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How early to check in for Ryanair flight at Stansted?

Illinois
posts: 9,917
reviews: 16
How early to check in for Ryanair flight at Stansted?

I tried asking on the London forum, but apparently no one there flies from Stansted...

I will be flying on a Ryanair flight from Stansted to Limoges on Fri Sept 19 at 11:40AM. I'm staying at the airport the night before, so getting there isn't a problem. I'm just wondering what time I should start the check in process (although I will already have checked in online, technically speaking).

I've read some posts saying that the security wait is very long, so I would plan to be there 3 hours early except that I will be checking a bag and according to the Ryanair website the bag drop desk only opens 2 hours before the flight. I've read that there are monitors telling you which desk to go to, so I assume that means I won't know which desk to go to until 2 hours before the flight so couldn't be there any earlier?

I know I also have to have my boarding pass stamped at the documents check desk (US passport), but I can't find anything that says when that opens. Is that flight specific, or is there only one? Can I do that before bag drop?

Thanks for any advice.

13 replies to this topic
UK
posts: 41,424
reviews: 87
1. Re: How early to check in for Ryanair flight at Stansted?

Reading this thread will likely encourage you to get there early tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g1577375-i1410-k…

Watford, United...
posts: 3,930
reviews: 12
2. Re: How early to check in for Ryanair flight at Stansted?

I have flown Ryanair from STN a bit. I have always found it far busier for the early morning flights 6am - 9am than later ones (more flights early maybe?). For my last flight at 11.15am the security line was minimal.

That said I would arrive 3 hours before in any case and check out the bag drop situation (I know I have bag dropped slightly early before). If bag drop is not open at least you will be in the vicinity and give yourself every chance of making good time.

Scotland
posts: 1,329
reviews: 11
3. Re: How early to check in for Ryanair flight at Stansted?

I flew FR from STN recently - on a c1220 flight on a Thursday. Check-in at 1030 had a 10 minute queue, and security less than that.

Of course, that as before the English school holidays, and YMMV.

Travelling The World
posts: 11,643
reviews: 17
4. Re: How early to check in for Ryanair flight at Stansted?

OK, panic not! I have flown FR out of STN dozens of times on a non-EEA passport.

"I know I also have to have my boarding pass stamped at the documents check desk (US passport), but I can't find anything that says when that opens. Is that flight specific, or is there only one? Can I do that before bag drop?"

There is actually now a little podium with a person at the entrance to the FR bag drop area. The main job of that person is to direct people, but they will also do the visa check. All of 30 seconds. Then proceed to bag drop. But you can do it any time as long as it's done before security.

As for bag drop, there are no longer queues for each flight. You just enter the check in area and get in whichever queue you think will be quickest. I would say maximum half an hour for that, although it's usually much quicker.

There are new security arrangements at STN as the airport is being remodeled. It is actually much faster now. You uised to be able to buy fast track but you can't anymore. I'd allow 30 minutes.

The main thing is that your gate won't be displayed until about 30 minutes before your flight, so as long as you are airside by then, you will be OK.

I would allow 90 minutes from walking in the door to being at your gate on a normal day. On a good day it will be half that. On a bad day, maybe 2 hours.

Edited: 4:45 am, July 21, 2014
Illinois
posts: 9,917
reviews: 16
5. Re: How early to check in for Ryanair flight at Stansted?

Thanks Joe, that's one of the threads I read that made me ask for more opinions. :-( I have no problem getting there early. I don't have anything to do that morning but get on the plane. I was all ready to be there 3 hours early and then read on Ryanair's site that the bag drop desk wasn't open then.

Also, I think all the threads I read on the chaos were for the early AM flights.

Right now I'm leaning towards just showing up 3h early and hanging out if I can't drop my bag yet, although it does sound hopeful that maybe they're trying to bring some organization to it.

Thanks.

Edited: 1:40 pm, July 21, 2014
Travelling The World
posts: 11,643
reviews: 17
6. Re: How early to check in for Ryanair flight at Stansted?

You can drop your bags any time within reason. They don't have dedicated desks for each flight.

In any event two hours is plenty.

Illinois
posts: 9,917
reviews: 16
7. Re: How early to check in for Ryanair flight at Stansted?

Thanks. That's originally what I thought for a European flight but then I read some of the threads about people missing their planes and thought I'd better check.

Travelling The World
posts: 11,643
reviews: 17
8. Re: How early to check in for Ryanair flight at Stansted?

At smaller airports Ryanair does open two hours before the flight. I was at Alghero recently and just needed a visa check. It was T-2h10m and I was told to come back in 10 minutes! But at Stansted where there is a flight every few minutes they just have one big free-for-all,. so unless it is hours before your flight they will accept your bag.

So if you feel more comfortable giving it more time you certainly can.

Illinois
posts: 9,917
reviews: 16
9. Re: How early to check in for Ryanair flight at Stansted?

Thanks. That makes sense. I had a sort-of mini panic when I read the threads about people missing their flights when they were there 2 hours early.

Sussex, England
posts: 58
reviews: 46
10. Re: How early to check in for Ryanair flight at Stansted?

I can only speak as I find...Please, please read my thread from the Stansted forum...it is a very salutory lesson about Ryan Air and their ' rules '. I wouldn't want anyone to go through what I did through no faault of their own.

tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g1577375-i1410-k…

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