Flying with Ryanair from Stansted

If you’re considering booking a Ryanair flight this post is for you.

I’ve flown Easy Jet plenty of times so I’m used to “no frills” flying but Ryan Air charges for literally every extra you could imagine! If you’re careful it can still be a lot cheaper than other low-cost options though. You don’t need to pay for all the Ryanair “luxuries” to have a decent flight.


Flying from Stansted: How far is Stansted station from departures and check in?

  • I took a 40 min train from Liverpool Street to Stansted with no problems. A train left about every 20 minutes and they start early in the morning.
  • Stansted airport station is right underneath the departures lounge so it’s very quick to travel from the train to the check in area. It’s a short walk and a lift or escalator up to the next level.

Baggage drop for Ryanair: If you check in a suitcase with Ryanair, how long does it take to queue? 

  • It took me 20 mins to queue to check in my bag. The Ryanair desks were very busy but don’t forget – most people only take hand luggage and go straight through security.
  • Get there 2 hours before your international flight to be safe. 1 hour and half if you’re not checking in luggage.

Do Ryanair weigh your hand luggage?

  • Technically I should’ve had a maximum cabin suitcase of 10kg but… No I didn’t have to weigh my carry on luggage. I only had to weigh my check in suitcase.
  • With Ryanair you can take one small suitcase plus a small handbag and they didn’t put mine (nor anyone else’s) in a box to check size or weight. However, no one seemed to be being sneaky. Everyone else in the queue looked as though their bags would be small enough to be accepted. So if you draw attention because yours looks very big and way over the limit or is obviously very heavy to lift into the overhead hold I suspect then they might check it? But don’t overly worry if you’re a small amount over. My husband took quite a big sports bag and wasn’t stopped

If I’d only had hand luggage & boarding pass printed I could’ve gone straight through security.

  • Taking cabin luggage only is much cheaper & quicker.
  • If you really need more than 10kg though, make sure you pay for the check in bag BEFORE you arrive at the airport or it’ll cost a lot more.

How long does it take to get through security at Stansted airport?

  • About 35 minutes.
  • Security at Stansted was very very busy at 0630 on Monday 24th July. They stopped and swabbed 1 in 3 bags with security doing a thorough check after it going through the scanner and really slowing things down. A man in front of me had a very fat stack of cash in a dodgy paper bag which made it even longer. But it was entertaining watching that drama nonetheless.
  • At security they do provide free plastic bags for your liquids. Each bottle must be below 100ml.
Ryanair: Is it true that only the first 90 people get to take hand luggage on Ryanair flights? 
  • Despite Ryan Air’s strict sounding policy of “only the first 90 pieces of handluggage get in the cabin” actually, on my outbound flight and return, everyone got to take their hand luggage on board. Way way more than 90 suitcases were allowed onboard and there was plenty of space! I think they may just have this policy to scare you into paying £5 for priority boarding.
  • My husband flew a few days later though and did have to check his hand luggage in. So queue up fairly early to be on the safe side.

Is priority boarding with Ryanair worth it? Should I pay extra?

  • I personally would not pay £5 for priority boarding with Ryanair because everyone was allowed to bring their suitcase on board when I flew. There didn’t seem to be much advantage to priority boarding besides getting to sit in your seat 5 mins early.
  • I also wouldn’t recommend paying to checkin online early or choose your seat as all the costs add up. But if you’re part of a family it’s probably worth it.

What are Ryanair planes like?

  • If you haven’t flown with Ryan Air before and have heard bad stories don’t worry! Their planes are just like any lowcost airline but without any TVs in the back of the seat in front of you.
  • On my plane the blue leather seats don’t lean back and the head rest isn’t particularly comfortable for sleeping (which is why I’m awake writing notes for this blog post!)
  • There is no free food or drink offered to you. Buy before you board or take snacks from home. You can buy Ryanair’s coffee snacks. It’s probably not cheap.
  • It’s just a normal budget plane with the usual amount of leg room and quite a big space under the seat in front of you for your second carry-on bag. It’s a wide space but not tall so don’t think you can squeeze in a really huge bulky travellers back pack under there.
  • There is no entertainment at all. Not even music.
  • There is a tray in front of you for your food or your laptop so you can download some good things to watch and bring along with you.

Is it true Ryanair offer bad service?

  • No. Although, I was delayed and so was my husband on a different flight, but the staff were all very nice and apologetic.
  • They never seem to fly to city central airports so bear in mind the cost of transfers.
  • There was terrible turbulence as we attempted to land at Milan Bergamo and I did feel about as scared as though I was on the Tower of Terror ride at Disney Land!
  • Because of a thunder storm we landed at a different airport outside Milan called Malpenza. The staff dealt with the diversion as best they good. They provided a coach to Milan Bergamo, and although it took a while to organise (didn’t arrive until after 2.30pm) they did their best to get us on our way quickly.
  • My flight was due to land at Bergamo at 11.05. We landed at Malpenza at 11.50 which was an hour and 15 mins away. A coach picked us up from Malpenza at 13.20, arriving at Bergamo at 14.40.
  • My return flight was perfectly on time. It did take a while for our suitcase to come through on the luggage conveyor belt after landing at Stansted.
  • You have to walk quite far from the gate to the plane so if you have access requirements make them known and allow extra time.
  • Ryan air departure gates also always seem far from the main lounge. At Stansted it was about about a 10 minute walk from the main departures lounge once you’ve got through security. I only had time to buy a bottle of water then walked straight to the gate.
– I may have had a slightly different experience than the norm. Flying to somewhere popular like Spain, in peak time like August, might involve stricter baggage checks and longer queues so please note that this was just my own experience on Monday 24th July 2017 for an early 0805 flight to Italy.

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