Ryanair to reduce baggage charges and restrictions

Flamboyant Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary is to ease stringent travelling conditions for passengers.

In a move that some might describe as Mr O’Leary’s attempt at “no more Mr Nasty Guy”, the outspoken chief has announced a relaxing of bag restrictions for passengers, as well as a reduction in baggage charges and an easing of booking conditions.

This and other changes will cover the period up to the end of Mar 2014, so it remains to be seen if the relaxation of restrictions will carry on into the busy summer 2014 months.

* From Dec 1, Ryanair will allow passengers to take a second small carry-on bag (small ladies’ handbag or small airport shopping bag) no bigger than 35cmx20cm x20cm, which will allow a bottle of wine or equivalent to be carried;

nFrom Jan 5, Ryanair’s standard airport bag fees will be cut from €60 to €30 at the bag drop desk, and from €60 to €50 at the boarding gate, bringing them into line with competitor airline standard airport bag fees;

nFrom Nov 1, customers who book directly on Ryanair.com, rather than for example via travel agents, will be given a 24-hour grace period from the time of their original booking to correct any minor errors such as spelling, names, or routings made in their original booking;

nFrom Nov 1, Ryanair will operate “quiet flights,” prior to 8am and after 9pm. During these quiet flight periods no announcements will be made on board other than required safety announcements. Ryanair will also dim the lights during these quiet flights so that any customers who wish to snooze can comfortably do so;

nFrom Dec 1, Ryanair’s boarding card reissue fee will be cut from €70 to €15 for customers who have already checked in online. Customers who fail to check in online will continue to pay a €70 airport check-in fee.

Mr O’Leary said: “We are very excited at these significant improvements in what is already Europe’s No 1 customer service airline. As we implement our plans to grow from 80m to over 110m customers [a year] over the next five years, we are actively listening and responding to our customers.”

Critics of Mr O’Leary have deemed his approach to customers cavalier in the extreme. In frequent media conferences the Ryanair boss has done little to persuade others that he cares deeply about his passengers.

Of late, he has appeared almost conciliatory.

Last month Mr O’Leary apologised to a grieving father whose wife and three children were killed in a suspected arson attack on their home after he was charged €188 to change his booking to get on the earliest flight on the morning of the fire.

Muhammad Taufiq Al Sattar, a neurosurgeon based in Dublin, lost wife Shehnila Taufiq, 47, daughter Zainab, 19, and sons Bilal, 17, and Jamil, 15, in the attack on their Leicester home.

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