Travel

Saturday 19 October 2019

'Someone else will take their seat' - Ryanair responds to backlash as free 10kg cabin bag era ends

Readers have been reacting strongly to changes in Ryanair's baggage policy, our Travel Editor reports

In 2014, Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary landed at Dublin airport with the first of Ryanair's new Boeing 737-800 NG aircraft from Seattle. The aircraft has become a staple for Irish travellers.
In 2014, Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary landed at Dublin airport with the first of Ryanair's new Boeing 737-800 NG aircraft from Seattle. The aircraft has become a staple for Irish travellers.
A Ryanair plane prepares to land at Barcelona's El Prat. Photo: JOSEP LAGO/AFP/Getty Images
Pól Ó Conghaile

Pól Ó Conghaile

Reader reaction has been pouring in since Ryanair announced yesterday that it will stop offering free 10kg cabin bags on its flights.

"What the hell?" said Megan Walsh.

"How much will they be charging for breaths next?" asked Ann Power.

"Ryanair, you and I are officially done!" proclaimed Aoibhin Kenny.

They were just three of hundreds of reactions to posts on the new baggage policy on our Independent.ie and Independent.ie Travel Facebook pages.

Ryanair's response?

"Our flights are full of people who swear frequently they’ll never fly with us again, but keep coming back for the lowest fares and better punctuality than any other Irish airline," it said in a statement.

"But we recognise it’s all about customer choice, so if customers want to choose higher fares and less punctual airlines, then so be it.

"Someone else will take their seat."

Policy changes and Priority Boarding

While obviously not a representative sample of the airline's 130 million annual passengers, readers posted hundreds of responses on our social media channels to the new baggage policy, set to take effect from November 1.

From that date, only 'Priority' passengers who pay a €6 to €8 boarding fee will be entitled to take two carry-on bags onto its planes.

'Non-Priority' customers will only be allowed to take one small bag on board - i.e. the bag that fits under the seat in front.

At the same time, Ryanair plans to introduce a new, €8-€10 fee for 10kg hold bags - which must be checked at landside bag drop facilities.

The change is designed to reduce delays at gates, the airline says - adding that 60pc of its customers will not be affected, since 30pc already buy Priority Boarding and 30pc travel with just a single small cabin bag.

Read the full detail on Ryanair's new baggage policy here.

'Goodbye Ryanair...'

"Goodbye, Ryanair - it's too much now," wrote Daniel Lassoie.

"Hi Ryanair, I suppose my flight scheduled for next week will be my last one with you," said Marco Reale "...I won't feed this robbery any more."

Ryanair has also announced a new €8 charge for 10kg checked bags...

Posted by Independent.ie on Thursday, August 23, 2018

Other readers came to the defense of an airline that has helped lower flight prices and expand route networks exponentially since its launch 34 years ago.

"At the end of the day, they are generally the cheapest," said Sophie Carr. "That's why you fly with them. It's not the service or the comfort, but the price. And it's an extra €8 instead of an extra €100 flying with someone else. You will still fly with them."

"Never had a problem with Ryanair flying to and from Ireland on a fairly regular basis for a number of years... still think it is good value for money," was the reaction of another reader, Jill Midgley, to the new policy.

Some compared Ryanair's bag policies to Aer Lingus - whose check-in fees for 15kg bags range from €20 to €50, but which has confirmed to Independent.ie Travel that it has "no plans to introduce mandatory charging for 10kg cabin baggage."

"Aer Lingus’ brand promise is built on providing our guests with choice," it adds.

Ryanair, of course, might point to the bottom line. For all the recent PR disasters and pilot strikes, its profits rose by 10pc to €1.45 billion last year.

Read more:

Ryanair to axe second free carry-on bag for 'Non-Priority' customers

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