Ryanair cuts baggage fees in a move that it hopes will encourage more travellers to check their luggage into the hold instead of using hand luggage.
Ryanair has based its decision on the need to reduce delays at the boarding gate with travellers taking their two items into the cabin with them.
The Irish airline said that the delays were almost unmanageable since it started allowing its customers to take two free items of hand luggage onto the plane with them.
A spokesman for the airline said, “With high load factors, there is not enough overhead cabin space for this volume of carry-on bags, which is causing boarding and flight delays,” it said.
As of November 1 2017 only customers who have paid an additional £5 for priority boarding will be permitted to take two items into the cabin. The rest will have their second (largest) item put into the hold – free of charge.
Also, however, the airline has announced a reduced fee for checked bags, dropping from £35** to £25**… whilst simultaneously increasing the weight allowance from 15kg to 20kg.
Kenny Jacobs, speaking on behalf of RyanAir said, “These bag policy changes will cost Ryanair over €50 million a year 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 concluded, “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.”
To better facilitate the changes, RyanAir will have two queues at the boarding gate. One for priority customers and the other for standard.
**Starting price – some increases may apply, dependent upon supply and demand. Please refer to RyanAir’s information at time of booking for clarity.