Ryanair is an Irish airline that pioneered the budget flight business in Europe. By flying to and from secondary airports (some of which pay the airline to use them), packing the planes full of people, and offering absolutely no frills, they were able to offer lower fares than competing full-service airlines. It is not uncommon to find fares as low as seven pounds sterling--or about £9--before taxes. Other tickets to the same destination at a different time or on a different day may be much more expensive. There are several tricks to getting the cheapest tickets with Ryanair.
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Buy your flights on Ryanair's website. Although it is possible to buy tickets at the airport, this is more expensive. Ryanair doesn't sell through travel agents and always has deals advertised on its home page.
Look for flights that depart between noon on Monday and noon on Thursday, or after noon on a Saturday. The cheapest tickets are for these times. Tickets for very early-morning departures are often the cheapest; these may involve spending the night in the airport, if the flight leaves before public transport starts running.
Buy your flights well in advance. The cheapest fares on Ryanair must usually be purchased at least 14 days before travel; this is sometimes extended to 28 days.
Keep your plans as flexible as possible. Choose your destination and use the "Flexible Search" selection on the website to see when the cheapest flights are, then arrange your trip around them.
Check the website regularly for special sales. The lowest fares are often promotional offers available briefly on the Ryanair home page.
Tips and warnings
- Ryanair makes most of its money from fees which are added to the base ticket price. These include charging for online check-in, all carry-on baggage, changing names or flight times, priority boarding, and bringing an infant. They also charge an administration fee to everyone except MasterCard debit card holders, and charge quite a bit for food on board. To travel as cheaply as possible, bring only one carry-on and your own food, travel early in the morning, and check in at the counter.
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