Ryanair Will Offer Transatlantic Flights for $15—With a Few Caveats
Ryanair, the Irish airline famous for crazy-cheap flights between European cities, has unveiled plans to offer transatlantic service for as little as £10 (or roughly $14.74) for one way.
While a flight from Boston to London for what is essentially the price of seeing a movie in IMAX sure sounds swell, there’s more to consider than the flashy pricetag—like $200 in passenger taxes, for one. Ryanair is also known for buzzkill bonus fees, like those associated with luggage, overweight carry-ons, or the ability to reserve your seat.
And it will be years, in all likelihood, before Ryanair is actually up-and-running in Boston and New York. Negotiations with Boeing and Airbus, two plane manufacturers who specialize in long-haul fleets, have only just begun. The route, expected to deploy by 2020, has been on its way for years. According to reports, the company has spent the last 18 months elevating its reputation, largely by improving its customer service.
For those who don’t want to wait until 2020, there’s hope: Ryanair is not the only European budget line to experiment in American skies. Starting July 2014, Norwegian will be shuttling people from New York to London for as low as $250, one way. And then of course there’s Wow Air, which offers one-way flights to Iceland from Boston and Baltimore for as little as $99.
There are absolutely caveats to the $15 Ryanair quote: it will take a long time to deploy, there are other options available now, and it will not actually cost anything near $15. Still, even with those footnotes, the new routes have the potential to change the game. Stay tuned.
Amy Schellenbaum is the Digital Editor of Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @acsbaum.