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Ryanair hand luggage policy set to change in bid to reduce delays

The Independent logo The Independent 12/01/2018 Helen Coffey

a group of people standing around a plane © Provided by The Independent Ryanair is changing its hand luggage policy from Monday 15 January, reducing the number of bags passengers can take with them into the cabin for free.

The budget airline currently allows passengers to take two bags, one small (35cm x 20cm x 20cm) and one large (55cm x 40cm x 20cm), on flights as carry-on.

From Monday, while travellers can still take two bags for free, the larger of these will be put in the hold as standard when they reach the boarding gate.

Only those who pay for Priority Boarding, which costs from £5, will be able to take both bags into the cabin with them.

Ryanair has said it is taking this step to avoid boarding delays.

“We hope that all our customers will enjoy these new bag rules which are centred around lower checked bag fees and bigger bag allowances,” Kenny Jacobs, Ryanair’s Chief Marketing Officer, said in a statement.

“All Ryanair customers will still be free to bring two free carry-on bags but because of our heavily booked flights (94 per cent load factors), we don’t have space on board for this many wheelie bags so we will ask non-priority customers to put their bigger bag in the hold – free of charge – from Monday 15 January in order to eliminate boarding delays and improve our industry leading on-time departures.

“These changes will cost Ryanair up to €50m pa so we hope our customers will enjoy and welcome them.”

The move may not make too much difference to frequent fliers; as the overhead lockers can only accommodate a finite number of bags, passengers were frequently being told their large bag would have to be stored in the hold instead.

According to a Which? investigation in February 2017, over a quarter (26 per cent) of Ryanair passengers unexpectedly had to check-in their cabin bag at the gate on their most recent flight​.

The low-cost carrier is simultaneously lowering check-in bag fees from £35 to £25 per bag, and upping the baggage allowance for paid-for check-in bags from 15kg to 20kg.

Related: 3 Surprising Facts About Airplane Germs (provided by Real Simple)

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