Lily's Survival Guide to Ryanair for Study Abroad Students

May 12, 2015 2:00:00 PM / by Stephanie Sadler

Lily_LiebermanLily Lieberman is an official CAPA blogger for spring 2015, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A journalism major at Arizona State University, she is studying abroad in Dublin this semester.

In this week's post, Lily talks about flying low-budget airlines like Ryanair with a few tips she's picked up from her own experiences. 

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Ryanair is both a blessing and a curse to study abroad students. As Europe’s cheapest airline, you’re likely to find flights as low as €10 from Dublin to parts of England.

Like any great deal, there’s always a catch. Low cost airlines are notorious for having extra fees if you slip up and forget one of the steps they “insist” is on their website. If you want smooth and stress-free travels, this is probably not the airline for you, but the lure of cheap flights will inevitably sway you to the dark side. When it happens, refer back to this Ryanair Survival Guide.

New York con 10 euro? Non è più un sogno, la Ryanair ha annunciato che sarà possibile
Photo: Ryanair planes by Viaggio Routard


  • The agents are not always very nice. They are there to do their job. They usually don’t enjoy their job. One woman told me her previous job at Mcdonald’s was better than working for Ryanair because, “at least you get free food.” When a fast food chain treats their employees better than an airline, you know something fishy is going on. They don’t want to deal with you anymore than you do with them. Be polite, but realize you may not get the same treatment in return. Take it with a grain of salt and picture yourself sipping a fruity drink at your final destination.

  • Ryanair does not do connecting flights. On a recent trip to Greece, my CAPA friends and I learned this the hard way. We were exhausted from a long and bumpy ferry ride from Santorini to Athens and an even longer night at the airport to make a 6am flight to London. We had plenty of time to spare as we landed and made our way to the connecting gate to Dublin. Long story short, passport control held us up and we reached our gate 10 minutes after the designated closing time indicated on our boarding pass. We were denied entry onto the plane and forced to book the next flight back to Dublin for an extra £100 pounds. The lesson: Book your connecting flight with at least four hours between landing and boarding, per their site regulations. It may seem excessive at the time, but nothing hurts more than watching your plane fly off without you on it.

  • Print your boarding pass ahead of time. Make sure to check-in at least four hours before your flight and print out your boarding pass before getting to the airport. If you have to print your boarding pass at the kiosk, they will charge you €15 and give you the side-eye while you beg them to print it. If you have not checked in, you will pay at least €70. Also, make sure to get your boarding pass stamped and checked with your passport before heading through security. They have zero sympathy for people who don’t follow directions.

  • Bring a small carry-on. Make sure your carry-on suitcase is regulation size – 20 kg and less than 81 cm by 119 cm in dimension. You could end up paying €60 just to check your bag at the gate.

  • Snacks, drinks and reading materials are NOT complimentary. A bottle of water is €3, people. Be smart and bring refreshments with you on your flight.

It may seem daunting but, all in all, flying Ryanair is worth it if you’re prepared.
Good luck!

Thanks Lily!

Lily’s journey continues every Tuesday so stay tuned! 

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Topics: Dublin, Ireland, Practical Study Abroad Advice