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How I Lost 10kg in an Hour: The Secret to Flying Ryanair!

I’ve flown like an animal before. Such is the most accurate way I can describe my experience flying easyJet out of London’s Luton Airport, a hotbed of low-cost carrier activity. While my bag drop was simple and straightforward (though I’d hate to go through the full check-in process there), from the moment I left the gate agent I felt as though I was in the midst of a herd of cattle until firmly entrenched in Seat 2A (how I managed to pull THAT seat off is another story) and off to Berlin.

Disclaimer: This post is not a knock on the low-cost model. While I stand by my description of the overall experience, let me state that I absolutely love the model, as it does open the skies to many people that wouldn’t otherwise have the means to fly and explore the world. This is simply meant to be a light-hearted take on how to push the limits of Ryanair’s strict rules. So relax…smile. And read on….

This time, I tried Ryanair out of London’s Gatwick Airport. I was lucky to be randomly chosen to scoot through security in the “by invitation only” premium line, which is introducing fancy new facial recognition technology to the screening process.

Now, if you’re not familiar, Ryanair lives and dies with ancillary revenues (see AirScoop’s thoughtful report on Ryanair’s business model here). That said, while many airlines tend to let some rules in regards to carry-ons slide, strict enforcement is very much built into Ryanair’s core culture. In my case, I had pre-paid for one checked bag (at 15kg, rather than the 20kg option that was also available), and was allowed one carry-on (not to exceed 10kg and required to fit in the box in the photo below).

Ryanair's Carry-on Limit

If it fits....but ONLY if it fits!

Problem is, London has great shopping. And I couldn’t resist. As such, I ended up with a 17kg checked bag, which the agent graciously allowed me to repack to achieve weight, but which left me with a few more things to carry. Being the resourceful guy that I am, I managed to consolidate the equivalent of two carry-ons with what amounts to a belt, and I put on not one or two, but three jackets before heading to the gate! (How else do you think I shaved 2kg from my bag weight?). Then, the straggling items that were falling out of my makeshift 2-in-1 bag, I stuffed down the inside of my jacket, which was all being held together by industrial strength buttons. My only fear was bursting open at the seems right in front of the gate agent!

Ryanair Attire

Making Kevin Smith Proud (See: Southwest Airlines)

I managed to document my “new” physique as I boarded the aircraft, breathing a huge sigh of relief when the gate agent didn’t make me undress before passing through to the boarding lounge, which is akin to arriving on Victory Lane when trying to bring more than you should with you on a Ryanair flight.

Ryanair Attire

Wrapped in 3 jackets and a few miscellaneous items, and ready to go!

As soon as I got on the aircraft, I managed to shed layer after layer, with there fortunately being an empty seat next to me with which I could get organized.  By the time we arrived in Dublin, I was back to two standard sized carry-ons, two extra jackets wrapped around my waist, and a MUCH slimmer physique than that with which I had departed London!  And a great sense of accomplishment, to boot :).

See the photos below for some photographic evidence into what makes the Ryanair model work!

Ryanair Gate Queue

All of the bargain-hunters waiting to see if they pass inspection...

I can choose the shorter line...for a fee.

Bin Size

Strict enforcement of carry-on sizes.

Making sure pax is in compliance...

If you make it here, breathe easy!

Ready to depart for Dublin!

Premium charge for additional legroom, which is just the exit row.

Advertising on overhead bins.

Safety instructions on seatback saves printing (replacement) charges.

No seatback pocket means less time cleaning. Faster turns means more revenue.

Goodies for sale onboard.

More goodies for sale.

 

 

 

 

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