With news that Ryanair plans to launch flights to the US for less than a tenner is only bound to make budget travellers jump in their seats. We all know what it’s like to fly Ryanair short-haul, so will the savings be worth the experience in the long-haul?
Michael O’Leary has big plans for Ryanair in the next few years. He has claimed that the airline could begin offering flights to the USA for €10 (£8.20) when it acquires the aircraft it needs to operate the routes.
Flights would depart from 14 European cities and offer passengers a choice of dozen or so American destinations, including New York and Boston. Base fares would be rock bottom but the service would offer extras, everything from checked bags to meals and entertainment.
We can make money on 99 cent fares in Europe. Not every seat will be €10 of course, there will also need to be a very high number of business or premium seats.
The airline could begin operating the flights a mere six months after acquiring the right aircraft, but that process could take up to 5 years so don’t start planning your flights to New York just yet.
Will the experience be worth £8.20?
We can certainly say yes to that. But the thought of sitting upright on an 8+ hour flights across the Atlantic doesn’t sound too appetising. The no-frills business model is what Ryanair has been making money on for years so it’s not something they’re about to drop just yet, even if the flights will be longer.
Ryanair’s current Boeing 737-800s don’t feature reclining seats and we all know how little leg room there is. Ryanair will probably win over quite a few passengers with “premium” seats that recline and offer a smidgen more leg room for the journey. You can also expect to dish out a fee for choosing your seats in advance, a service that most long-haul airlines offer for free.
Don’t even get us started on the baggage fees! If you have a serious case of baggage blues, here’s how to skip the luggage fees on low cost airlines.
Food and drinks? If you fly long-haul with a regular airline you can expect a hot meal service, complimentary snacks and beverages, including an alcoholic beverage with your dinner. Passengers will be charged for a similar service onboard Ryanair. On a long-haul flight you’ll want at least one hot meal, a bottle of water, a cup of coffee and perhaps even a snack or two. All these can add up quite quickly over the course of a flight.
As for in-flight entertainment, you can imagine Ryanair taking a different approach than newly released Hollywood blockbusters available at your fingertips… for free. How about swiping your credit card before choosing your film? In-flight movie rentals for a fee, in-flight Wi-Fi for a fee, a copy of the latest Hello! magazine for a fee. You get the picture.
What do you think? Would you pay £8.20 to fly trans-Atlantic onboard Ryanair?