Ryanair “Guarantee” to rip you off by using their own exchange rates when paying in Euros

Ryanair, the World’s most hated airline, have discovered a fabulous new way of parting you with your hard earned cash after introducing their own currency conversion for travellers booking single flights from other countries back to the UK.

The practice, known in the trade as dynamic currency conversion (DCC), can add as much as £6-£7 to each £100 booking according to the Guardian.co.uk.

They state that British travellers who book journeys starting in Europe have long seen their fares on the Ryanair website quoted and charged in euros. As a result they have incurred the foreign exchange costs associated with buying goods abroad using a UK credit card.

However, Ryanair has quietly introduced DCC in a bid to further increase its revenues. As the buyer goes through the payment process, the price quoted is automatically recalculated into a “guaranteed” price, which the Guardian found is several pounds higher than that quoted by a leading credit card.

When Guardian Money puchased a single flight from Ancona in Italy to London Stansted, the price quoted was €65.50. They were then offered a guaranteed price of £60.92. Having declined this, they were still implored to accept it, accompanied with a warning “you will not receive a guaranteed rate from your bank”.

Some buyers would simply agree to the guarantee at this point. But the rate being offered was poor value: Nationwide were asked how much it would have charged in sterling that day to someone buying the flight at €65.50, and they replied it would cost just £57.16. Ryanair was charging £3.76 more.

It might not sound much but someone booking return flights for a family at a cost of £400 would pay an extra £24 by opting for Ryanair’s “guaranteed” exchange rate.

This latest fee comes on top of other controversial charges such as the £5 per person each way credit card charges. Ryanair recently started charging those using Visa Electron cards. Now the only way to avoid credit card charges is to use a pre-paid Mastercard. Read more here about one of them, the FairFX pre paid master card that will allow you to book your flights with no credit card charges with Ryanair.


11 thoughts on “Ryanair “Guarantee” to rip you off by using their own exchange rates when paying in Euros

  1. Well. The is a simple trick to change currencies on Ryanair page :) :). So no further ripping off!!!! Example I have booked Stansted – Bremen with Euro MasterCard prepaid. The price was in pounds but I changed to Euro to avoid any discrepancies!

  2. Hi there Zymantas,

    Good for you! Could you please share with everyone the steps that you took to avoid this from happening?

    Many thanks,

  3. I have just paid for an additional bag on Ryanair, when I got to the payment page I was careful to check the credit card handling fees and the caption changed from 15,00 euros excluding fees to 15,00 including fees when I put my mastercard details in, so I agreed and proceeded to pay for it. When I checked the flight confirmation again, because I used a UK registered card they charged an exchange rate of 3.37667 euros to the pound making the charge made to my credit card a staggering £50.65. There was no advise of this to be found anywhere, people get locked up for less it is a complete con trick. Oh and because it is Sunday if I want to complain it will cost me £1.00 on their premium rate number.

  4. Just got 8.25 exchange rate EUR/NOK, when booking with Ryanair.
    The real rate is 7.72 closing 14.may. So Ryanair added 7% on top of regular exchange rate. For another route booked they managed add almost 30% on the baggage. Shameless those people.

    Just got conned but realised it too late!
    Not happy. Just one more reason to really hate Ryanair.
    Of course, Zymantas is right. There is an easy way to avoid getting ripped off…
    In fact everything is easy but way less than it used to be. Amongst other things, you now have to avoid booking travel insurance unwillingly and click away from hiring a car. So basically, if you are overworked and tired or just slightly losing your marbles due to irreversible ageing process then steer away from the Ryanair website or you might fall for the traps and the dodgy sales methods.

  6. Hello, is this practice legal?
    In the payment process it does not mention about this exchange conversion.
    Also I checked all their FAQ ( be free to read this as a word rather then spelling it out ): FEES – TERMS AND CONDITIONS there is no reference to this AT ALL.
    I wonder if this is legal.
    please let me know if there is any way how to join class actions against Ryanair.
    I believe this is an illegal practive as they do not give the option of having this DCC applied or not. I want to have my money BACK!!!!!!

  7. Hi, I was wondering the same thing as Nazzareno when booking a flight for my parents and paying a ticket in SEK with my british prepaid Mastercard. The exchange rate they charged was never displayed anywhere for me to check it before accepting it which makes it impossible to know beforehand how much they would charge.
    Thank God I use a prepaid Mastercard, otherwise I would have had to pay the extra credit card fee on top of that too!

    People mention ways to set currency on the web site. I have never seen the option to choose that. It always start with the currency from where you start your journey, for example SEK if I start journey in Sweden. Maybe it is different for Euro countries?

  8. I totally agree with the two last comments. I just booked a flight from Stockholm to Hamburg, and paid that in SEK.

    1. At no point you can change the currency.

    2. At no point they inform you of the exchange rate applied. In this case it was 0.1158 as the exchange rate of Visa was 0.1081. 3€ difference.

    3. There is nothhing about it in the FAQ or official documents, just an evasive “equivalence in local currency”, which is defined nowhere.

    I think it is a total rip off, and I wonder if that is actually legal…

  9. Ok, I am back with a tip if you want to avoid this rip off..

    Once you stated your card number, a link appears between “Price including Administrative Fees” and the price in local currency (a bit upper than where you type the card number). Remember, this link ONLY shows up once you typed your car number.
    Click this link and you will be able to opt out from the DCC and apply the card’ exchange rate instead of the DCC rate.

    I think the card rate is always better than DCC. Hope this helps others to not make the same mistake than me!

  10. Oh no I’ve clicked too quickly again.
    Just lost a fiver on the exchange rate scam.
    Why oh why don’t easyjet take over the London – Biarritz route from these despicable crooks ?

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