Ryanair Flights to U.S. Could Cost Only 10 Dollars, CEO Says

Any student who's traveled in Europe has suffered through the cardboard seats of budget airlines, but soon you might be braving a low-cost trip across the Atlantic: Ryanair flights from the U.S. to Europe could cost just $10, the company's CEO said earlier this week. Skeptical? You're not alone — but maybe that's a good thing.

Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary made the surprise announcement earlier this week at the Irish Hotels Federation conference, saying that the super-cheap transatlantic flights would kick off as soon as the company acquires enough long-haul aircraft to manage the journey. The airline would offer tickets from Europe to New York and Boston for just $13.81; flights back to Europe would cost only $10.08.

"We can make money on 99 cent fares in Europe," O’Leary said. "Not every seat will be €10 of course, there will also need to be a very high number of business or premium seats."

Of course, it's Ryanair, so there are some caveats. Extras will cost you; including luggage, printed boarding passes, as well as food and drink (which, during a seven-plus hour flight, will be hard to go without). It also probably won't be happening all that soon, it will likely take years for the company to buy the aircraft.

Critics have also pointed out that, because of taxes, there's just no way the prices could stay that low. "Michael O'Leary said he won't be doing anything for five or six years," said Willie Walsh, chief executive of IAG."We don't know what we will be doing in that time but Air Passenger Duty to New York is £69 today, that's an awful lot of money to add on to a €10 ticket."

Considering that only a few weeks ago, passengers were forgotten for several hours on a delayed Ryanair plane without food or drink, perhaps it's a good thing that the company will have a few years to sort itself out.

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Either way, Ryainair isn't the only airline to be considering low-cost flights across the ocean. Another company, Norwegian, will soon be offering flights from the U.S. to Europe for around 240 bucks, which, while nowhere near the Ryanair bracket, is still less than airlines like British Airways, Air France and Lufthansa. And might be less scary than crossing the Atlantic on a punchline: