Ryanair Connecting Flights

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This is a Ryanair connecting flights guide.

It covers everything from how to book connecting flights with Ryanair to Ryanair baggage allowance. The guide also includes information about passenger rights in the European Union and UK. Ryanair is an ultra-low-cost airline based in Dublin, Ireland. It is the largest low-cost airline in Europe. The airline flies to more than 200 destinations in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.

Book protected self-transfer connection with Kiwi.

Did you miss a connecting flight? File a compensation claim online.

Ryanair airplane
Ryanair airplane

How to Book Ryanair Connecting Flights? Ryanair Self Transfer?

First of all, Ryanair doesn’t sell connecting flights.

If you buy two or three flights from Ryanair, it’s a self transfer.

There’s only one safe way to do it – you must buy also insurance. There are flight search websites and online travel agents that sell travel insurance too. Alternatively, you can buy insurance separately.

1. Ryanair Connecting Flights

Ryanair is a low-cost airline.

Just like most budget airlines, Ryanair doesn’t offer connecting flights. With Ryanair, you can book only point to point flights (these are direct flights). So airline-protected connections are not possible with Ryanair. If you book several separate flights with Ryanair, these are considered self-transfer flights. They are not protected by the airline.

Self-transfer connecting flights are:

  • Always risky. If you miss a connecting flight, it’s your fault.
  • Less convenient. You check in separately for every flight. You collect and recheck baggage after every flight.
  • More difficult to book. You have to book every flight separately.

Self transfers are not as great as protected connections.

Ryanair sells self-transfer flights / self-transfer connections.

1.1 Several Flights With Ryanair

It’s possible to book several flights with Ryanair.

In fact, it’s a very popular way to travel — booking several separate flights with Ryanair (or other budget airline for that matter). When you want to get to a particular place, but there are no direct flights with Ryanair, you can book 2 or more Ryanair flights to get to your final destination.

These are self-transfer flights, however. Not proper connecting flights. Because Ryanair doesn’t offer protected connections. Keep in mind that self-transfer flights are riskier than protected connecting flights.

1.2 Flights With Different Airlines

You might decide to fly with two or more airlines.

You can book one flight with Ryanair, but the other one — with easyJet, Wizz Air or, again, with Ryanair. It can also be a flight with a full service airline like KLM, Lufthansa or Qatar Airways. It doesn’t matter which airline you choose, it will still be a self transfer-flight (not protected by the airline). It will be your responsibility to make it in time for your connecting flight. So it’s very important to book self-transfer flights with a long enough layover.

There are also protected connecting flights with different airlines — if one flight is with Ryanair, then these aren’t these type of flights.

No matter if it’s only Ryanair, or Ryanair and some other airline:

  • You check in for every flight separately.
  • You collect baggage and recheck it yourself.
  • If you miss a connecting flight, it’s your responsibility. You will need to book a new flight yourself. The airline is not obligated to help you with this. In some situations you may have a right to care from airline and UK / EU flight compensation from the airline operating the “bad flight”.

It is possible to insure self-transfer flights.

You can buy travel insurance which protects against flight delays, cancellations and missed connections. Or, you could use a third party booking site such as Kiwi.com which sells protected self-transfer flights. If you buy a flight like this, you might have more rights in case of a missed self-transfer. For example, Kiwi offers protection in case of missed connections, as well as an option to check in for several flights with a single click.

You don’t get any of these things when you book flights directly from Ryanair.

Book protected self-transfer connection with Kiwi.


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Passengers boarding a Ryanair flight
Passengers boarding a Ryanair flight – Photo by Markus Winkler)

2. What If Ryanair Cancels a Flight?

Why is Ryanair cancelling flights?

There are many reasons why airlines, both budget and full-service, cancel their flights. It can be due to bad weather, strikes, security issues, staffing shortage, airport congestion, various technical problems and computer glitches.

2.1 One of Your Flights Is Cancelled

Ryanair is a European airline.

According to the EU Regulation 261/2004, they must:

  • Offer you a choice between a new flight and full refund.
  • Offer you assistance at the airport (you have a right to care).

This applies to all their commercial flights.

What if you miss another flight because of that? Unfortunately, but the airline is not responsible for your missed connection, as you’ve booked a self-transfer. It’s not an airline-protected connecting flight. Ryanair doesn’t offer those. You will need to book a new flight.

You may have more rights if your connection is insured.

You may have a right to compensation (more on this below).

Did you miss a connecting flight? File a compensation claim online.

