All airlines have different policies regarding flying with infants and small children and the carriage of equipment such as strollers and car seats. Here are 6 things every parent should know when travelling Ryanair with small children.
1. You can bring two pieces of equipment free of charge, including items such as a fully collapsible pushchair / car seat / baby sling / travel cot. Additional items are charged at the rate of €10 each way or €20 each way if booked at airport. You cannot substitute a pram for a bag however, it must be a piece of baby equipment.
Our Tip: if you have a pushchair or anything where you need to separate chassis from the seat to collapse, use a pram bag. This will prevent pieces going missing in the aircraft hold and/or damage.
2. In the small print, Ryanair do not cover damage for “unsuitably packed” items (i.e putting the car seat in a bin liner is not considered suitably packed). They “strongly recommend” the use of travel bags for infant equipment.
Our Tip: We would strongly recommend you use travel bags for equipment, especially buggies and car seats. At least bubble wrap your equipment. We look after airline passengers whose equipment comes out damaged and it is more often than not a buggy that has been damaged, while car seats go AWOL! Check out our pram bags.
3. Children under 2 years travelling in their own seat (ie not on your knee) must have an Amsafe Harness or an aircraft approved car seat. The seat will be marked FAA or TÜV-approved, or “For Use In Aircraft”. These are required items for travel but they are not provided by the airline, so make sure to organise them in advance of flying. We rent Amsafe harnesses.
Our Tip: Maxi Cosi have some great information on the safest way of traveling with a child seat on board.
4. Ryanair charge a fee of €20 (€40 return) for infants travelling on their parent’s knee. There’s no baggage allowance for the child, but parents are allowed a ‘baby bag’ (or a nappy bag) for nappies etc of up to 5kg.
Tip: Pack all your nappies in the pram bag – it’ll give the pram extra padding and protection and give you more space in the baby bag.
5. You can use your pram up to the gate, but always make sure to collapse it for ground handling staff and tidy away any loose straps.
6. If you check in on-line prior to arriving at the airport, don’t forget to have your pram or equipment tagged on arrival at the airport. especially if you are bringing the pram to the gate. If you don’t there is no record of the equipment on the flight and if it doesn’t arrive, or arrives damaged a) there’s no way for the airline to track it #needleinahaystack, and b) making a claim for damage will be very difficult.
The airline has about turned in recent years on their customer service policies and if you find yourself travelling Ryanair with small children and babies, you will find staff helpful and conditions somewhat improved… but don’t expect bells and whistles, it’s not a complete renovation, more like a face-lift!