Prepping my kit and narrowing down my outfit choices for a small weekender bag to take on my ryanair flight to Barcelona tomorrow! My schedule freed up a bit for the next two BRRRR winter months so I am able to shoot with the amazing Caitlin Bellah again! I have to say…despite the flight long infomercial and insane baggage restrictions, ryanair makes seeing europe and working as a freelance artist in europe a complete dream! So first let me leave you with a few tips regarding flying on ryanair (applies also for their low cost competitors like easyjet, vueling, niki).
First off I like to find all the airports within 3 hrs of my location. This being because sometimes there are random 6 euro flights to lesser known airports and then you can take a train or bus or shuttle into town. Then I use volagratis.it to find my flights they find you the best combinations and give you a grid map of dates. I realize it is in italian but…the “format” is the same as any english site.
Unfortunantly for volagratis, I usually do not book directly through them, sorry but your extremely high “booking fee” and credit card fee are not to my liking. I then go to the respective websites with the cheapest flights at the most convenient time (calculating voyage to and from airport). Remember that in addition to the ticket price you will have a charge for using your credit card. Have your travel documents ready! Also, if you are planning to check a bag (even 75%) pay ahead of time the 15 dollar or euro charge for the extra baggage, at the gate it is 40. yes 40.
Now for most of these low budget flights you need to arrive at the airport about 90 minutes ahead of time, but, I usually aim for 90 and end up with 60 since I never check in bags. They literally close the checkin counter 90 minutes before so if you have to check in a bag…be careful. Checking in said bag at the gate will cost you another 40 even if you have pre paid for your bag. Sucks not being punctual. You must check in online a minimum of 4 hours before your flight, and unless your flight location states other wise, you must print out your boarding pass before arriving at the airport. If you fail to do so, this could cost you another 40 dollars or euro. At this point if you do not have bags to check you can head directly to security with your pre-printed boarding pass.
So – so far, even before boarding the plane, what have we learned?
- use volagratis to find cheapest airfare
- prepare for a credit card and possible booking fee
- pay attention to how far the airport is from your final destination and how much the “transfer costs”
- have your travel documents ready at time of booking
- PRE pay for extra baggage
- do not mock the 90 min bag check in time
- print out your boarding pass at home and head right to security 60 minutes before your flight
Now here are a few tips for your flight. No need to rush to get on board, you are probably going on a shuttle to your plane first anyways…and really…everyone is landing at the same time. Once on board, Ryanair likes to maximize their profit possibilities (naturally since your flying for 6 euros) by trying to sell you everything. If you must eat and drink, the options are not awful considering you are on a plane, but quite pricey. My personal favorite part are the scratchers! Yup lotto style ryanair scratchers…they bring out the Etta in me. Anyways, to avoid all the nonsense I suggest an plugging in your headphones and tuning out. Before you know it you will be at your destination with a roundtrip cost of well under 100 euro, or dollar including all expenses.
I have to get back to packing!
Hasta Luego y Besitos-