Boarding cards on your smartphone, extra hand luggage, better customer service and cheaper prices. Could this be a new and improved Ryanair?

After the surprising news that they are offering flights to New York for £6, here are 10 changes Ryanair have made that should be to the benefit of budget-conscious air travellers.

1. Smartphone boarding cards

Following in the footsteps of Easyjet, Ryanair have introduced mobile boarding passes that can be used at the majority of their airport check-in desks.

2. New website

Ryanair's (shiny) new site should make booking a flight easier, with clearer information at each stage of the booking process. The airline says the site will allow you to make a reservation in five steps.

3. More routes

New routes have been added for winter 2014-15, including, for example, from Edinburgh to London Stansted, Athens, Cologne, Bordeaux and Prague.

4. New airports

After eight years away, Ryanair have announced they’ll be returning to Cardiff Airport, offering customers weekly flights to Tenerife, while on 3 July it announced it would be commencing operations from Glasgow Airport.

5. Customer friendly

While last year Ryanair was considered to have 'the worst customer service out of Britain's 100 biggest brands' in a survey of the readers of Which? magazine, things are changing for the better, according to their marketing department.

6. Allocated seating

No more fights to grab a window seat! Ryanair have introduced allocated seating, so for a small fee, you can guarantee that window seat.

7. 24-hour grace period

Were you a bit clumsy when you were booking? You now have 24 hours to correct any mistakes (e.g. mis-spelling your name) without incurring that dreaded Ryanair change charge.

8. Two items of hand luggage

In addition to the original one piece of 10kg hand luggage, passengers can now choose to carry a second bag such as a woman’s handbag or a bag of duty-free purchases without incurring fines. The dimensions must not exceed 35 x 20 x 20 cm. Let’s hope this clears up the confusion often experienced about luggage sizes.

More: Skyscanner's guide to hand baggage sizes and weight restrictions

9. Less steep fines

If you have already checked in, but forgotten your boarding pass, don’t worry, no one will shout at you for being clueless and the fine will be reduced from £70 to just £15.

10. Quiet flights

New ‘quiet flights’ will be free of those super-annoying ads before 8am and after 9pm, leaving you free to nap during your flight.

11. Family-friendly

In an effort to attract more young families to Ryanair, the company have launched a ‘Family Extra Scheme’ that aims to make travelling with young children less stressful and save families money. The new features include, bottle-warming, changing facilities, free car-seats, an extra cabin bag for children and discounts on their checked-in bags.

More: Flying with babies

Did you know that you can monitor particular flight prices on Skyscanner to make sure you get the best deal on your chosen route? Find out how to use Price Alerts.