Ryanair Sucks Sucks Sucks Sucks Sucks

Posted by on Sep 12, 2011 in Canary Islands, General Travel, Spain | 4 Comments

We flew Ryanair from Amsterdam to Lanzarote in the Canary Islands. I’m sure you can tell from this post’s title that I’m not a big fan of the airline, but before I rip this company apart let me point out that I think they did a number of things well: Since it’s a low cost carrier, I expected to see some operational efficiencies. I noticed that the seatbacks don’t have pockets, so that creates extra room between seats (which has been eliminated to pack more people into the planes), and the lack of pockets means that the emergency instructions are posted on the seatsbacks themselves (no lost emergency cards = no cost to replace them; nowhere for passengers to hide their trash = no need to clean it up after landing):

Ryanair cabin

Ryanair cabin. Notice the seatbacks w/ emergency instructions, and the advertising on the luggage bins.

Everything on this airline costs money. You want to check a bag? It’ll cost you 50 euros. Want something to drink (even water)? It’ll cost you as well. We’d even heard that Ryanair was considering charging to use the lavatories (not yet).

Here’s a summary of the fees that were tacked on to our tickets:

  • Bag fee: 50 euros per 15kg (33 lb) bag
  • Seatbelt fee: 10 euros
  • Seat cushion fee (replaces standard nail board seat): 10 euros
  • No physical beating fee: 15 euros

OK, so I made up those last 3, but here’s the deal: I don’t care if you nickel and dime me as long as you disclose these fees up front and give me a way to avoid them if I choose to. For example, I can choose to pack light and bring a carry-on if I don’t want to pay 50 euros to check a bag.

Here’s the real summary of fees that were tacked on to our purchase (from our invoice):

*******239.96 EUR Total Fare
*******107.52 EUR Taxes, Fees & Charges
*********8.00 EUR Passenger Fee: EU 261 Levy
********24.00 EUR Passenger Fee: Web Check In
*******100.00 EUR Passenger Fee: Checked Bag(s)
********24.00 EUR Passenger Fee: Administration Fee
*******503.48 EUR Total Paid

FX rate : 1.54266 USD
Total Paid in card holder's currency : 776.70 USD

So, Ryanair, how am I supposed to avoid the Web Check In fee? The alternative is to pay 30 euros for an in-person check-in. Not much of an option, is it? And what’s that Administration Fee for? Is that to pay for the flight attendants? The executives? The plane? I thought that was what the ticket was for! What’s my option to avoid that fee? Oh, I don’t have one. I see.

But the real kicker is the arbitrary currency conversion rate: 1.54266 USD/Euro vs. the real rate of 1.44 USD/Euro. That’s an extra 7% that this shitty company maliciously decided to charge us at the last minute. Option to avoid this hidden charge: NONE.

When I tried to call these bastards from Lanzarote to complain, I found out that there’s no phone number that’ll connect me to an English-speaking person when dialing from Spain. There’s an online form to submit complaints, but it limits the complaint to a 250-character message. Am I supposed to tweet my displeasure with the airline? Compose a bloody haiku? Screw this company. It sucks. SUCKS! SUCKS! SUCKS!


  1. George
    September 12, 2011

    Thanks for sharing this story. I’ve had a long time dislike for Ryan Air ever since they double booked me for a flight and I ended up paying for 2 tickets for a flight from Rome to Amsterdam. Not cool.

  2. Ed
    September 16, 2011

    It is definitely deceptive and there oughta be a law for consumers for complete disclosure of all possible fees and whether you have a choice or not. Define “fare”. They make a lot of low budget soccer fans happy, though…

  3. calliuk6
    February 18, 2012

    I agree that RyanAir is a very cheeky airline.

    In order to avoid their terrible admin fees, you must use a prepaid MasterCard for now if you are booking a flight that originates outside of England. Otherwise, you must use the RyanAir Cash Passport which has all sorts of hidden charges attached to it so be wise!

    You can also avoid RyanAir’s terrible exchange rate if you remember to click on the price in dollars that shows up at the very end. They will let you “take the risk” and lock in a different exchange rate than their “guaranteed rate”. With the way the Euro is fairing against the dollar right now, I’ll take my chances of the dollar not weakening by 7% overnight.

    All in all I could have saved $35 if I would have had my prepaid MasterCard in hand.

    We will fly with no bags and will end up saving about $350 from all other airlines. It’s a hassle but sometimes you cannot beat the price;)

    I hope that you have better luck with these guys in the future. After getting to Rome and back last year for under $15 a person by wearing 12 layers of clothes, I have come to accept RyanAir’s games for what they are.


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