Ryanair threatens to ban second free bag
Passengers flying with Ryanair could be prohibited from carrying two free bags on board in future because flyers are trying to pack too much into them.
Chief executive Michael O'Leary has warned the airline is having problems with its current cabin baggage policy.
"We're struggling at the boarding gate because far too many passengers are turning up with half the contents of their homes now instead of one normal-sized bag and one small bag," he said, adding that some passengers are also arriving at boarding gates with three bags.
"If it doesn't stop, we're going to have to change that policy."
He said the baggage problem is interfering with Ryanair's quick aircraft turnaround procedures because it's having to load cabin bags into aircraft cargo holds. Once a Ryanair plane lands, the airline aims to have it take off again within 25 minutes.
Ryanair's relaxed cabin baggage policy was unveiled in October 2013 as part of its 'Always Getting Better' campaign to improve its customer service.
At the time, the airline said that the new policy would allow a passenger to carry on a normal-sized piece of hand luggage as well as a small, second bag - just big enough to hold a bottle of wine, for instance.
But the warning yesterday is unlikely to be heeded by passengers, meaning Ryanair could well end up reviewing its baggage policy. The airline could make it so expensive to have bags transferred from the boarding gate to the aircraft hold that it eventually deters passengers from trying to bring too much on board.
Due to cabin space limitations, only 90 large cabin bags can be carried in the cabin. The remainder will be carried free of charge in the aircraft hold.
Oversized cabin baggage is refused at the boarding gate by Ryanair, or where available, placed in the hold of the aircraft for a fee of €50, according to the airline's current rules.
Ryanair prefers to have no luggage in the hold to speed up its arrivals and departures.