional luggage at this point. Keep in mind you do get 10kg of hand luggage plus a handbag.

**TIP; Make sure you hand luggage fits the required dimensions of you’ll end up having to pay to have it as a check in bag. 

*** EXTRA TIP; The price you pay for adding on check in luggage CHANGES depending on the time of day you book. So if it seems priceys (>£25 ish) do the same search a couple of hours later (after clearing your cookies) and see if it drops. I saved £10 this way recently.

There will be a travel insurance offer at some point. This one is tricky. You have to open the country list and scroll down to “Don’t insure me”.

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If you’re travelling in a group, pay extra to select your seats, otherwise you will be randomly allocated seats and the odds are they won’t be together.

Everyone hates the family who assumed they’d all be sitting together, because heaven knows the rules just don’t apply to them. Then departure is delayed because someone needs to swap seats on a full flight so that little Jimmy can sit beside one of his disorganised parents. Not ideal.

**TIP; the seats in the first row of the plane have a lot more leg room, BUT the arm rests are set and cannot be lifted. The arm rests in these rows are usually a small divider between each sear instead of just an arm rest. SO, it leaves you with less room in the seat. If you have wide hips or are carrying a bit of extra weight, AVOID the front row of the plane. The seatbelts are a pretty generous size in Ryanair, but if you’re stuck you can ask for a seatbelt extender free of charge. 

Then it’s vouchers, email address, phone number and payment. You can pay via PayPal now, which I love because I am genuinely too lazy to type in my card details every time. So lazy that I’m actually fine with paying the few pence extra to pay via PayPal.

Once you’ve put in your payment details you’ll get brought to car hire and hotel booking screens. Just skip these.  Then that’s it. You’re all booked. Your itinerary will be emailed to you. Woohoooo. You are now ready for flying Ryanair.

**TIP: If you’re planning on checking in a bag have a look at Ryanair’s new “business” option. I just booked a flight to the UK & I was dreading the charge for a check in bag. HOWEVER, the “business” fare was only £10 more than my regular ticket and included 20kg check in luggage, a pre-booked seat, and priority boarding! So it’s definitely worth it if you’re planning on checking in luggage. 

Best Time to Check in for Ryanair

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NOW, it has been brought to my attention that check in is slightly different for non-EU/EEA passengers. For non-EU/EEA passenger you have to go to the check in desk to get your documents checked before heading through security. Though you still need to check in online and have your printed boarding pass with you. 

** My recommended Ryanair check in time is 2 hours before your flight if you’re non-EU/EEA. If you’re EU and have your boarding pass, then 1.5 hrs SHOULD be fine if it’s not high season and a busy airport. If it IS high season/a busy airport I would ALWAYS be there at least 2 hrs before hand. You can never predict what the security queue will be like. 

For the rest of us it’s a little simpler. There are only two options. You either download the Ryanair app and get the boarding pass on there for free OR you check in online and print the boarding pass for free. Either way you MUST check in online/via the app AT LEAST 4hrs before your departure. Otherwise you will incur an airport check in fee of around £45 (Yeeeahhhh, I know, this is what everyone keeps complaining about, easily avoided though, right?!).

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If you have to check in a bag then you might want to give yourself a little bit of extra time depending on the airport. In some airports (Dublin, Bristol etc) they have Ryanair bag drop, the machine where you can tag your own bag and just drop it at the counter.

These bag drop machines are usually A LOT quicker than everyone queuing up to have their bags tagged by one or two members of staff. But if the airport you’re departing from doesn’t has these machines, and it’s the peak of summer, the best time to check in would be about 2-2.5hrs before your flight.

Ryanair will ALWAYS, without fail, send you a reminder text/email to check in online before your flight. They WANT you to check in. Just do it. It’s that simple.

Ryanair Priority and the Hand Luggage Rules

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UPDATED – New Rules as of November 1st. Ryanair priority has recently become more popular due to the new hand luggage regulations. If you add priority to your booking you get to bring both of your 2 items of free hand luggage on board. If you don’t add priority to your booking then you may only bring one small piece of hand luggage on board for free.

