I’m headed to Europe in January for a weekend trip with some friends. And given that the trip is just a few weeks away I finally got around to buying my plane tickets. It is a quick trip – Thursday to Monday – with five flights, visits to three countries (and transits of two others) and most likely more than a few beers along the way. It also will involve flying on five different airlines, including some of the usual suspects. But it also includes a couple firsts for me, one of which is a 700-ish mile flight on RyanAir. Yup, I’m willingly taking a flight on the carrier recently voted the worst short-haul experience in Europe.
It wasn’t easy to do, really. Maybe it was just my laptop but I actually ran in to a bit of trouble with the booking. Eventually I got to the fare summary page and had this awesome list of fees, on top of the base fare:
So, yeah, they apparently charge passengers a fee against having to pay out EU261 claims. And a surcharge to allow for check-in. And an administrative fee which I’m sure covers something like them making more money. And a strange fare discount tossed in there; I have no idea why.
At the end of the day the fare is still only $35. I added on a pre-assigned exit row window seat for $15 more, bringing the grand total up to $50. I will only have my small backpack for this trip so no baggage fees but even if I did check a bag it would still be well under $100 for the flight. The next closest published fare I could find was $188, with a 40+ hour connection in Riga, Latvia. A trip on the same day would run me north of $400 and 9 hours versus the 2 hours on RyanAir.
My expectations are not particularly high. And the flight is around lunch time so I’ll need to remember to pack a picnic to bring on board. But I’m reasonably confident my expectations won’t be left wanting. After all, I’m going in pretty much expecting a mess.