I promised myself that I would never fly with Ryanair. I heard too many stories of rude employees, strict rules and bad management. I always preferred to pay a little bit more for an airline I know and trusted. When I flew to Ireland in January the price difference between the airlines was too big though and Ryanair clearly won when comparing the prices.
Too many additional costs
I flew out to Dublin from Eindhoven in the Netherlands in January and flew back the same route couple of days later. I have to admit that I was surprised by Ryanair. When I booked the flight couple of weeks earlier I created a reminder in my calendar to check in online as soon as it is possible, which normally is 14 days before departure. I also printed out my ticket early enough and checked that everything was right. I heard that if you don’t have your ticket with you they charge you 40 € to print it out at the airport.
I also only had carry on luggage which made the flight more affordable. Something I hated about the booking process was that you always have additional costs after you selected a flight: 2 Euros passenger fee, 6 Euros web checkin, 12 Euros admin fee etc… At the end I paid another 20 € to the actual price. It was still much more cheaper than other airlines.
Get an extra carry on bag to save costs
For weekend trips I bought a bag which is accepted as carry on by all airlines. At both flights they checked if my bag would fit into on of these standardized boxes. If it wouldn’t they would have charged me another 40-50 Euros for checking in my bag.
If you want a good seat you should line up at the gate early. At Ryanair you don’t have a reserved seat as you usually have at other airlines, with them you actually have to fight for it. So it you are a group traveling together you should line up early.