You may purchase an add on for a 10kg check in bag which you must drop at the bag drop or check in desk, just like a normal larger check in bag.  You’ll have to pick it up from the luggage carousel/baggage claim after passport control. Buying the add on for the 10kg check in bag actually works out more expensive than paying the €6.00 for priority (which includes two bags, one of which can be up to 10kg). SO, just buy priority and don’t worry about anything.

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You can add on priority to your booking up to a few hours before flying for around €6.00. OR, if you want a check in bag as well as priority it might be worth paying more for the Ryanair Plus fare which includes 20kg of luggage, a reserved seat and priority check in.

Is priority boarding worth it? Personally, I like paying the extra for Ryanair priority boarding so that I don’t have to stand in line when everyone rushes towards the gate. I can just sail up to the priority queue and still be one of the first on board, meaning that I grab the space in the overhead locker right above my seat for my bag. 

Queuing for a Ryanair Flight

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OK, so Ryanair is kind of notorious for its long queues WAAYYYY before anyone has even mentioned boarding. However, nowadays seats are assigned , so you don’t need to be near the top of the queue in order to get your seat. You have your seat assigned once you’ve checked in and that’s that.

If you paid extra to have priority then you really don’t need to queue (though the queues are getting longer for priority nowadays). So, honestly, that’s the best option. EASY! At this stage I hope you’re beginning to see that flying Ryanair doesn’t have to be so stressful.

However, there is ONE good reason to queue for boarding with Ryanair. The overhead luggage space fills up VERY quickly with a lot of people using those mini suitcases as hand luggage. So if you’re at the end of the queue for boarding you will often find that your bag will end up at the opposite end of the plane to where you’re sitting OR they’ll put it in the luggage hold. discount code where is tara

**TIP: Before you get on board, check your boarding pass to see whether you need to go in the front or back door of the airplane. Ryanair boarding passes will always give you a specific instruction on which door to use. This could save you a lot of time. There is nothing worse than being at the front of the plane and realising your seat is at the tail of the plane, fighting your way through the aisle when you could have just gone in the back door.

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Take Off!

tips for flying Ryanair tips and tricks

Once you’re on board there’s basically nothing to worry about. Personally, I bring my own snacks if the flight is long enough to warrant it. I never buy anything on a plane unless I’m desperate. Then that’s it, you’re off on your travels with a lot more spending money!! You’ll even get a round of applause when you land!!

Hopefully some of you have found this useful, even if you do frequently fly Ryanair already. I kind of hope this converts some of you to flying Ryanair too. They really are GRAND once you just stick to their rules, which are kind of minimal these days anyway.

EDIT – They have increased the amount of legroom on their planes. I’m 5 ft 8in and I have plenty of legroom. Only if you are incredibly tall (over 6ft 3in I’d say) might you struggle with legroom.  

Have you got any tips for flying Ryanair?
Leave them in the comments below!


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90 Responses

  1. susan povey

    10 return flights I am sure. I know cause I have been doing all the dropping and collecting. ….!??

  2. Ciara

    Love this. Massive ryanair fan too and don get when ppl get pissed for not knowing how to use

      • paul gullick

        Hello ive read your tips about ryanair my wife and i are going to the uk in 2 weeks time when do you have to be there to check in?my wife is none eu but has a eufam4 residence card so i know that i have to show marriage certificate .
        And thank you for the tips…

      • Tara

        Hi Paul, what airport are you leaving from? I’d usually recommend getting there 2hrs before your departure time, at least. Sorry I took so long to reply!

    • Karl Carroll

      Because sometimes Ryanair apply rules that make no sense and seem to be purely to mess with people.

      I travelled with my wife and 2 kids, my wife broke her leg 24 days before we left so I checked with Ryanair and they said provided I stayed within the overall weight limits I could pool my hand luggage into our checked (thus allowing me to mind the kids as my now disabled wife would be brought through seperately.

      In Dublin though they refused and laughed as I bought an extra 2 bags, unloaded into them and then struggled through security with the bags and kids. I even pointed out that it saved everyone hassle and the planes always overloaded with hand luggage. Their reply? “Oh you can tell in advance that the plane will be full can you?”

