Water and island photo from plane

Ryanair Flexi Plus Worth the Money?

 Ryanair Check In

After a visit to Douro Valley and Porto, Portugal, our family of four planned to fly from Porto to Faro to vacation in the Algarve. Before checking in at the Porto Airport, we saw a man at the Ryanair ticket desk waving his arms. Not only did he shout at the agent, but he slammed his fist on the counter, and stormed away. As a result, I surmised that the angry man might not have read the airline details or Ryanair reviews. Besides, he could have been caught off guard by the penalties and upcharges. Specifically, if he had checked out this economy airline, he might have been prepared for the fees or avoided most of them by upgrading to one of the plans like Plus or Flexi Plus.

We upgraded to Flexi Plus when we flew Ryanair. (Photo Credit John Hughes) License

In the first place, Ryanair charges fees for basic services that many of us take for granted. For example, standard fare customers can expect to pay extra for a cabin bag on wheels, stowed luggage, and baggage not added at the time of booking.

Economy Airlines

From the Ryanair website, I learned that as one of the economy airlines, passengers pay the penalty for not checking in ahead of time or arriving at the airport without a boarding pass. In addition to surcharges, I read Ryanair reviews regarding flight cancellations and stranded passengers where the staff offered little or no help. All things considered, I chalked up these inconveniences as trade-offs for booking an economy airline.

Ryanair Baggage Charges and More

My chest tightened as I read the online documents that listed upcharges. Most noteworthy, I found that Ryanair divides their fees charged at the time of booking and post booking. To clarify, post booking charges include changes made online, at the call center, or airport. In essence, if you don’t accurately account for additional services at the time of booking, expect to pay extra fees. Examples of a few of these fees are listed below.

Time of Booking Charges Post Booking Charges
Airport Check-in Fee

0

€55 

($63.38)

Boarding Pass Issue

0

€25 

($28.67)

Flight Change Fee

 €35 to €65

($40.13 to $74.53)

€50 to €95 

($57.33 to $108.93)

10kg (22lb)  Bag

   €10 to €12

($11.47 to $13.76)

 €20 to €25 

($22.93 to $28.67)

20kg (44lb) Checked Bag

   €25 

($28.67)

€40

($45.87)

Standard Seats

                   €3

  ($3.44)

€3

($3.44)

Free Carry-on larger than requirements

     €25

($28.67)

After reviewing the added fees, I decided to look into options to make our travel experience with this economy airline trouble-free. Additionally, since we were traveling as a family, I knew that I didn’t want to hold my breath while Ryanair weighed each of our bags. Another factor that I considered was that surprisingly Ryanair assigns seats in the cabin randomly, so it was unlikely that we would be able to sit together. Of course, our adult kids didn’t care about this detail, but I did.

Ryanair Flexi Plus
Ryanair is an economy airline. (Photo by Anna Zvereva) License

Flexi Plus

With limited options and filled with apprehension, I made Ryanair reservations. As an economy airline, they offered reasonable prices and a nonstop flight that fit our agenda to fly from Porto to Faro.

Additionally, Ryanair listed a flight from Faro to Lisbon where we planned to connect at the end of our stay to our American Airlines flight home. At that point, I wasn’t sure that I wanted to take a chance of suffering the consequences of a canceled flight. Therefore, I put that decision off. Most importantly, I decided to add about €50 ($57.33) to each of our base fare tickets and buy Flexi Plus plans.

Flexi Plus Perks

The Flexi Plus plan offered check-in 60 days in advance enabling me to print the boarding passes well ahead of time. Equally important, if somehow I forgot, though that was extremely unlikely, we could check-in at the airport free.  In other words, this feature gave me one less item to think about before our trip.

Another Flexi Plus perk was the ability to change our flight for free if an unexpected issue arose. Plus, not only could I select our seats so that we could sit together, haha kids, but we could bring two bags into the cabin.

Flexi Plus enabled us priority boarding and a fast track through security. Furthermore, each of us could check a bag that was up to 44 pounds. Please note: according to the current plan they don’t include the checked bag in the Flexi Plus price. Regardless, this plan reduced my stress considerably, and my husband later commented that he was happy that buying the Flexi Plus plan helped us move through the process quickly.

Our Ryanair Check In

Unlike the man at the ticket counter, our Ryanair check-in went smoothly. After the agent checked our documents, we headed over to drop our baggage. Then we were off to security and the gate. In our case, there were no glitches.

Ryanair Tip

While we waited at the gate, we watched staff members measure some carry-on bags that were supposed to be free but didn’t fit the size requirements. As a matter of fact, your first carry-on bag may be larger than you think. The following measurements are the maximum allowed for your first carry-on: (40cm X 20cm X 25cm) or (15.7” X 7.8” X 9.8”). To be sure, measure your bag ahead of time. If it exceeds the size regulations, you will not only get hit with an extra €25, but the Ryanair gate agent will check your bag for you.

Ryanair Reservations

Flexi Plus Cost

Generally speaking, I feel that Flexi Plus was worth the price. Though we spent an additional $57.33, we would have paid about $12.00 on the 10kg bag, $28.67 on the 20kg bag, and $3.44 for our standard seats totaling $44.11. Therefore an extra $13.22 per ticket gave me peace of mind. For that reason, if it’s in your budget, you should weigh the options of Flexi Plus.

Final Analysis

As mentioned above, whether you choose to upgrade or not, my best advice is to comb the website and read the reviews for your economy airline so that you understand their requirements. In short, if you do your research, it should help you avoid any unwanted surprises and provide you with a sense of control over your trip.

Ryanair Reservations from Faro to Lisbon

Ultimately, after much consideration and reading several Ryanair reviews, we decided not to take a chance flying Ryanair from Faro to Lisbon. Instead, we enjoyed a scenic drive to the Lisbon airport.

Your Opinion

Have you ever flown one of the economy airlines in Europe? In general, what was your experience?  Have you ever had an economy airline cancel your flight?  Despite the canceled flight, did the staff book you on another plane?

Please comment below.

Economy Airline Europe

2 thoughts on “Ryanair Flexi Plus Worth the Money?

  1. I’m interested in learning more about these economy airlines, and considering using one in the U.S. I have heard a lot of horror stories, but there is an unquestionable savings. Glad you had a good experience, and it sounds like upgrading to the flex plan was a great idea. Thanks for putting in the research and giving it a go, so I can learn from your experience!

    1. Thanks for your comment Cynthia. As with anything else, no matter what airline you choose, ensure that you read the details concerning the additional charges so that you aren’t caught off guard and pay more than you expected.

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