Beware of Ryanair’s fare bundles: TPG reader mistake story

Jun 21, 2020

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We’ve been asking to hear your travel success and mistake stories to both celebrate and help our TPG U.K. community — even if you’re not travelling right now.

This week Steph shared with me how a change in Ryanair’s booking process left her out of pocket.

“Seeing as it looks like I’ll be working remotely for the rest of the year, I’ve been looking at options to work somewhere abroad where I can be by the beach — at least for the summer. I love Ibiza, so I looked to see if I could find a flight there. Sure enough, I found one with Ryanair.

I’ve flown Ryanair plenty of times before and am familiar with what you need to remember in order to have a bearable experience. I usually pay for Priority Boarding for the main reason that it allows me to take a full-size cabin bag on board with me. I don’t usually pay for seat assignments, as they can sometimes cost more than the flight itself, which seems like a waste for a short flight. I’m guessing flights this summer won’t be full anyway!

It has been a while since I booked with Ryanair, but it looks like the different fare options have changed. Beyond the cheapest ‘no full-size cabin bag’ Value fare, the next cheapest option called ‘Regular’ has the familiar Priority Boarding and two cabin bags (full-size and mini), which I want but now also includes standard seat assignment. I didn’t want the seat assignment but assumed it was all or nothing with the bundles, and I needed to be able to take my cabin bag on board, so I booked the Regular fare.

It was only after booking this that I realised there is actually a method for only adding the extra features you want. You stick with the cheapest ‘Value’ fare and then later in the booking process you will be prompted to add just the Priority Boarding and two cabin bags (without the seat assignment) for less than half the price of the ‘Regular’ bundle. I wish I had known this earlier, as I ended up paying for something I didn’t even want. But I hope this helps other travellers. 

Stick to your guns and only pay for what you need with Ryanair, otherwise this budget airline can become quite expensive!”

Related: Everything you need to know about flying with Ryanair

Ryanair’s baggage policies can be confusing at the best of times, and the airline is known to regularly change its policies. While it continues to offer some of the cheapest fares available from the U.K., passengers can get tripped up paying for things like they don’t want, like seat assignments. In this case, if you don’t want all the features in each of these bundles, don’t choose these packaged options — you can instead cherry-pick the items a la carte-style at the end of the booking process.

Featured image by Nicolas Economou/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images.

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