Ryanair Vs. Spirit Airlines: Global Battle of the Affordable Airlines

What is a budget airline?

Before we battle the most prominent and flourishing budget airlines of North America and Europe, let us determine what that incorporates. Simply stated, affordable airlines cut expenses by not contributing to particular amenities. Sequentially, the consumer can purchase tickets for a bargain in comparison to other airlines. As a result of cut costs, the interior of the aircraft is unquestionably austere. Legroom is restricted, seats are not satisfactory, and supplementary fees apply for carry-on’s required to be stored overhead. Plus, additional charges are calculated that most airlines include in airfare. For instance, refreshments and snacks typically included in airfare are not incorporated in low-cost carrier tickets. Ensure that you are checked in with your boarding pass printed before arriving at the airport. If not, this will result in an added fee. To avoid unexpected payments, get familiar with the websites and identify what charges to steer clear of. While it demands time and attention, low-cost carriers potentially save you hundreds of dollars if executed correctly.

I’ve grown accustomed to both airlines. I was initially introduced to budget airlines while studying overseas in Athens. Before this experience, I was oblivious to the fact that travel could be so inexpensive. Naturally, it caught me by surprise when I returned to the states and realized that budget airlines live here as well. Up until this point, I was ignorant of their existence. These two low-cost carriers are the most economical and favored in their regions. I am glad to have gotten familiar with the two. So, without further ado, let’s battle this out. 


If you aren’t informed about Ryanair, it is the most common budget-friendly airline in Europe. Rates are unmatched. While researching to prepare to study abroad, I heard endless impressions of this airline. Consequently, I intently anticipated experiencing it personally. Let’s just put this out there: I have never acquired a plane ticket for less elsewhere. I am not over-exaggerating when I say I’ve purchased a one-way ticket for less than €15. Incomparable. Unsurpassed across all continents. However, it has many drawbacks considering it is a budget airline. Thankfully, they have never caught me slipping. I have never had to empty my pockets for unexpected expenses. Be cautious as it’s easy to get taken advantage of with additional charges. I’m uncertain if this is a newer selection or just new to me, but 5 fare classes are offered: value (what we’re discussing), regular, plus, family plus, and Flexi plus. Determined by what you prefer to be included will dictate which ticket class you choose. For this blog post, we will proceed to address the value fare. Even though the flights are confined, individuals ordinarily opt to choose Ryanair for short-duration flights. 

Fees not included in airfare:

  • Airport check-in fee: €55
  • Boarding pass print fee: €20
  • Carry-on luggage: starting at €6
  • Checked bag: starting at €13
  • Seat selection: starting at €3
  • Food and beverages: starting at €2.50

Spirit Airlines

In contrast to Ryanair, Spirit has a negative connotation. Following traveling with them various times, I understand why. Spirit provides the most reasonable fare rates in North America. As people habitually state (or perhaps only me), everything’s better in Europe. The seating is just as uncomfortable as Ryanair. Until a few years back, I didn’t consider Spirit as unpleasant as people made it seem. I was proven wrong 10 times over. This airline has left me stranded in multiple terminals with zero vouchers for food or nearby accommodations. Regarding the nature of Spirit staff, the bad reputation is justified. Will I permit this to prevent me from traveling with them again? No. You get what you pay for. Simply be prepared. One benefit of Spirit in comparison to Ryanair, the team is not concentrated on marketing products for the continuation of the flight. Travel in the states tends to be more pricey than in Europe, so I understand why comparable deals aren’t possible. Spirit gives unsurpassed prices in comparison to different US airlines.

Fees not included in airfare:

  • Carry-on luggage: starting at $26
  • Checked bag: starting at $21
  • Boarding pass print fee: starting at $2
  • Seat selection: starting at $1
  • Food and beverages: starting at $1

Final Thoughts

Even though I strived to be impartial, I suppose my position on the winner is evident. Ryanair wins, by far. It wins value and satisfaction overall. Excluding the fact that the flight crew also acts as influencers, it takes the cake. I opt for low-cost carriers for short-distance journies. I would not be able to fly for a long duration on either of these airlines. Budget airlines overall have a negative undertone. I understand why people are doubtful. Yet, these airlines are just as safe. Typically, the experience doesn’t differ much from any other airline. If you haven’t attempted it yet, please do. You have nothing to lose.

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