How to get premium Ryanair seats for free

Rachel PearsonWritten by | Travel Tips

Ryanair

Following on from earlier article about how to book Ryanair flights we thought I’d give you a cheeky little extra tip about how to check in to your Ryanair flight.

First of all always check in to Ryanair online before you fly. Online check in closes 4 hours before the flight takes off so make sure you don’t try as you’re arriving at the airport. Also, make sure you print out your ticket as some Ryanair check in counter will still charge you a big sum just to print out a new ticket.

I personally think the easiest way to have your ticket on you is keep a copy in your passbook or Iphone Wallet. This means that your ticket is on the front screen of your phone and ready to be scanned at any moment whether it’s going through security or getting onto the plan and it’s a lot easier if you are in a group or on a multi stop trip. Just wipe left on the passport notification and the ticket will appear without even having to unlock your phone.

Checking in online will also help you potentially avoid paying extra fees for oversized or overweight bags. Ryanair have much smaller allowances for carry-on luggage sizes and weights. However, if you check in online and just carry on your less likely to have your carry-on luggage weighed. Just try to make it look like it’s not too heavy when you boarding the plane.

However, we have a great tip for getting something free out of Ryanair. When you check in online you can pay extra for premium seats which are mainly those with extra leg room at the front of the plane.

Ryanair’s business model operates on the principal that they fill their flights with at least 90% occupancy. A standard Ryanair plane has 180 seats of which between 24 and 36 are designated either premium or additional leg room seats.

If you don’t chose a premium seat when checking in the Ryanair system will allocate you a non-premium seat. But if you’ve done the sums already you’ll know that on a 180 seat flight at 90% occupancy should only leave a maximum of 18 seats spare which means if you check in last then the system will be forced to allocate you one of the premium or extra legroom seats.

A good way to check if this is going to work is to check if your flight if fully booked the day before you travel. If it is, think about checking in slights before the 4hour deadline to maximise your chances of getting the best seats. These are the ones at the front of the plan with nicer chairs, better legroom and guarantee you getting of the plan first and making through passport control first and being first to the car hire or wherever you need to go to.

Make sure you check in before the deadline to avoid missing it an paying extra fees. Also, this might not be the best idea if you are flying as a family as the later you check in the harder it will be for the computer to find 5 seats that are together.

But I can tell you from experience that after being charge extra for luggage that allegedly doesn’t fit in the overhead storage when it actually does or trying to be charged £50 for printing out another boarding pass, it’s nice to get one over on the and get something for free.

Last modified: 2nd September 2017

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