Ryanair with a baby: flying Ryanair with an infant

by | Jan 8, 2019 | Blog, Family Travel, Flights

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With Dublin as our home base, we’ve flown across Europe numerous times on Ryanair with our baby, J, as an infant on Ryanair. From our pre-flight dealings to the onboard experience here’s the lowdown on our flights with Ryanair with a baby/lap infant in tow!

This guide to flying Ryanair with a baby is based on our experience with the new 2019 Ryanair cabin baggage rules which were implemented recently.

 

Preflight

Ryanair infant fare, bassinets and pre-flight seat selection

Infants are defined as passengers under two years of age at the time of flying and Ryanair allows them to travel as either lap infants or with the purchase of a separate seat. Each infant must be accompanied by an adult aged 16 and over.

Ryanair flying with a baby tip: infants must be at least 8 days old to fly. Remember, if a lap infant turns 2 prior to the return flight a full fare seat must be purchased for the return.

Lap infant or separate seat

Lap infant: infants aged between 8 days and 23 months are allowed to travel as a lap infant and sit on an adult’s lap for the duration of the flight. An infant seat belt is provided upon boarding the aircraft. Lap infants are charged a fixed fare of €25 / £25 per flight.

Infant with own seat: a full fare is charged when purchasing a separate seat for infants. There are three options for travelling with an infant who has their own seat which we’ve detailed below:

  • Comfort Seat: an additional seat used for comfort during the flight. The infant must sit on an accompanying adult’s lap for take-off and landing and during periods of turbulence.
  • Amsafe CARES child restraint: suitable for infants aged between 12 and 23 months who weigh between 10 and 20kg. The restraint must be provided by the passenger and it allows infants who meet these criteria to occupy their own seat on a Ryanair flight.
  • Car Seat onboard: airline approved forward-facing car seats which fit in the 42.5cm seat width can be used on board. The car seat must have a CE sticker if European or an FAA sticker if a US seat and the car seat must have ‘Certified for use on aircraft’ printed on it.

Ryanair flying with a baby tip: you will need to contact the Ryanair call centre if booking a separate seat for an infant. They will note the information on whether a car seat or restraint will be used and will allocate a suitable seat for the infant. Website discounts will still apply.

We opted to take J as a lap infant on all our flights as they were short and we didn’t have an appropriate forward-facing car seat when he was under 12 months.

Our little Ryanair lap infant!

 

Ryanair Infant Fares

Fare: Lap infants are charged a fixed fare of €25 / £25 per flight. If you purchase a separate seat for an infant the full adult fare applies.

Ryanair flying with a baby tip: there’s a chance that the infant fare may cost more than the adult fare! If this is the case, it’s worth purchasing a separate seat for the infant and enjoy the extra space on board.

 

Infant Seat Selection

Bassinet availability: there are no bassinets on Ryanair aircraft.

Seat selection: Seats can be purchased in advance or are free if allocated at check-in. Seat prices vary depend`ing on the route and whether it is an extra leg room, a front of plane or standard seat that is purchased.

Infants are seated at the window on Ryanair flights. As J has only travelled as a lap infant on Ryanair, we’ve always purchased our seats online as part of the online booking process.

Ryanair flying with a baby tip: some passengers travelling with an infant prefer to sit towards the rear of the plane as this is where the baby friendly bathroom equipped with baby changing facilities is located. Ryanair flights usually board and disembark the aircraft through the front and rear via steps at most airports so you can still get on and off quickly if you chose a seat towards the rear.

J loves the window seat!

 

Booking an unborn baby on Ryanair

Note, this is an informal policy and you should check directly with Ryanair for the latest policy before you include an unborn infant on your reservation.

There are two methods to book an unborn baby on a Ryanair flight. Both methods cost the same and both require contacting the reservation centre before travel. As above, you should contact Ryanair to ensure this remains the correct way to include an unborn infant on your Ryanair reservation.

