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Ryanair Beware

Could write a book about our problems with Ryanair on a recent flight from Barcelona (which is an airport they do not use) to Frankfurt, but just recommend Wikipedia for all negative results - we had them all. My question - we just received a cc bill from them in US dollars, when we paid in Euro - with no explanation of the conversion figures used. Is this normal?

Posted by
1455 posts

Nancie,
RyanAir, EasyJet and those low cost, no frills airlines have a ton of rules for a traveler to follow in order to get those super low fares. Basically the cliche is you get what you paid and expect to get dinged for other things that's buried in their rules.

There's pro and cons in taking those airlines. You basically are taking the airline to get from Point A to Point B for the cheapest way possible.

Posted by
4555 posts

Your cc company usually does the conversion at whatever the interbank rate is when the transaction is posted, then add on whatever currency conversion charges they have. They'd be your best bet if you want an idea as to what rate you got converting from Euro. Since your cc is denominated in US dollars, you'll always see charges posted in US dollars, no matter where you are. BUT, if a foreign vendor offers to bill you in US dollars rather than the local currency, refuse. They will convert at a very poor exchange rate, and you'll lose more than just having it charged in the local currency.

Posted by
805 posts

That's a little odd that you didn't get an explanation. Both of my cards say something next to foreign transaction like "Conversion rate of xxx euros is (whatever)"

Posted by
9363 posts

I think that depends on the card, David. One of mine does that, others do not. But she should be able to get that information from the credit card company even if it's not printed on the bill.

Posted by
12 posts

Actually, we used one credit card for the entire time we were away, and Ryanair is the ONLY one that charged us in Euros and billed us in dollars with NO explanation. All the others charged us in Euros and billed us in dollars with the conversion stated on the transaction. Our cc company is requesting explanation from Ryanair -- I wished them luck.

Posted by
4555 posts

I'm sorry, I don't understand...Ryanair billed you in dollars when you paid in Euros? How could you have paid in Euros when your credit card is billed to you in dollars? Did you find out what the conversion rate was that day, and whether you were charged more than you should have been? Your credit card company should be able to tell you at least that much! And I'm still waiting details as to your problems with Ryanair! We don't mind bad news stories to warn the rest of us. But other than slagging Ryanair, you have yet to provide any details about your $1000 loss and why it's Ryanair's fault.

Posted by
12 posts

OK, details you may have. Ryanair doesn't fly in US so we were ignorant of their idiosyncracies like quoting Barcelona when they don't fly out of that city.After turning in our car, we discovered we were over an hour from Terragona,where the flight originated. A 165 Euro dash by cab got us to Terragona 15 minutes before the flight was scheduled to depart, but were refused boarding. Next flight was the next day,or rent a car and fly out of Girona,an hour north of Barcelona,that night. Overweight bags.Told by on-site staff 3 bags, 15 kilos for 2,assuming 45 total.Wrong! Another 130 Euro for bags. Plus 150 Euro for "missing" flight and 18 Euro for extra bag. Rude service and actually told we couldn't expect service like received with budget airlines in U.S.! I'm a meeting planner, so not a novice. Read Wikipedia for details on Ryanair and their poor service and attitute. We experienced it all. Live and learn to the tune of nearly 600 euro & 24 hours.

Posted by
9363 posts

I'm sorry you had a bad experience, but it really doesn't seem to be Ryanair's fault at all. The website clearly states which airport they use. And they also clearly say that you must check in 40 minutes before your flight, not 15. As for the overweight bags (and the additional bag), those regs are on the website, too, as well as the cost for overweight (per kilo of overweight, not per bag). It's too bad that you were out the time and money, but it appears to be your fault, not theirs. That's how they keep the prices for flights low -- lots of rules that must be followed exactly, and charging you for the extras.

Posted by
1455 posts

I agree with Nancy.
You assumed that Ryanair is like any carrier USA. The web site has their rules, and you assumed too much.

It is sad you got bad service, and felt you got burned, and thought it was completely their fault.

Posted by
805 posts

Future notes, read the fine print on RyanAir's tickets. You just outlined the reason I don't fly them. Although I could have flown them, for example, last summer from Pisa (yes the main Pisa airport) to Paris for about 40% less than Easyjet to Orly, it wasn't worth it. This is because I wanted to go visit some family near Chablis, due south of Paris, and Beauvais is frankly 85km in the wrong direction so it would have taken considerably longer using them.

Posted by
6 posts

There might be lots of reasons that it might not work out for you to fly a particular budget airline, but it's not fair to blame the airline when you choose to fly with them and you don't bother to find out what their regulations are. You may not be a novice in arranging travel, but you obviously are when it comes to flying internationally. There is a lot of discussion here about budget airlines, and some people don't like them for one reason or another, but I am willing to follow the rules in order to get the cheaper fares.

Posted by
208 posts

From Ryahair. In order to purchase a ticket, the terms must be agreed to.
http://www.ryanair.com/site/EN/conditions.php?view=email
"Each passenger is permitted to check in up to a maximum of 3 bags combined weight of 15kgs subject to the payment of the applicable checked baggage fees. Checked baggage booked online is charged per bag/per one way flight at a discounted rate of £8/€10 for the first bag and £16/€20 for each additional bag/ per one way flight. If checked baggage fees are paid either at the airport or through a Ryanair call centre, the standard rate of £16/€20 per bag/per one way flight will apply."

