So you’ve heard the excitable commotion surrounding cheap flight offers with low-cost airline Ryanair, but after searching for hours online, they always appear to be far more expensive than everyone had led you to believe, am I right? I thought so. I can tell you that I’ve discovered such delights, and here I will share a few tips to help you find those elusive low-priced fares…
These cheap flights are mainly available during the week, for example if you travelled out on a Monday and returned on a Thursday. This makes them perfect for a daft couple of nights away somewhere, but may not be suitable all the time as you have to be completely flexible with dates and be willing to play them at their own game. They like to draw you in by advertising the offer price, but it’s a challenge to you to hunt hard on their website and stick to the offer prices.
On the Ryanair homepage, click on one of the offers you like the look of and look at the details of how to get those fares. The cheap seats will always be for offpeak dates. Peak periods will be indicated by being blacked out and all other conditions of travel will be shown. Usually, the offer will be for about two months in advance of the date you visit the site.
The most discouraging task of the procedure is next; the search to find ‘live’ cheap flights on the system. Be prepared to be patient. You must check each and every flight during the period of the offer. For example, if the offer is valid for a destination in April, begin on April 1st and check each and every outbound and return flight to that destination for every day in April. You must be flexible. The offer price will never add on extra tax charges, so if tax charges appear on screen then you know that you haven’t selected the offer price (even if the price is described as a ‘SPECIAL OFFER’ or similar and if the ‘base’ price appears low) When you finally bag some appropriate flights that match the offer price advertised on the homepage, you are ready to proceed with your booking. When you move to the next screen, ‘optional extras’ will automatically added to your booking, at an extra cost, of course. To get the true offer price, you must uncheck all of these. In other words, select ‘0 bags’ and ‘online check-in’. This means that you are not permitted to take any hold luggage onto the plane, just one bag of hand luggage. For 2 or 3 nights this shouldn’t be a problem, just bear in mind that you won’t be able to take any sharp objects on board and all liquids must not exceed 100ml each (max. 10 liquid items). Remember that all liquids must be placed in a clear re-sealable ’sandwich’ style plastic bag ready to be checked by security. (If travelling for a longer period of time, feel free to pay more for extra bags, but the satisfaction of getting really cheap flights will simply diminish…) To check-in online you must print off both your outbound and return boarding passes yourself, which can be done from up to 14 days in advance. In addition, you will need to uncheck the ‘priority boarding’ option and the basic result is just that you will have to board the plane with everyone else (the horror!). You will definitely need to purchase travel insurance at some point, but it is not necessary to book with Ryanair. Therefore, feel free to de-select the travel insurance option and make a mental note to shop around for a good deal.
Where will you jet off to on your cheap flight?!
Next stage is the payment screen. To avoid further charges you will need to pay using a visa electron card. If you don’t have one, you can apply for a free, basic online account through the Halifax bank, which comes with visa electron card. It takes 2 – 3 weeks on average to set up but it’s a great investment for the future. After paying with your electron card, congratulations, your booking is complete and you are ready to travel!!!
The last great deal I snapped up was in November. We flew from Leeds/Bradford to Girona, Spain. After waiting patiently for the ‘free flight’ offer that pops up every month or so during winter (which actually charges you 1p each way) I grabbed the flights for an impressive total of 2p return! Upon boarding we found that the flights were no more than half full, meaning that as an added bonus we each had 2 rows of extra legroom seats each way too…Long live Ryanair!
By Mr P Jennings