      Well guess what? As a result of being last on (when you travel from Dublin with a disabled passenger you are LAST onto the plane the staff then informed me that the bags would need to be checked!!!!!

      Theres only one word for that treatment.

    • Margaret

      The .problem we encountered was we r Americans and purchased tickets thru booking agency..flight was at 645am out of Dublin to lisbon. We never had any instructions on printing boarding passes ahead of time or checking in bags online. The box to fit carry on bag is way smaller than any size on any American Airlines. They said our catty on was too big and had to check it..I saw luggage all osteoporosis twice as big as ours and I know ours would have fit in the overhead..the worse thing was the extra 90 EUROS I had to pay..needless to say I am not happy with the booking agency or RYANAIR. And I did not get any email or reminder of any ,indication from them. They also told me I would have expected to pay 20 euros for each luggage on return trip to dublin..!!!

      • Margaret

        This is me again…went online education to check know my bags in and guess what…another 70 euros..sorry Tara..this is the biggest rip-off airline i have ever flown with.. and I have ever been to 36 countries….

      • Tara

        Sorry to hear about your bad experience Margaret. I’ve been to 40 countries and never had a problem with Ryanair. I imagine the main problem is that you weren’t informed by your booking agency that you would be flying a budget airline. There are a lot of (easy) rules to be followed with Ryanair and if you weren’t in full control of your own booking then that’s most likely the problem. If your booking agents were smart they would have gone with Ryanair’s new “RyanairBiz” fare that includes check in luggage up to 20kg, fast pass through security, your own choice of seat and priority boarding, usually for only a small bit extra on top of the standard ticket price. BUT hey-ho, hindsight is a great thing. In fairness, no matter how well you prepare, it could all be down to an irritated check in lady. Good luck in the future if you ever decide to fly with them again!

      • Joan

        Hi there!,

        I am sorry about your bad experience, but I’m afraid the booking agency are the ones who did not do things properly. They should have informed you of every detail and price of Ryanair services.

        I fly with Ryanair often and everything in their conditions is clear as crystal. Booking agency should know that in order to avoid this bad experience to passengers

    • declan hehir

      if you book an adult ticket for a child, can you alter the date of birth when getting your boarding pass? I presume there is no age mentioned on boarding pass

  3. Andy - Window Seat Preferred

    Awesome to read a passionate defense of Ryanair – even if I don’t necessarily share the sentiments (by the way, your passport is in great shape compared to mine…my page now reads “The minister….” and then what looks like Arabic)! I agree with you though it’s just a process that needs to be either learned or studied – though it’s also partly their fault for on one hand saying their ‘the family favourite airline’, building expectations and then going almost out of their way to make sure families sit apart if they don’t pay assigned seating and having traditionally been VERY aggressive following sometimes ridiculous policy.

    Disclaimer though; after my bad experience, I actually just didn’t fly with them since (2008), unlike 99.9% of others who complain it seems and that did fine to me. But yeah – if I was back in Europe, I’d probably have given them another go by now 😛

    • Tara

      Hahaha. An honest comment. Love it. I reckon if you flew with them now Andy you’d find them a lot better. That’s a long while ago now 😛 also…. i purposely didn’t show the front of my passport. It literally has no markings on it at all. Hahah. What country am I from?! You’ll have to look inside and find out!

  4. Conor (The Continental Drifters)

    Delighted to figure out the priority queue trick a few weeks ago! Stood in the queue for aaaggggeeessss and then I got to the front and the guy were like “Erm, you were in the wrong queue the whole time”….dammit!
    Low and behold my next last minute check in gave me a place in the priority queue as well! 😀

    • Tara

      Yep! It’s a game changer!!!! Really makes a massive difference! 🙂

  5. Helena

    I didn’t know that about the Priority boarding.. I’m flying with Ryanair next week from Lo ndon, so I’ll be sure to see if it works for me too! 🙂

    Otherwise, great tips! I am actually also putting together a Ryanair guide (but in Swedish) so I’m gonna steal your Priority boarding tip, hehe. I hope you don’t mind 😉

