Update - 10.08am: Ryanair have said they will appeal the suspension ordered by Italy's competition watchdog on the airline's new baggage regulations.
The new rules, effective from today, mean only Priority Boarding customers will be allowed take two free carry-on bags onto Ryanair flights - a handbag and a small carry-on case. Meanwhile, 'non-priority' passengers (ie those who do not pay a €6-€8 Priority Boarding fee) can only take one small bag with them onto the plane.
Italy's competition watchdog has ordered the suspension of the airline's new baggage policy, prompting an appeal threat from Ryanair. The airline said: "We will immediately appeal this decision. There is no basis for a competition authority to issue a decision that relates to air safety or punctuality.
"This policy is transparent and beneficial to consumers."
Italy's competition watchdog has ordered the suspension of Ryanair's new baggage policy which comes into force today.
They have said the new policy provides a false representation of the real ticket price and is misleading to the customer.
Editor with Travel Extra, Eoghan Corry, said Ryanair are making the move to try to cut down on delays.
Mr Corry said: "For Ryanair, that's a bigger issue than for other airlines. A five-minute delay in Dublin suddenly turns into a 10-minute one in Valencia, a 15-minute one in Bergamo.
"Their aircraft fly W-patterns all across Europe. Most other airlines that are based in one country fly to another country and back again."
Ryanair has changed its hand luggage rules for the second time this year.
From today the budget airline introduced charges for passengers flying with a small suitcase.
It said the measure is necessary to reduce delays.
In January, Ryanair began a policy which saw passengers who had not bought priority boarding permitted to take a “personal bag” – such as a handbag – on board while a second, larger bag – such as a wheelie suitcase weighing up to 10kg – could be put in the hold free of charge.
But this resulted in up to 120 bags being tagged at boarding gates for each flight, meaning departures were disrupted.
Ryanair has responded by no longer allowing any luggage in the hold free of charge.
Passengers have to pay €8 to check in a 10kg bag. The previous lowest price for checked luggage was €25 for up to 20kg, which remains an option for those with heavier cases.
The maximum size of “personal bags” allowed on board has been increased by 40%.
Passengers who pay for priority boarding – which costs €6 – will continue to be allowed to take both a “personal bag” and small suitcase as hand baggage.
Ryanair believes some customers may prefer the €8 checked luggage option because they do not want to drag a wheelie case through airport security.
It claimed most passengers will be unaffected by the changes, as 30% already buy priority boarding and a further 30% travel with only a “personal bag”.
A statement on the airline’s website read: “Main benefits of this new policy will be reduced flight delays and cheaper checked bag option. Pack more liquids into a 10kg checked wheelie bag. Walk to the boarding gate hands-free.”
Ryanair insists it does not expect to make more money from the new rules, as it will lose revenue from passengers with checked bags switching from the €25 fee to the €8 option.
- Press Association