Ryanair hack to save money on flights but there's a catch

A Ryanair jet
-Credit: (Image: Ian Waldie/Getty Images)

An expert has shared her top tip for saving money on Ryanair flights.

Chelsea Dickenson calls herself the "cheap holiday expert" and her travel knowledge has seen her appear on TV shows such as This Morning, as well as garnering thousands of social media followers.

Budget airline Ryanair offers passengers the option to book seats, at an additional cost, and these can quickly add up. Chelsea said paying for her seat is a "bug bear" of hers, and has shared her tip for people to avoid the fees and therefore save money on Ryanair flights.

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In her blog, she said that while people can simply opt for a randomly-allocated seat, this usually means "they often allocate you a less desirable seat". Chelsea added: "This could be a middle seat or if you’re travelling with others, a seat at completely different ends of the plane."

Chelsea believes airlines allocate the "bad" seats first, in the hopes passengers will then "opt to pay for another seat". But, she said this often means that if you check in last, there'll often be nothing but "good" seats left, adding: "This hack hinges on the very simple concept of you waiting as long as you can to check in".

Chelsea calls it a "game of check in chicken" but adds: "The most important thing is that you remember to check in. Ryanair check in closes 2 hours before departure".

She said: "What I often find is that with around 8 hours to go, most people have checked in and there’s often only the ‘good’ seats left. That’s when I’ll check in so that I can feel reassured it’s all sorted."

The caveat, though, is that there are no guarantees. Chelsea continued: "You're not necessarily going to be sat with the person you're checking in with, though it has worked out for me that way. But if you're not going to pay for seats anyway, what do you have to lose?"

Ryanair has been approached for comment.

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