    • Tara

      Hahahah. That’s ok Helena! I’ll allow it 😉 I did put it on the internet after all. Glad it was helpful! Xx

  6. Kellie

    As you said, you’re seat is already assigned, so if people are complaining about Queing then, sit til everyone else is has already gotten on and just join the Que when there’s like 5 people left waiting to board. As for worrying about cabin space, i usually carry a soft sided bag (Longchamp Travel Bag) as carry on luggage that I shove under the seat in front. 🙂

  7. Tara

    They don’t let you do it at the bag drop anymore. Or at least they don’t at Dublin airport. I used to do that all the time. Was a bit upset when they just started doing it from the boarding point….. I mean there’s really no advantage to it then…… you’ve already had to take out your liquids etc for security and haul it through there. The one advantage might be to save you having to think about it as you get off the plane. But that is cancelled out by having to wait for it at the baggage carousel. Especially if you didn’t actually have real check in luggage. So yeah. That’s why I didn’t include that. Then again maybe it’s just Dublin airport they stopped doing that at? In which case, yeah cool. When I did used to do it it made life very easy.

    • Sharon Bradbury

      I was told this week it was quicker not to put my cabin bag in the hold at the bag check in area, because they go on the plane earlier and come out later. If you leave it till the boarding gate they are collected on a trolley and go in the hold last. That way they are first on the baggage carousal and if you haven’t other bags to wait for, you can make a speedy departure.

      • Tara

        Yeah that is true. I haven’t updated this article in a while and Rynair have changed their cabin bag policy since then. So it’s quicker to just fly through security instead of heading to the check in desk and they’ll take your cabin bag off you anyway now at boarding. I used to like giving them my cabin bag at the check in area because it made going through security quicker, because I just had a handbag, but I haven’t done it in ages tbh.

  8. Scott @ VacationCounts

    I also tell people the same – not to worry when flying Ryanair. Just be aware of the rules like checking in for the flight in advance which is what so many people do now anyways across all airlines. It also helps to be nice to the flight attendants 🙂

    Unfortunately for Americans (Canadians and other non EU travelers too), you cannot yet use the app to check-in so I guess I cannot take advantage of your priority Q “secret” tip. We still have to print out boarding pass and go to the check-in counter to have our passport verified and the printed boarding pass stamped. No other airline that I’ve ever flown requires this extra step even when you do not have baggage to check.

    Since Ryanair is almost always on time (that means on schedule), it is easier to plan ahead for airport transportation when you land. I tend to look up the bus or train times in advance so I know how much time I have to get off the airplane, clear immigration if required, and start my vacation right away.

    -Scott, VacationCounts – Take More Vacation Time Off

    • Tara

      Yeah somebody else mentioned that! I didn’t realise that. Might amend the article. But yes, they usually are on time, even when there’s unexpected delays they some how manage to make it. 🙂

      • godfrey

        They are usually on time because the take off time is usually accurate but they build in extra time for scheduled landing – eg for a 90 min flight they probably allow 2 hours in case of departure delays.

    • Tim

      The reason they do it is
      1) their margins are ultra thin
      2) If someone is rejected at the destination for any reason, they incur costs by having to find staff to deal with it and fly the passenger back out. They have a legal obligation to take the passenger back.
      3) The ONLY nationalities who are CANNOT be rejected within the EU are EU/EEA nationals as they are guranteed freedom of movement under EU treaties.
      4) The other airlines who don’t check your passport just absorb the cost when it happens. And guess who pays for it then? Everyone else.

  9. Marianne

    I agree, Ryanair are great – you just have to play them at their own game!

    You obviously haven’t flown with Ryanair from Liverpool airport – they are pretty keen on applying “the rules” there, and I’ve had my hand luggage bag weighed several times on approach to the boarding gate!

    • Tara

      Nah never been. That sucks. Like no airport I’ve ever flown from has weighed my hand luggage. Unless I was trying to check it in for free. Then obviously they did.