"You should be at the boarding gate at least 30 minutes prior to scheduled departure and available for boarding 20 minutes before departure. Boarding closes 10 minutes prior to departure. If you arrive later than this at the boarding gate you will not be accepted for travel. For travel on a later flight, you will be required to purchase a new ticket at the then applicable f

Posted by
19 posts

Nancie, regardless of who is at fault here, I'm still glad that you posted this thread. I'm sure that not everyone here is familiar with Ryanair's rules and their use of out-of-town airports, so this thread may very well help people. I myself wasn't familiar with all this until a few weeks ago, when someone on this Helpline alerted me to it. So thanks to this site, I did the math and ended up booking my Paris-to-Venice flight on a different discount airline (Vueling) because it actually uses the major in-town airports.

Posted by
9363 posts

When you book a ticket on the Ryanair website, it tells you exactly which airport it flies to. If that doesn't work for you, you choose something else. Failure to read the website or your e-ticket doesn't make it the airline's fault. So yes, people should pay more attention to what they are doing when they buy tickets online from airlines they are unfamiliar with (or any airline). If they did, they would know that what size bag is acceptable, if they can take two bags, whether you have to have an EU passport to check-in online, or many other of the common questions people ask on the helpline.

Posted by
2 posts

Actually, all transactions in Europe are posted in the local currency. The bank converts the amount to Dollars based on the daily rate when the transaction is posted. Ryan Air does not indicate what the Euro amount was, nor does it explain what was being billed. The rate charged by Ryan Air is above the rate charged by the banks; that's why they bill in dollars. It is a profit center for them.

Ryan sells seats on the internet to major cities where they do not have airports. When you search for rates to major cities, their rates will be posted even though they do not warn the traveler that they will be stranded hours away from their destination. Ryan Air flights take off with empty seats sold to passengers who were not told where the flights are taking off.

Ryan Air has received more complaints than any airline flying, according to Wikipedia, and has been sued successfully for false advertising. No frills air travel is one thing, but Ryan is not a good airline.

Posted by
2 posts

Much has been written about failue to follow the rules of Ryan Air. Ryan Air sell tickets through internet search engines which neither provide the rules nor notify the passenger that there are any special rules. The problem with Ryan Air is that the airline strands people in out-of-the-way locations. If you do a search for flights to London, Barcelona or Frankfurt, you will find a quote from Ryan Air, which the search engine will sell you. Ryan Air does not fly to London, Barcelona or Frankfurt, but neither the search engine nor the airline will inform the passenger that they will be stranded. If you show up at one of those major airports, you will learn that your flight is leaving from some location you cannot reach in a timely manner. Ryan Air has rewritten the geography in Europe by suggesting that their airports are in cities which are not even close by.
If they called their airport, the Hahn airport, no problem. They call it Frankfurt (Hahn)...problem.

Posted by
9363 posts

Baggage limitations and check-in times exist for every airline. They are not unique to Ryanair (though Ryanair might be stricter about them than some others). If you scroll through the helpline topics you will find lots of people trying to make sure that they are following the rules of whatever airline or airlines they are flying. Particularly since 9/11, regulations for flying in general have changed and people are aware of that, so they check it out ahead of time so there are no surprises.

London Stansted and London Gatwick, while not technically IN London, are still considered London airports. (Technically, I don't think Heathrow is in London either.) Frankfurt (Hahn) and Paris (Beauvais) are notoriously distant from Frankfurt and Paris, but mostly Ryanair flies to smaller airports in the same city (or sometimes the main airport, as in Pisa).

Posted by
4555 posts

Jay....you are completely wrong when you say Ryanair sells through internet search engines which do not list the rules. Ryanair, to avoid paying commissions to anyone ONLY sells tickets through its own website, as do other discount airlines like easyjet, vueling, etc. You may use that excuse for major airlines like American, US Air, Air Canada, BA, and a host of others, but not for Ryanair. Please don't try to blame the airline for Nancie's lack of preparation.

Posted by
9363 posts

Hey, you're right, Norm! I checked Orbitz, Travelocity, and Expedia -- no Ryanair, but some of the other budgets.

Posted by
808 posts

It really does pay to read the fine print. I'm sorry that Nancie didn't feel that her experience with Ryanair was a good one.

I've read numerous comments from disgruntled passengers on sites such as the one mentioned. Some of the negative experiences with Ryanair could have been avoided altogether if only "the buyer had been more aware". It really does pay to do your "homework". Or if you can't do that, hopefully you will have a really good Travel Consultant working for you.

Arriving at a satelite Airport can be a nasty surprise if you weren't expecting to be that far away from town. S/t it's not always the least expensive route to go with a discount carrier, all things considered. Time is money. The cost of an additional commute and time factor can really drive up your overall cost. That is just one reason why smart Business travellers often opt to fly with the Majors and skip the Minors like Ryanair.

Posted by
104 posts

Here is a very useful website for finding out where budget airlines fly . It is very simple to use. You begin by clicking on the the airport of your choice & in the next column it will show where you can get to from there.If your destination is not listed, you will know there are no flights. Once you choose your destination, the next column will show what airlines fly there and then you can click on that airline for schedules, etc. So if you wanted to get to Paris, either Charles de Gaulle or Orly from London Stansted, you will see that there are no flights. The website is www.flylc.com Just changed this website, the first was a typo.

Posted by
104 posts

Kent, there are 3 "sections/columns". The 1st says AIRPORTS, the 2nd FLIGHTS, & the 3rd AIRLINES. The airports are in alphabetical order. Select an airport and click on it...the next ccolumn will change showing the destinations you can get to, click on the destination of your choice and under FLIGHTS you will see which airlines fly there. Hope this helps. Ashley

Posted by
10344 posts

Ashley: that's a slick site, I bookmarked it, will be useful.