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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36 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
  2. Sue

    Are pushchairs free of charge for a 3yr old child?
    It’s a little confusing between infants allowed 2 items & children
    Thanks

    Reply
    • Elaine

      Hi Sue

      As long as the child is travelling with you I think they allow strollers. It’s best to check directly with Ryanair though just in case.

      Elaine

      Reply
  3. Kari

    For the 2 baby items allowed (pushchair and additional), do you know if a toddler backpack (Like an osprey hiking back) would be allowed? Or possibly this type of equipment would be charged an additional €25 each flight?

    Reply
    • Elaine

      Hi Kari

      I don’t think so. Ryanair specify ‘1 pushchair plus one of the following items: car seat or booster seat or travel cot’ so I presume they would charge for a backpack.

      Elaine

      Reply
  4. Cin

    I still confuse, if I purchase a comfort seat , is that mean I don’t need to pay for the infant’s fare? Or I still need to pay the infant’s fare plus the comfort seat?

    Reply
    • Elaine

      Just the fare for the comfort seat as far as I’m aware – it’s the full adult fare.

      Reply
  5. catherine

    hi!
    did you take your yoyo in to the cabin?
    thanks for your feedback!
    cathérine

    Reply
    • Elaine

      Hi Catherine

      We do but we use it as one of our hand luggage pieces. So I carry the yoyo as my main hand luggage along with my handbag and the baby bag.

      Elaine

      Reply
      • Tiffany

        Hi, thank you for a much better under of their policy. Do you put your YoYo in the backpack carry back onboard or do you only take the stroller? Have they given you any issues with it? Or made you try and stick it in the little box by the entry door to see if it would fit?

        Reply
        • Elaine

          Hi Tiffany

          I carry it on board as is with Ryanair. We’ve never been asked to measure or had any issues. We always take one less piece of cabin baggage so we have a piece to allocate to the stroller. The only time we’ve been asked to use the stroller bag was on Scoot Airlines in Asia (they don’t let strollers on unless they’re bagged).

          Elaine

          Reply
  6. Sylvia del Real

    Does Ryanair have specific measurement requirements in addition to the 5 kg weight limit on baby bags?

    Reply
    • Elaine

      Hi Sylvia, they don’t specify baby bag measurements. We use a standard baby bag and never had any issues.

      Elaine

      Reply
  7. Louise

    Hi, do you know if I purchase an infant comfort seat, will they assign that beside me or will I need to contact them to do this? It is a 4.5 hour flight, so I’m wondering would it be worth having the extra seat? Any feedback greatly appreciated. It will cost £70 more than just having the infant fare.

    Thanks
    Louise

    Reply
    • Elaine

      Hi Louise

      You have to call to book a comfort seat and I think they assign seats together at that point. As far as I know, they don’t charge for it as an infant can’t be separated from the adult travelling with them.

      Elaine

      Reply
  8. Sarah

    Hi Elaine,

    Thank you for the very well worded and helpful article! So much clearer than Ryanair’s website!

    Do you know whether a pram carrycot would count as a travel cot, i.e. the second baby item if I also take the stroller/pram base?

    Thanks,
    Sarah

    Reply
    • Elaine

      Hey Sarah

      I’m not sure! They specify a travel cot or a car seat so I guess it would be ok if you classify it as a travel cot!

      Elaine

      Reply
  9. Nuno

    are babies sitting on the lap, and under 2 years old of age, paying a normal adult ticket when booking?

    because thats what I am paying when booking to a 10 months old baby… full ticket!

    Reply
    • Elaine

      Hi Nuno

      It should be a fixed fee each way – we pay 25 Euro. You shouldn’t have to pay the full fare for a lap infant, there’s an option to select an infant ticket when booking online.

