Lauda Airbus A320 VS Ryanair Boeing 737 – What’s Best To Fly?

One of the best and cheapest ways to get around Europe is to use one of the many low-cost-carriers. But not all are equal, even if they are owned by the same company. Take Laudamotion, purchased by low-cost king Ryanair in March 2018 and renamed to Lauda.  It has a different fleet of aircraft and a completely different soft product.

Lauda VS Ryanair. Which is best? Photo: Simple Flying

So how does the purchased Lauda compare to the Ryanair experience? Let’s find out.


Ryanair Expansion
Laudamotion expects to serve 10 million passengers in 2022. Photo: Laudamotion

The Austrian low-cost-carrier has a fleet of 21 Airbus aircraft, with the majority being A320s. They are considering buying 100 A321neos in the next few months from Airbus.

Their A320-200s are configured to carry 180 passengers in an all-economy seating layout. There are exit rows and the first row of seats that have additional legroom (34 inches), but these are sold for an additional fee.

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Their average seat has a legroom pitch of 32 inches and is just over 17 inches wide.


Fleet of Ryanair aircraft at the airport
Ryanair has a huge fleet of 737-800 aircraft. Photo: Ryanair.

Ryanair, the world’s most infamous low-cost-carrier, is well known for its grueling seating conditions. Their smaller seat pitch of 30 inches is almost brutal (although some airlines do provide only 29 inches of seat pitch) and at 17 inches wide it’s not a service designed for comfort. There are some premium seats at the forward part of the plane that have 32 inches of pitch, which readers will realize is the same dimensions as the normal seating in Lauda economy.

Ryanair also use the same aircraft type for their entire fleet, the Boeing 737-800. It is because of this that there is no mistake what aircraft you are going to get when booking with them. In fact, you will know the conditions right down to the same seat onboard.

Ryanair also charges for everything from seat selection to luggage to a fee for not booking in online. Additionally, Ryanair also has slightly smaller dimensions for carry on baggage, at 55cm x 40cm x 20cm, while most airlines allow 56cm x 45cm x 25cm.

Which is best?

Bottom line, choosing between these two aircraft should come down to price. If one is significantly cheaper than another, then it is best to pick that aircraft. If the price isn’t a problem, then it is unlikely that you would be flying on these low-cost-carriers anyway.

But if both of these flights are similarly priced, then Lauda comes out on top. Their extra legroom and more liberal baggage policies (checked cabin baggage fee of 40 EUR vs 100 EUR) makes your flight a more comfortable experience.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments!

  1. Airbus vs Boeing? Airbus always! More comfortable, better legroom, smoother ride, quieter, need I go on? Ryanair is poor service and you pay for everything. Staff are surly and seats are uncomfortable. If cattle class is okay, then fine. But anything over 60min flying and you wish you were somewhere less tortuous. A321 is best single isle anywhere. Fly EasyJet!

  2. A few comments:
    – The tight seat pitch on Ryanair is actually very do-able if you have a (newer) plane with slimline seats; with old-fashioned thick seats, it’s less comfortable, but still not the end of the world for a short flight of a few hours.
    – Any new plane ordered for Lauda will probably have a tighter seat pitch; the same will existing planes, once they get an interior refresh.
    – I bet Ryanair would love to have A321s instead of 737s, because they can carry 230 passengers as opposed to 198 on Ryanair’s 737 models. Several airports served by Ryanair are now slot-restricted, so the only way to grow is by carrying more passengers per slot. In addition, if Ryanair had the A321, it could avail of the LR/XLR versions, to expand its route network. BAD choice by Ryanair!
    – I’d much prefer to fly in an A320/A321 than a 737, because the former is quieter and has a wider cabin. But, in many cases, there isn’t a choice: if you’re flying from a Ryanair hub, you’re going to be on a 737 🙁
    – On a related note: IAG says it’s considering purchasing 737 MAXs for Vueling…which is currently an all-Airbus airline. Whoever is making this decision needs to re-think carefully.

  3. I much prefer flying on Airbus aircrafts,that’s why i fly with EasyJet in Europe .Lauda Air is based in Vienna Austria and so are Austrian Airlines( the regular Austrian carrier) which also have cheap regular flights across Europe so it will be pretty easy to avoid the Boeing 737 Max for those who want to avoid it in the EU.

  4. I would definitely choose Airbus instead of Boeing in any case. This is clear!
    I want to make some comments. There are many things in this article that are not true.
    The baggage policy is completely same between the two airlines. You even buy your tickets by the same website. The checked baggage costs both with Ryanair and Lauda 25 EUR when you buy it while booking and 40 EUR when you buy it later.
    Seat prices, priority prices, baggage alowance is completely SAME. The only difference is that the plane and brand are different. Also you cannot have this cheap and poor experience while flying with Lauda that you have with Ryanair. But maybe we just have to wait to see…

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