Tuesday 26 March 2019

Ryanair offers passengers unlimited priority boarding for €199 a year

The new flat fee for extras is one of several 'customer care' changes on the way, our Travel Editor reports

Growing: Ryanair expects to carry 152 million flyers this year
Growing: Ryanair expects to carry 152 million flyers this year
Pól Ó Conghaile

Pól Ó Conghaile

Sick of tacking on priority boarding and paying extra for seat selection every time you book a Ryanair flight?

The airline's latest wheeze could save you the hassle - for a €199 annual fee.

'Ryanair Choice', as the new frequent flyer scheme is being dubbed, will bundle unlimited priority boarding, standard seat selection and fast-track services (where available) into a single annual fee, it says.

The €199 subscription does not include basic air fares, of course.

But will it save regular travellers any cash?

Currently, priority boarding costs from €6 to €10 per flight (including two pieces of hand luggage), with standard seat selection starting from €3.

Taking a basic cost of €9 per flight for these two extras, a passenger would need to take more than 22 Ryanair flights each year before any savings kick in.

The scheme, one of several new customer care "improvements" announced by the airline yesterday, will be rolled out at the end of summer.

Other changes include a 'Customer Care Charter' which Ryanair says will see EU261 claims for delayed or cancelled flights processed "in 10 days".

The service will be rolled out with "new 24/7 support" and connect passengers within two minutes, Ryanair is promising.

A new, 48-hour grace period for booking changes is also being introduced by the budget airline.

This will allow passengers who wish to amend a booking an extra 24 hours in which to do so without incurring extra charges.

Currently, name changes on bookings alone cost from €115 online.

The announcement of the changes come as Ryanair is preparing to accept delivery of the first of up to 200 new Boeing 737 MAX 8-200 "gamechanger" aircraft this April.

The airline expects to carry 152 million customers this year, despite the fact that it issued its second profit warning in a row last month, and shuttered its two-year-old 'Ryanair Holidays' division this January.

Irish Independent

Editors Choice

Also in Life