    • godfrey

      Possibly it is over zealous gate staff trying to make up their quotas early in the day. The “staff” are rarely RYR employees, more like Swissport handlers and they act as agents for RYR.

  10. Janet Newenham

    My secret tip to getting FREE flights? Take a snap of whatever you buy on the plane then tweet in to Ryanair later that day with the hashtag #RyanAirInflight – they give away 100 euro Ryanair voucher to tweeters every week. I have won twice and intend to continue this little winning streak!! 😀

    Also even if you board last, you won’t be made to put your baggage in the holds below the plane if you have a backpack – they only make people with wheely bags do that!

    • Tara

      Excellent tips! Thanks Janet. I’m going to have to end up editing this post to fit in everyone’s tips I think. Haha.

  11. Donna

    Hi Tara,

    In December I’ll fly for d first time with ryanair and till now was very sceptical as I didn’t trust them.

    Question: when exactly does ryainair assign seats? When you do the check in online (and u are able to choose seats) or is it done at the airport?
    Thanks for the ussful tips!!!!!

    • Tara


      They assign your seat when you check in. Randomly allocated. It’ll come up on your boarding pass. You can choose to choose your seat when you’re buying your ticket but you have to pay extra.

      You’ll be fine. Send me a message if you have any other concerns.

      Happy travels!


  12. RunawayBrit

    I love your post. I fly Ryanair pretty often and have never been stung by any of their *hidden* costs e.g. the ones that are easy to avoid when you READ the instructions carefully.

    My best Ryanair (success) story is when I was flying from Stockholm to London in December 2010 – the winter when the UK got hit hard by heavy snow. For weeks my snobby colleagues had been mocking me for booking my Christmas flight home on Ryanair. They were flying with BA or SAS on the same day as me. However, heavy snow bought London airports to a standstill. The friend flying BA got as far as London and then was re-routed to Manchester and had to take a train down to London instead. The one flying SAS got diverted back to Sweden and landed in Malmö and had to take a train back to Stockholm. The only flight that landed in London was Ryanair and I made it home for Christmas Eve. Thanks, Ryanair!!

  13. Tara- Hippie Hits The Road

    Great tips, Tara! I’m a HUUUUUGE RyanAir fan… I’ve also had several flights with them this year and am always happy. I never buy anything on the plane, just show up and get where I’m going for way cheaper than any other airline. My next flight with them only cost me 15 Euros! Yeah, ok, it’s doubled because I have to check a bag, but even 30 Euros is a steal! If you just read the instructions (or your handy-dandy tips!) they are a great way to go.
    Thanks for the Priority Q tip! I’ll definitely be using that on my next flight.

  14. Ana

    I have a love/hate relationship with Ryanair. I love their cheap tickets, but then I hate how stingy they are. I know I shouldn’t complain, but sometimes things happen and they just ruin your day (i.e: my odd shaped hand luggage couldn’t fit in quite perfectly into the sizing container and even though it was obvious that the dimensions were right, and the wheels were the problem, they made me pay the extra 50 pounds! This happened only once to me and it left such a terrible taste in my mouth).

    Overall, I will still use Ryanair, because I know that it’s the cheapest way to get from A to B, and that is really the goal, isn’t it? 🙂 Thanks for the tips though! I did not know about the Top Tip

    • lloyd

      Ryanair do not always stick to the rules,I flew from barcelona airport at the beginning of june , I had payed for a checked in bag up to 15kg they weighed it and it was 16.5 kg , they let it through without a word .I think it depends a lot on who is doing the checking in.

      • Tara

        True! But best to be within the rules anyway just in case you get a grumpy staff member! 🙂

  15. Joan


    I’ve been flying with Ryanair for many years and certainly a late check in provided a priority boarding seat most of the times. However, this is no longer working since they recently changed something in the check in process . I checked in my last 3 flights almost at the limit time and I got front seats 1A – 2E – 2B, but NO priority boarding.

    It was a great tip but, unfortunately this is no longer working. So, now you pay or you queue,

    • Joan


      It seems that this is a bug in the mobile app (at least for iOS) , because when you print out your boarding pass, the PRIORITY appears magically….!!!!