2.2 All Your Flights Are Cancelled

Overall, for you as a passenger, the options are the same.

According to the EU Regulation 261/2004, Ryanair must:

  • Offer you a choice between a new flight and full refund.
  • Offer you assistance at the airport if it’s a last-minute cancellation and you are already at the airport (you have a right to care).

This applies to all their commercial flights.

Refund must be paid within seven days.

You may have a right to EU flight cancellation compensation.

2.3 Ryanair Refund for Cancellation

Yes, you have a right to ask for a refund.

If your Ryanair flight is cancelled, and you don’t want to take an alternative flight, you can ask for a full refund. According to the EU regulations, you don’t have to accept any coupons, vouchers or travel credit. The refund has to be paid to your bank account / bank card.

Hong Kong airport layover
Hong Kong airport

3. Ryanair Missed Connecting Flight

What if you miss connecting flight with Ryanair?

You can miss your connection due to delay or cancellation of the previous flight. Or it could be a silly mistake like confusing am with pm, or waiting at the wrong gate. Either way, you are responsible for the missed connection. Even if it’s not your fault, but things like delay or cancellation of the previous flight.

Ryanair doesn’t sell protected connecting flights.

3.1 What Happens If You Miss Ryanair Connection?

Remember this, Ryanair doesn’t sell connecting flights.

If you have several flights with Ryanair, or one flight with Ryanair and one with easyJet, or any other airline, this is a self transfer. No matter why you miss connection, it’s your responsibility.

No airline is responsible for this connection.

No airline is responsible if you make it or not.

But they are responsible for their flight. They are responsible for delays, cancellations and overbookings. Ryanair is responsible for their flights. According to the EU Regulation 261/2004, they must:

  • Take you to your final destination as soon as possible (if a flight is cancelled, another flight must be offered; the same applies to denied boarding due to overbooking — you should be receiving a new flight ticket).
  • Offer you assistance at the airport (you have a right to care).

Read more: Missed Connecting Flight Due to Delay 

3.2 Right to Compensation from Ryanair

Sometimes you have a right to compensation.

Let’s assume that you have booked two separate flights with Ryanair. Your first flight lands 3 hours later than scheduled. In some cases, you are entitled to flight delay compensation. You could miss your flight because of this delay. But you won’t get compensation for the missed flight. But still you may have a right to compensation for the first flight (the “bad flight”).

The same rules apply to your second flight. If it’s heavily delayed and you arrive 3 hours later than planned, you may have a right to compensation.

Make sure to file a claim for compensation.

Flight cancelled less than 2 weeks before the trip?

You might be entitled to flight cancellation compensation.


File a Claim Online

3.3 Right to Care from Ryanair

On all Ryanair flights you have a right to care.

According to the EU Regulation 261/2004, the airline should provide:

  • Free food and drinks in a reasonable relation to the waiting time.
  • Free hotel accommodation if a stay of one or more nights is necessary;
  • Free airport transfer to hotel and back.
  • Plus, two telephone calls, telex or fax messages, or e-mails. So that you can get in touch with your family and friends and inform them about the change in your travel plans.

It applies to all domestic and international flights with Ryanair. Again, it’s because Ryanair is a European airline. With non-European airlines it applies only to flights departing from European airports.

When it comes to air passenger rights, unless otherwise stated, we talk about air passenger rights in the EU, EEA and UK. When we say Europe or European, we mean EU, EEA or UK. This is done for the simplicity, since the according laws in these countries are about the same.

Istanbul Airport
Istanbul Airport

4. How to Book Connecting Flights with Ryanair?

You can do it directly from Ryanair or via a third-party.

But I’ll repeat— these will be self-transfer flights. In case of self-transfer flights, it’s sometimes safer to book them using a third-party flight booking website than directly from the airline. Because it may include a travel insurance.

We recommend kiwi.com for that.

How to Book?

Flight booking websites, or airline websites.

Few examples: skyscanner.net, expedia.com, momondo.com.

Want to be on the safe side? Add insurance right away.

Or book a flight from Kiwi.com (with Kiwi Guarantee).

Read more: How to Book Connecting Flights?

Two backpacks

5. Ryanair Connecting Flights: Baggage

Ryanair is a European low-cost airline.

Ryanair sells only direct flights, not connecting flights.

Accordingly, you have to check in your bag for every flight. Every flight you book with Ryanair is a separate flight. There are no connecting flights. That’s why you have to collect baggage after every flight. Obviously, you will also need to recheck it before every flight. In addition to that, you’ll need to clear immigration after each flight. Otherwise you won’t be able to get to the landside area of the airport where all the check in counters are located.

