Are Ryanair’s £9.99 Fares Just A Myth?

Ryanair is well known for its super-low fares. However, is it possible to book a flight with the Irish LCC for under a tenner, or is it just a myth? Simple Flying decided to find out.

Ryanair, Low Fares, Low Cost Carrier
Everybody knows about Ryanair’s £9.99 flights, but how do you find them? Photo: Piotr Mitelski via Ryanair

Low-cost carriers have made travel more accessible to everybody by offering lower fares than would be expected with a traditional carrier. This has upset some carriers, with Austria even looking to ban carriers from selling tickets for less than it cost them to provide the flight. But if tickets cost passengers less than it costs and airline to operate a flight, how does the airline make money?

£9.99 flights aren’t a myth

While they may seem hard to find, £9.99 ($12.86) flights aren’t a myth. Ryanair does offer them. However, such low fares can be hard to find, as, just like reward seats on full-service airlines, there can be just a few of them on each flight.

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Indeed, it seems that such low fares are even easier to access than ever before, given the lack of demand for travel that has prompted Ryanair’s passenger numbers to dip after a successful August. At the time of writing, Ryanair was selling a one and a half hour flight from its London Stansted hub to Frankfurt for £9.99 om October 18th.

Ryanair, Low Fares, Low Cost Carrier
The lack of demand given the current situation has made it easier to find £9.99 fares. Screenshot: Ryanair Website

How does Ryanair make money?

So you may be wondering how Ryanair makes money if it offers such low fares. For flights leaving the United Kingdom, such as the flight mentioned above, Ryanair has to pay £13 to the UK government in Air Passenger Duty.

Now, add on top of this the wages of the crew, the fuel needed for the flight, airport fees, and aircraft maintenance costs, and a £9.99 fare seems that it will cost the airline a lot of money. However, with the impact of the current drop in passenger numbers on one side, Ryanair is a healthy business. As such, we know that it is not leaking money on £9.99 fares.

Ryanair, Low Fares, Low Cost Carrier
Ryanair makes money of £9.99 fares with extra charges. Photo: Piotr Mitelski via Ryanair

£9.99 will only get you a bum on a seat. You won’t get any baggage beside a small under seat carry on, and if you’re traveling with others, you almost certainly won’t sit together. The Irish LCC will let you pay for a seat selection and to be able to take an additional cabin bag onboard. Additionally, the airline charges for the privilege of checking baggage into the aircraft’s hold.

These additional services cost Ryanair very little to operate. However, they allow the airline to offset the cost of super-low fares. While it is possible to spend just £9.99 on a flight, most people will need to buy another bag. This means that while some people will inevitably fly for less than a flight costs, Ryanair manages to cover its costs at the end of the day.

What is the lowest that you’ve ever paid for a Ryanair flight? Let us know the price and the route in the comments!