      Elaine

      Reply
  10. Som

    Hi Elaine,

    Your article was so helpful — I’m traveling on RyanAir for the first time, and their website has confused me. I’ll be with my 18-month-old, and can’t determine the difference between purchasing a 1) Seat to use with Amsafe CARES restraint/car seat (in which case I believe he gets a 10kg cabin bag + small bag, and the ability to check another bag), and 2) an Infant Comfort Seat (in which case he only gets a 5kg baby bag). I get that these are two distinct categories but for the life of me I can’t figure out the difference in the seats themselves or the cost!

    Any insights you have would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

    Som

    Reply
    • Elaine

      Hi Som

      I think if you have a seat you’d be ok to take the cabin bag if you purchase a seat for either comfort/restraint – I’m really not sure why they have different rules. If I paid full price adult fare for the infant ticket I’d 100% make use of the standard baggage allowance if I needed it!

      Elaine

      Reply
  11. Lucy

    Thank you so much for this review the yoyo is bigger than the dimensions on their website by a fraction! It’s good to know they allow it!! 😊

    Reply
    • Elaine

      I think it would be bad luck if they refused Lucy! I’ve never had to put it in the baggage size check at the gate though!

      Elaine

      Reply
  12. John Byrne

    Hello,

    i am taking my 8 year old and need to take car seat. Do you need to book it in when making the ticket reservation or can you just turn up with it to the baggage drop?

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Elaine

      Hi John

      You might need to let the airline know for seating. I’m not sure if car seats are only permitted in certain seats.

      Elaine

      Reply
  13. Amirah

    I am flying withy 2 daughters 12 years and 23 months she will return as a 2 year old. I purchased all 3 priority. When I called to have the little one checked since it was not possible online, the lady informed me that I can take a 5 kilo diaper bag on board for her. Does that mean we can only carry 4 cabin bags instead of 6. The flight internity is still showing 6 cabin bags. Die she maybe mean a additional 5 kilo bag… The lady did not speak. Very well English and was more of a very unfriendly personality.. Thanks,
    Amirah

    Reply
    • Elaine

      Hi Amirah

      Did you buy a separate seat for the 23 month old on both flights? Ryanair have this weird rule that under 2s only get a 5kg baby bag rather than the full luggage allowance even when you purchase a ticket. I don’t know if they implement it in the airport though – if you bought a full fare seat I really don’t see how they could. If she is flying out on your lap, the 5kg is in addition to your cabin luggage.

      Hope that helps

      Elaine

      Reply
  14. Mark

    Do you know can you fly with just a birth certificate for newborns?

    Reply
    • Elaine

      Hi Mark

      I don’t think so although maybe for domestic flights. We looked at the ferry between UK and Ireland and I think it allows infants with birth certs.

      Elaine

      Reply
  15. Asta

    Hi,
    Im not sure about my pram. It doesnt collapse into one piece but into 2 separate pieces. Does it count as 2 baby check in equipment?

    Reply
    • Elaine

      Hi Asta

      I think it probably counts as one piece but I’d double check with Ryanair.

      Elaine

      Reply
      • lidia meola

        Was this confirmed? My Icandy seperates into two pieces.

        Reply
        • Elaine

          As far as I know it’s ok as long as it’s collapsible – I think they give two luggage tags, one for each part.

          Reply
  16. Steve Clarke

    MY Granddaughter is flying with Ryanair from UK to Spain to visit us and bringing her 8 month old son with her (our Great Grandson). Your explanation is very helpful and reassuring. I was wondering why they seemed to want to allocate a seat near the back and I was thinking of changing but I can see why now. It’s going to be difficult as she is travelling on her own as her partner’s passport hasn’t arrived in time so it’s good to know that people are generally helpful, I know I would be.
    We have travelled with Ryanair many times and always buy priority which I did for my Granddaughter and the baby.
    I have one little question, because she is on her own it would be easier to get the tag for the stroller at the gate, which it says you can do but I don’t know if anyone has actually done that instead of queuing at the baggage drop off desk.

    Reply
    • Elaine

      Hi Steve

      I’ve done it a few times in Dublin but the gate staff weren’t very pleased. I’ve always found it quite quick to get it at check in as most people don’t have bags/drop bags quickly and are using machines.

      Elaine

      Reply

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