Take this into account when planning a layover / stopover.

5.1 Baggage Transfer: Different Airlines

What happens if there are several airlines?

What if one of your flights is with a different airline, not Ryanair? Let’s say, the second flight is with easyJet or Wizz Air. It doesn’t matter. These still are considered separate flights, and you still have to collect and recheck baggage after every flight.

What if your next flight is with a traditional airline such as KLM or Lufthansa? It doesn’t matter either. You will need to collect and recheck your bag.

Read more: 

5.2 Ryanair Baggage Allowance

Baggage allowance varies — it’s not the same on all flights.

Baggage allowance varies depending on the airline, ticket type, travel class and destination. Pay attention to baggage allowance when making a booking! Don’t forget about the cabin baggage rules on Ryanair flights — they are stricter than those of other airlines.

Ryanair doesn’t offer free checked baggage allowance.

5.3 Ryanair Carry-On Bag Allowance

You can bring only one small bag (40 x 20 x 25 cm).

If you book Ryanair Priority, you can bring one more, bigger item (55 x 40 x 20 cm, weighing no more than 10 kg).

Remember this! If you have booked several Ryanair flights, and you would like to carry more than one cabin bag, you have to purchase Ryanair Priority for every single flight. The same applies to checked baggage — you have to book it separately for every single of your Ryanair flights.

Teide Cable Car in Tenerife
Teide Cable Car in Tenerife – Photo by Andrea Imre) 

6. Connecting Flight Examples

Here are two “connecting flight” examples with Ryanair.

6.1 Self-Transfer Flights with Ryanair (Most Common)

For this example I’ll use the website of Ryanair.

For example, I want to fly from Prague to Tenerife.

I know for sure that there are flights to Tenerife from London Stansted, as it is one of Ryanair’s primary operational bases. I have to check if there are flights from Prague to Stansted. 

  1. There are two flights from Prague to Stansted on December 3 — one in the morning, and one in the afternoon.
  2. As for London — Tenerife flight, there are several options. Since I’ll be choosing the morning Prague — London flight, which arrives in London Stansted at 10:40 am, I can easily make it in time for the last flight from Stansted to Tenerife which departs at 2:25 pm.

As you can see, the connection time is good.

There is nearly 4-hour-long layover in Stansted, which is enough to collect and recheck my bag, go through security and find my gate.

Here is the first flight:

Prague - London flight with Ryanair
Prague – London flight with Ryanair

Here is the second flight:

London - Tenerife flight with Ryanair
London – Tenerife flight with Ryanair

I can book these flights, or look for other options.

I can also book a flight from London to Tenerife on the next day, leaving myself extra day for exploring London. I can reach for flights using the website of Ryanair, or use a flight search engine (like Kiwi.com or Skyscanner).

Unlike how it is with connecting flights, with self-transfer flights sometimes it’s the opposite — sometimes it’s more safe to book flights from a third-party flight booking website than directly from Ryanair. Because it may include an insurance.

Also I could fly with different airlines.

One of my flights can be with Ryanair, but other — with Wizz Air, easyJet or any other airline. In any case, these will be self-transfer flights. Just like in the previous example, I can book these flights directly from the airline/airlines or from a third-party flight booking website like Kiwi.

In this example, to find the flights, I will use Skyscanner. 

As you can see, there is an early morning Ryanair flight from Prague to Manchester. And after almost 4.5 hours, there is an easyJet flight from Manchester to Tenerife. I can book this self-transfer flight using Skyscanner, or book each flight directly from Ryanair and easyJet.

Prague - Tenerife self-transfer flight with Ryanair and easyJet
Prague – Tenerife self-transfer flight with Ryanair and easyJet (found on Skyscanner)

When booking a flight like this, you have to make sure you are departing from the same airport. Be extra careful when an itinerary involves change of airports.

Also do not forget to check the entry and transit rules. Do you need a visa for a connecting flight if it’s a self-transfer, not an airline-protected connecting flight? If you need a visa for that country you are stopping at, most likely you will need a visa for your self-transfer flight. Even if you don’t plan to leave the airport, you may need a visa. Take this into account!

What is your experience with Ryanair? Have you ever missed a flight with Ryanair? How did the airline solve this? Have you received compensation or refund from Ryanair? Did you file a compensation claim yourself or via a flight compensation company?

Featured photo by Markus Winkler


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