      So , let’s print out to keep enjoying the free priority.

    • Tara

      I was thinking something had changed!! I didn’t get it on my last 3 flights either. I must edit it!

      • Sandy

        Hi, just booked another great value flight but have never used the mobile app. I like the idea of getting free Priority Boarding but I am not a mobile phone “geek”, I have always printed off the boarding pass. Someone has already indicated that a bug in the system means that you need a printed copy to get Priority Boarding shown on the pass….how is this possible if you must use the app to check-in? Does a copy automatically get emailed, which can then be printed? I wouldn’t know how to send something from my mobile phone to my printer! Thanks.

  16. Byron

    I book 10-14 days out to get cheapest ticket price
    I get on last at the front door and my bag always slots into row two they have kept reserved. I then take my seat in emergency row at wing, I walk up and sit down like I own it. The cabin staff have gone now to help with luggage , she was protecting the wing exist while I was out in hall reading my book. and kept them open for me.
    If all 12 seats are full then worst case is I seat in my pre booked seat on card.
    Don’t buy anything have a boots meal deal or home sandwiches instead, life’s great on Ryanair

  17. Mike

    Tara, how do you book in online for the return leg of a ten day holiday on which no computer or printer is available when ryr only give you a seven day window to create your boading pass? Mike

    • Tara

      Hi Mike, your best option is to download the app and do it on there 🙂 Very easy 🙂

  18. Sarah

    Great guide!

    I was planning on taking the ferry from Santorini to Athens instead of Ryanair because I had read bad things, but I’m notorious for doing my research and being properly prepared, so when I saw this I had hope!

    I just had a question that I was unclear on, and maybe someone could shed some light on it for me… Am I able to print out my boarding pass on my own from my hotel (without havig to do it at the airport), or is that option only for EU/EAA residents? And are there any other tips or warnings that I should know?

    Thanks in advance!

  19. Mrs Page

    Just flown Ryanair for first time. Went from Bristol to Malta and back. Fantastic proper brewed coffee in a large container for 3 euros. Great staff who brewed a cuppa for my ancient other half in mid flight. Clean loos too.

    • Tara

      Glad to hear you had a great flight Jennifer. I’m in Asia atm and the budget airlines here have NOTHING on European ones.

  20. Lisa

    Hi do you know what time you can check in online 7 days before? I haven’t prebooked seats as there are 5 of us and I’m not willing to pay the extra cost, but I do want us all to be sat together. I am willing to stay up until midnight and do it if that’s what I have to do!!!

    • Ciaran

      I think it is midnight but stop bring cheap just pay £2 to sit by each others

  21. Jim Rochford

    Your comment and tips are brilliant but since I’m a complete moron at all of this may I ask this please?. My wife and I are traveling with ryanair and we will both have a mini suitcase and a small bag do we still have to add or check in luggage once we stay under the 10kg each?. Thank you, Jim.

    • Tara

      Hi Jim!! If the suitcase is within cabin luggage size restrictions, under 10kg and your small bag could be described as a handbag or small rucksack then you should be fine! No need to check in anything 🙂 Hope that helps!

  22. Martina

    Hi great tips…I understand what you are saying re. priority but we’ll be travelling as 2 Adults & 3 kids in 3 weeks time so I’d rather have check-in done earlier than 12 hours.
    I’ve received an email from Ryanair saying check-in is open.
    I don’t really want to pay for seats , if I check-in now will I be allocated seats, what’s the chances of them being together.

    • Tara

      Hi Martina,
      If I were you I’d pay for the seats so that you know you’ll be sitting together. If you really don’t want to pay, check in ASAP and have a look at your boarding passes to make sure you’re all seated in the same row(s). If you are, great! If not, then I’d contact Ryanair’s helpline and they should be able to change the seats for you as long as it’s early enough before your flight 🙂 They MAY charge you, but at least you’ll have tried everything to avoid the charges then.