  • At the time of booking: include the infant at the time of booking using TBA as the first name and the baby’s surname. For the date of birth use the latest date available in the booking system.
  • Add the infant to the reservation after the birth: call the reservation centre after the baby has arrived and add the infant to the reservation.

 

Ryanair Infant Baggage

Ryanair 2019 cabin baggage rules: Ryanair recently updated their cabin baggage rules.

  • All passengers are permitted to bring a small personal bag on board (40cm x25cm x 25cm) which fits under the seat in front.
  • Passengers who purchase a Priority & 2 cabin bags ticket are allowed to bring an additional 10kg bag on board (55cm x40cm x 20cm). This costs €6 / £6 per flight at the time of booking or €8 / £8 per flight post booking. These tickets are limited to 95 passengers on any flight.
  • Non-priority passengers may purchase a 10kg check-in bag which is left at the airport bag drop desk. This costs €8 / £8 per flight at the time of booking, €10 / £10 per flight post booking or €25/ £25 per flight at the gate.

 

Cabin Baggage

Cabin baggage: Adults accompanying a lap infant or who have purchased a comfort seat for the infant are allowed a 5kg baby bag in addition to their own cabin baggage allowance. If an additional seat has been purchased and the infant is using either a car seat or an Amsafe CARES child restraint, one small cabin bag (40cm x25cm x 25cm) which fits under the seat in front is permitted.

Ryanair flying with a baby tip: as a lap infant, we bring a small baby bag for J in addition to our own cabin baggage allowance. We always purchase the Priority & 2 Cabin Bags ticket to allow us to bring a personal item and 10kg cabin bag on board – we then use one of our 10kg cabin bag allowances to carry our cabin friendly Babyzen Yoyo on board so we have our stroller to hand at all times!

Our cabin baby bag

 

Checked Baggage Allowance

Checked baggage: The option to purchase an infant checked baggage allowance depends on whether a separate seat with a car seat or Amsafe CARES child restraint has been purchased. Lap infants and those who have purchased a comfort seat are not allowed any checked baggage. If an additional seat has been purchased for the infant to use either a car seat or an Amsafe CARES child restraint then it is possible to purchase a checked bag for the infant.

 

Infant Equipment

Infant equipment: Ryanair’s infant fares include 2 specified items of baby equipment per child at no additional cost. Passengers are allowed one pushchair and one of either a car seat, a booster seat or a travel cot. The pushchair can be taken to the steps of the aircraft while any other items should be dropped off at the bag drop desk at the airport.

If you wish to carry infant equipment in excess of the pushchair and one additional item then a car seat, booster seat or travel cot allowance of up to 20kg can be purchased for €25 / £25 per flight.

We check in our car seat as part of the infant equipment allowance (this vast amount of luggage was for a three-month trip!)

Ryanair flying with a baby tip: Depending on local airport rules, sometimes a stroller is not returned until the baggage carousel and the infant will need to be carried from the plane. If this is a concern, you might want to include a baby carrier in your cabin baggage. We always use a cabin friendly stroller so we have it onboard.

Our cabin friendly BabyZen Yoyo stroller in Pienza, Italy

 

Check-in and boarding passes

Online check-in

Ryanair passengers who have purchased a seat can check in between 60 days and 2 hours prior to a flight. Other passengers can check in between 2 days and 2 hours before a flight and are allocated a seat for no additional cost.

Ryanair flying with a baby tip: pick up a gate tag for strollers/car seats at the check in desk. We usually check in our car seat at the check in desk and take our cabin friendly Babyzen Yoyo onboard when our luggage allowance allows. 

 

Boarding Passes

All passengers must check in online and have either a printed boarding pass or an in-app mobile boarding pass. A small number of airports are unable to accept mobile boarding passes so, in this case, make sure to print a boarding pass at least two hours in advance of travel.

