Ryanair ends policy of two free carry-on bags

Ryanair has abandoned its policy of allowing people to bring two carry-on bags on board and has cut its fees for checked-in bags while upping the weight allowance.

Ryanair ends policy of two free carry-on bags

The airline said “too many” customers are availing of its two free carry-on bags service. As a result, the high number of full flights means there is not enough overhead cabin space for this volume of carry-on bags which is causing boarding and flight delays.

From November 1, the check-in bag allowance on all Ryanair flights will increase from 15kg to 20kg for all bags. The standard check-in bag fee will be cut from €35 to €25 for this 20kg bag.

Also from this date, only priority boarding customers (including Plus, Flexi Plus, and Family Plus) will be allowed to bring two carry-on bags on the aircraft. It costs €5 at the time of flight booking to be a priority boarding passenger.

All other customers will only be allowed to bring one smaller carry-on bag on board the aircraft, while their second wheelie bag must be placed in the hold at the boarding gate. This second bag is free of charge.

Chief marketing officer Kenny Jacobs said the bag policy changes will cost the airline in the region of €50m in reduced checked-bag fees.

“However, we believe offering bigger bags at reduced fees will encourage more customers to consider checking in a bag, which will reduce the high volume of customers we have with two carry-on bags at the boarding gates, which is causing flight delays due to large numbers of gate bag and cabin bag offloads,” he said.

Mr Jacobs said given the high volume of full flights operated by Ryanair, the overhead bins were not big enough to accommodate all extra bags coming on board.

“We hope that by restricting non-priority customers to one small carry-on bag — their wheelie bag must be placed in the hold, free of charge at the boarding gate — this will speed up the boarding of flights and eliminate flight delays being caused by not having sufficient overhead cabin space on busy flights to accommodate over 360 carry-on bags,” he said.

Meanwhile, Ryanair’s August traffic grew by 10% to 12.7m customers, while its load factor was up 1% to 97%.

In June, the airline was forced to deny it had made any changes to its seating policy after a number of complaints from customers that they were being deliberately separated from their travelling companions because they had not paid for reserved seating.

Ryanair claimed it had not changed its policy and that seats which are not reserved are allocated randomly.

Scientists at Oxford University carried out an experiment where four people booked onto four flights and were all allocated middle seats. The researchers, working on behalf of the BBC’s Watchdog show, calculated that the likelihood of all four randomly ending up in middle seats on each of the flights was 1:540,000,000 — higher than the odds of winning the UK lottery.

Changes to baggage policy

What is Ryanair’s new baggage policy?

From November, they will cut the cost of a checked bag from €35 to €25 and increase the bag size from 15kg to 20kg.

The check-in bag allowance will increase from 15kg to 20kg for all bags. The standard check-in bag fee will be cut from €35 to €25 for this 20kg bag.

Only priority boarding customers (including Plus passengers) will be allowed to bring two carry-on bags onto the aircraft.

What if you are not a priority customer?

All other (non-priority) customers will only be allowed to bring one smaller carry-on bag on board the aircraft, while their second (bigger) wheelie bag must be placed in the hold (free of charge) at the boarding gate.

Why is Ryanair making this change?

To reduce the number of flight delays caused by too many customers arriving at the gate with two carry-on bags.

Will customers still be able to take two pieces of cabin baggage on board?

Yes, priority boarding customers will still be able to bring two bags, one normal (55cm x 40cm x 20cm) and one small (35cm x 20cm x 20cm) into the cabin.

No, for non-priority customers who will put their bigger (wheelie) cabin bag in the hold (free of charge), and will be able to take their smaller bag into the cabin.

What about bookings before the new policy was implemented?

The new baggage policy will start on November 1 and will apply to all bookings made before and after November 1, and flights from that date onwards.

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