  23. Gordon Grace

    One other tip make sure your phone is fully charged before using the app for mobile check in there is nothing worse than your phone dying and you have no charger

  24. Karena

    Hi there
    Excellent tip. I have flown Ryanair all around Europe and never had any issues. It’s the other Irish airline that is always delayed!!
    Just a quick question regarding travelling with buggy…it’s free right?! I’ll be bringing buggy to gate and then putting it into a buggy travel bag for protection . Think it’s free for buggy plus one other item such as car seat or travel cot but anything extra costs.
    Have you any experience travelling with buggy?


  25. Marg

    Hi sorry if this seems like a dumb question but i’m flying from Dublin to Manchester and i haven’t been on a plane for years or never done any of this myself before but you wrote

    ” Either way you MUST check in online/via the app AT LEAST 4hrs before your departure. Otherwise you will incur an airport check in fee of £45 (Yeeeahhhh, I know, this is what everyone keeps complaining about, easily avoided though, right?!).”

    Why do i need to check in online? Can i not just go to them and show them my flight tickets when i’m checking my bag? I don’t get it. If i check in online what do i need to do exactly? Do i have to read stuff, print out anything or what? I hope you know what i mean, I’m freaking out at the thought of going on a plane so i just want everything to go smoothly. Is it the same for when i return?

    • Tara

      Hi Marg. You have to check in online. If you don’t they’ll charge you at the check in desk. Basically all you need to do is go onto the ryanair website and go into the “manage my booking”/ “check in online” sections, put in your booking reference and other details and it will give you a boarding pass which you have to print and bring with you to the airport. OR if you have a smart phone and are comfortable with it you can download the app and check in on that. Then the boarding pass is on your phone and you don’t need to print it. However, you need to make sure your phone is charged. If you only have carry on luggage and you’ve checked in online, then you can go straight to security, no need to visit the check in counter at all. If you have check in luggage you have to go to bag drop. Are you from the US? If so then it’s a bit different. You will have to go to the check in counter anyway even if you check in online. It is the same for when you return. Unless it’s a short trip, in which case you can usually do outbound and return boarding passes at the same time.

  26. Demetria

    Hi there! great article! I have bought seats. I can check in thirty days before the flight. How and when should i do it to get priority boarding? Thanks in advance!

    • Tara

      Hi Demetria. Thanks so much for your comment. To be honest, I’m not sure if the late check in tip works anymore. It didn’t work for me last time. I like to think they saw my post and then changed the glitch 😉 BUT, how it did previously work was to check in via the app on your phone as late as possible before the flight. Maybe 5-6hrs before the flight. I hope it works for you. And please let me know how it goes!

  27. Corina

    Hello guys , I just booked a ticket to Germany with my friend , and I am a bus lover traveler lol , afraid to fly but okay )))what does it mean to print the boarding pass ? Should I print the thing that came in my gmail or how ???

  28. John

    How do you contact ryanair? I’ve tried numerous times to use the live chat service (during office hours), each time it says “no one available” , I don’t feel like paying to use a premium phone service. All I won’t to do is change from an aisle seat to a window seat, can I do this myself when online checking in?

    • Tara

      Yes you can do this by managing your booking online. Or if you really can’t find the option in there then just Tweet them on Twitter and they usually will sort everything for you.

  29. Brianna

    I am so glad I found this article! I just booked my first round of Ryanair flights and have heard really crappy things about the airline. This definitely helped ease my worries!

  30. Tara J

    I can’t believe it, there’s another 27 year old Tara out there who loves Ryanair.. I have competition!

    They are fantastic and I won’t stop banging on about them, if only they’d give me a job! Taken 71 flights and counting!

  31. Felicia

    Hey Tara,

    Just wanna know if a non-EU like myself is able to purchase the travel insurance.
    As I’m planning to take Ryanair from Santorini to Athens with checked in luggages. Also, will I still be charge if I do not print the boarding pass (no access to a printer) but I have done my online check in?

    Thanks and will be awaiting for your response =)

    • Tara

      If you haven’t printed the boarding passes then you’d need to have the Ryanair app on your phone with the boarding passes on there. The online boarding passes won’t be ok. They’ll charge you to print them at the airport otherwise (depending on how nice the person is at the check in desk). But you’ll still have to go to the check in desk anyway. I’m afraid I don’t know about travel insurance, I have my own and never use the Ryanair travel insurance. I usually buy from or Blue insurance. Have a great trip.