If you forget to check in online, airport check costs €55 / £55 with Ryanair. Passengers who have checked in but do not have a printed or in-app mobile boarding pass are charged costs €20 / £20 to have their boarding pass reissued

In order to avoid the above charges, it is essential to check in online and have either a printed or in-app mobile boarding pass in advance of travel unless travelling on a Flexi Plus fare which allows free airport check-in.

Ryanair flying with a baby tip: if you have booked a separate seat for an infant it may not be possible to check in online or print a boarding pass for the infant seat. If this is the case, free check in and boarding passes are provided at the airport but you should ring Ryanair to confirm this will be the case on your individual ticket.

 

Boarding

Unlike most other airlines, passengers with infants are not granted priority boarding unless it is purchased. Priority boarding is only granted to passengers who have purchased Priority & 2 cabin bags tickets.

Ryanair flying with a baby tip: we always purchase the Priority & 2 cabin bags tickets. We find priority boarding invaluable to gave us some extra time to settle J and ourselves and to sort out our cabin baggage.

Ryanair almost always boards their flights via stairs to the aircraft and there is often a short bus journey to the plane. Boarding usually takes place at the front and back of the plane to allow passengers to board as quickly as possible.

Ryanair flying with a baby tip: we like to keep cabin baggage to a minimum and try to avoid having too many bags. Buses and stairs can be difficult with bags and a baby. We’ve always had multiple offers of help from fellow passengers when flying together with J or on a solo flight with him.

 

On Board

Food and drinks: food and drinks are not provided unless purchased on board. We always bring sufficient supplies of milk and food for J (in line with the rules of the airport we are flying from) and the Ryanair crew have always been happy to provide water to heat bottles and food pouches.

Cooling bottles: there’s no ice available on Ryanair flights so take this into account if you need to cool water for bottles.

Lighting and noise: there’s no doubt about it, Ryanair flights are bright and can be quite noisy with announcements. The cabin lights are only dimmed on take off and landing at night so the cabin is bright! We always make sure to have an eye mask or hat to hand so we can cover J’s eyes when he’s asleep.

Ryanair flying with a baby tip: even boiled water is unlikely to be sterile on a flight so make sure to bring a flask with sterile water if you need it.

 

Baby Changing Facilities

A bathroom equipped with baby changing facilities is available at the rear of the aircraft.

Ryanair flying with a baby tip: some passengers travelling with an infant prefer to sit towards the rear of the plane to be close to the baby friendly bathroom on board. Ryanair usually board and disembark the aircraft via steps at the front and rear at most airports so you can still get on and off quickly if you chose a seat towards the rear.

Catching up on sleep on Ryanair!

 

Take off, landing and turbulence

As a lap infant J was given a seat belt extension which attached to the standard seatbelt and we were required to use it during take-off, landing and any time the seat belt sign came on. Infants travelling in a separately purchased comfort seat follow the same rules while those using an approved car seat or harness are allowed to remain restrained in their own seat at these times.

J strapped in during the flight

 

Overall

With the exception of a 5kg baby bag, Ryanair does not offer any of the typical benefits offered by most airlines to passengers travelling with an infant. However, the route options and extremely competitive fares still make them an excellent choice for flying with an infant and we have flown with them regularly since J was born.

When flying with an infant on Ryanair we always make sure to purchase the Priority & 2 cabin bags tickets as well as reserved seat selection to make things easier for ourselves. Although it comes at the cost of €6 / £6 per passenger per flight we value the extra comfort of the Priority & 2 cabin bags tickets as well as the convenience of sitting together which comes with the cost of advance seat selection. Given that Ryanair fares are usually cheaper than the other airlines on the route we usually still end up with cheap fares anyway!

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2 Comments

  1. A

    THANK YOU for your extremely useful and clearly written article. We are flying on Ryanair for the first time with our almost 2 year old and I want to purchase a comfort seat for her. The Ryanair website isn’t very clear on how to do this but your article helped me a lot. Thanks for taking the time and effort to help others like me.

    Reply
    • Elaine

      Thanks, so glad it was useful! Have a great trip!

      Reply

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