Ryanair “Low-Cost Bus” not low-cost at all

When booking a ticket for a flight with Ryanair, they will try to sell you health insurance, suitcases, ski equipment and text messages, all of them at an extra charge of course. The booking process is tedious (which other company makes you fill out a Captcha when you want to make business with them?), but if you travel without luggage and you don’t forget to print out your own boarding pass, the Ryanair flights can admittedly be very cheap.

Now Ryanair has announced “a new partnership with Plus Group, which will deliver low cost bus transfers to 30 Ryanair airports across Europe over the next 12 months”.

As one of the cities covered by this new programme is Vilnius, where I currently live, I got suspicious. I use Vilnius airport quite often and I did not really see the need for an additional low-cost bus. But let’s see what Ryanair will charge for the bus from Vilnius airport to the bus/train station in the city:

Ryanair Vilnius airport transferOnly 3 Euros. “That sounds reasonable”, people will think, click and pay, not knowing that they have three other options, not even considering expensive taxis or a 30-minute walk into the city:

  1. There are regular public transport buses between the airport and the train station. One ride costs 2.50 Litas (= 0.72 Euros).
  2. There is a train from the airport to the train station. One ride costs 2.50 Litas (= 0.72 Euros).
  3. Lastly, the shuttle bus which Ryanair advertises is already in existence, has been in existence for a long time and is running on the same schedule already. Ryanair have not added a single journey. The only difference? If you buy the ticket from the driver, it will cost you 3 Litas (= 0.87 Euros).

So, this Ryanair “low-cost bus” is more than four times as expensive as the public transport and still more than 3 times as expensive than the regular ticket for the same bus that Ryanair will put you on.

I picked Vilnius as an example because I currently live here, but you are most welcome to check the prices for your city and add them in the comments below (Ryanair have announced this service for Barcelona El Prat, Dublin, Eindhoven, Gdansk, Jerez, Katowice, Krakow, Liverpool, London [Gatwick, Luton and Stanstead], Madrid, Malaga, Malta, Manchester, Marrakesh, Milan Bergamo, Pisa, Porto, Rome Ciampino and Venice Treviso, so that travellers are warned and can travel smart. Yes, sometimes this blog is even of some practical use.

About Andreas Moser

Travelling the world and writing about it. I have degrees in law and philosophy, but I'd much rather be a writer, a spy or a hobo.
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13 Responses to Ryanair “Low-Cost Bus” not low-cost at all

  1. OyiaBrown says:

    Reblogged this on Oyia Brown.

  2. I worked as a travel agent for a little over a year and quickly learned that people will pay a lot for ease of mind. It saddens me how little people who ”love to travel” want to research their destinations. How many people buy a Eurail pass because it’s fast and simple and ”saves them money” when really, in the end it could end up costing them more depending on their routes!
    So many people will book a private transfer between the airport and their destination because they are unsure of how the public transport system works, and they will happily pay double and triple the price. I can understand it to a certain extent…on my first trip ever, I had very little experience and had clearly not done enough researching. Upon leaving the airport, I could clearly see the bus stop and even the bus, however I was too shy and nervous to go over and figure out how much the ride would be and where it would take me :P

    • That’s a very good point and I also understand that to some extent. If I go to a country on a completely foreign continent where I think I won’t be able to read sings or communicate, I might do the same. That’s the main reason why I love to use Couchsurfing, because I will already know some local residents before I go to a new country.

    • Makes sense, something familiar when everything else is wonderfully foreign. I always recommend couch surfing to people who want to travel on a budget, and yet never had the balls to do it myself :(

    • Are you worried for safety or are you too shy?
      You don’t need to worry about safety at all. You check out the people before, e-mail with them for months, speak on Skype, read all the reviews by others and Couchsurfing will know who stay with whom when. It is statistically safer than staying with your boyfriend: https://andreasmoser.wordpress.com/2011/10/28/dont-be-afraid-of-the-stranger/
      I was too shy at first to use it because I am more of a loner than a social person. But you can browse the profiles for people with whom you think you might click. My experiences, both surfing and hosting, have been very good and I have made some long-term friends. People who are on Couchsurfing seem to be much more interesting than on other social networks, especially because the point is to finally meet offline.
      You could go to a local Couchsurfing meeting or event first to check it out. No need to take a stranger home or stay with somebody else, but you will get a feeling for the kind of people.

    • Mostly worried about the fact that I am socially awkward, although safety has crossed my mind. I have always been fine with meeting friends from blogs, e-penpals or youtube while travelling. Maybe I’m just a prude, meeting is one thing, sleeping under the same roof? Oh my! :P
      I should do it though! I liked your blog post that you linked. It’s true that we pass up so many great encounter by being afraid. Have you seen the documentary Craigslist Joe?

    • And as a girl you can for example opt to stay at another girl’s place. Or you stay with a family or an old couple. very unlikely that they would attack you. Also, check out the references.If somebody has plenty of references and wants to be hosted him-/herself while travelling, it is highly unlikely they would throw away that reputation for making a pass at you.
      Also people mention if they have a separate room for guests. I have a separate bedroom for example which makes many first-time couchsurfers feel much safer.
      I have not seen “Craigslist Joe” yet, but I just briefly read about it and it sounds very interesting.

    • Craigslist Joe is very interesting! You should watch it! :)
      Thank you for all of the tips! I appreciate it and will keep them in mind.

  3. I am a fellow couchsurfer from Malta (I see you have a lot of Maltese vistors: 4th place in flag list). I usually do a lot of research when I travel, but I understand people wanting peace of mind, and choosing the safest option. Sometimes there are so many option you get a headache trying to choose the best one. I guess you have to find a balance like in all things in life. One rule to remember though never thrust Ryanair offers (rip-offs) :)

  4. William says:

    OH NO!

    I’ve just fallen for exactly what you’re talking about. I booked 14 people onto Ryan air from Stansted to Nuremberg and opted for travel insurance and a coach to and from each airport. Even said yes to the SMS bit. What an idiot. I’ve never booked for a load of people before and was just trying to be safe. Now I realise I’ve hugely wasted everyone’s money.

    It’s not for a couple of months yet, will I be able to amend the coaches and insurance do you think?

    • That depends on the consumer protection laws of the country you are in. If they allow you to withdraw (partially) from the contract, then you should act swiftly in any case, because often you only have 14 days to do so.

      You really don’t need any coach in Nürnberg. The airport is connected by underground to the city center. You just walk out of the (small) airport and you will see the sign “U-Bahn”. Get tickets at the machine, go downstairs, get on any of the trains waiting and they will take you into the city. “Hauptbahnhof” is the main train station stop.

  5. Kalliopi Graalfs says:

    Hat jemand Erfahrung mit Plus Group Transfer von Flughafen Thessaloniki nach Chalkidiki?

    • Das nicht, aber vom Flughafen in Thessaloniki fährt der öffentliche Bus in die Stadt. Von dort müßten reguläre Busse zu den meisten Ortschaften auf Chaldiki gehen.

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