  32. Mrs. 1500

    Thank you for these tips! I found it through a Google search, and it made my flight very easy!

  33. Zara

    How to I find the Ryan ‘slide rule’, you know where it shows you in a graph form what’s cheap around different dates?

  34. Joy

    Great article Tara. I’ll be flying with them for the first time this week.

    Do you know if paying for priority boarding guarantees a seat assignment or does that have to be purchased separately?

    • Tara

      Hi Joy, I’ve never purchase priority boarding, I’ve always purchased it as part of the “Plus” ticket which includes a checked in suitcase, priority boarding and reserved seat. I don’t think priority boarding by itself will give you reserved seating. But you can usually pay €2 for a reserved seat as far as I know. If you’ve already booked you can add it on by managing your booking as far as I know. Hope you have a great trip!

  35. James

    Dear Tara,

    I’ll be flying this Wednesday. I’ve travelled with Rynair before but I’m just thinking about one possibility and I’m not sure if it’s realistic, so I wanted to ask you for your opinion. I would like to take a larger cabin baggage (around +10cm on each side) however, I won’t fill it in so it will not look that big. Also, if I choose to check-in my hand luggage, then they might think that my cabin baggage is actually hand baggage, what do you think? Should I take the risk? Thanks:)

    • Tara

      Hi James,I’m not 100% I understand the question. Do you mean that your hand luggage is bigger than the guidelines, but you want to voluntarily check it in at check in and hope that they don’t notice the size or charge you for adding a bag on to your booking? If so, that really depends on the airport and the staff. Most of the airports have those automatic bag drop machines now, so you can’t ask a member of staff to just put your bag into the hold like I used to always do. You can risk getting to the boarding stage, where they’re pretty much guaranteed to tag your bag and put it on board. But they might make you put it in one of those luggage checker contraptions to make sure it fits. If it doesn’t then they’ll definitely charge you. Cheating the size guidelines is hard, the weight guidelines are easier. As long as you make it look like the bag doesn’t weigh a think, they’ll let you on board. If you want to have your case with you I’d just pay for priority boarding, then you’re guaranteed to keep your cabin bag with you on board. But, again, if your cabin bag is obviously too big then it’s just not going to happen.

  36. Tim

    Ryanair ended two things

    1) the airline cartel
    2) What I call the “tyranny of the hopeless”.

    You know, you’re third in line and just want to drop your bag, but someone in front of you can’t seem to do anything in less than 10 minutes. So you could have been on your way in a couple of minutes but the 2 groups in front of you were arguing on and on about fees or the check-in process.

    Those people are not in the queue anymore. Either the massive check-in fee made them change their behaviour, or they remained hopeless and after a couple more times realised ryanair just isn’t worth it for them.

  37. Ashleygeorge

    Great Article! Nice tips that’s smart idea Thanks for sharing the information! I Love this and I am a fan of Ryan air. I really appreciate the information present in the blog because I am a regular traveler. Nice post! Keep it up. Thank you.

  38. Romonita

    It’s enormous that you are getting thoughts from this article as well as from our dialogue made here.

  39. GSE Solutions

    Never had any issues with Ryanair, but since the new bag policy the priority queue is longer than the other one

  40. Sarah Byrne

    Hi Tara,

    I too travel with ryanair a lot, so far can’t say I’ve had a truly negative experience. I tend to sit a bit wait until last person to board, most the time they take your bag for free at gate anyway so no point rushing.

    I’m heading to Lisbon at end of month and things have changed a bit with the baggage. I’m travelling with my adult daughter so would like to be together so was about to book seats then need to check in bags too as my previous Ryanair approved cabin bag is now too big, which would be best option for us to check in now?

    Thanks Tara,

    Sarah from Co Waterford

  41. Kate

    The number of priority tickets on a given flight is now limited. When booking 2 weeks ahead the only choice was 10kg in hold, or a small bag only. Managed with a small bag but many couldn’t!