Aer Lingus rules out cabin bag charges 'for the foreseeable future'
A week after Ryanair unveiled its controversial new baggage policy, Aer Lingus has ruled out introducing fees for cabin bags.
"We have no current plans to charge for cabin baggage," Declan Kearney, the airline's Director of Communications, told Independent.ie Travel.
"We do not plan to do so in the foreseeable future."
Aer Lingus recently rolled out an unbundled transatlantic 'Saver Fare', with lead-in rates from €169 each-way but checked bags charged as an optional extra.
The slimmed-down fares still include two free pieces of cabin baggage, however - as do its European and short-haul flights.
The comments come after Ryanair changed its cabin bag policy, only allowing passengers who pay a €5 Priority Boarding fee to take 10kg carry-on bags on board.
- Read an explainer on Ryanair's new bag policy here.
From November 1, Ryanair's "non-priority" passengers must check their 10kg cabin bags for free at the boarding gate, where they will be placed in the hold.
"Non-priority" customers will still be able to carry smaller pieces of free hand luggage such as laptops and handbags into the cabin, however.
Ryanair's changes were introduced as volumes of cabin baggage mounted, with passengers "repeatedly flouting" rules, leading to flight delays.
Last week, Ryanair also said it will increase its check-in bag allowance from 15kg to 20kg, and drop its 20kg check-in bag fee from €35 to €25, from November 1.
A €10 supplement will be levied on these bags at peak times, however.
Our readers respond
Readers posted thousands of comments following our original story on Ryanair's baggage policy changes, both criticising and supporting the changes.
"Greed, greed and more greed," said Marie Casey on our Facebook page.
"I love Ryanair," commented Patricia Nightingale. "I think this is a great idea, it should really speed up the boarding fiasco, I hate the fighting to find a space in the overhead lockers... play by the rules and there is no problem."
"This has nothing to do with 'misusing second bag policy'," said Bob Johnston. "Because they could just move back to one bag only.
"[Ryanair] created their own problems."
"No big problem, really," commented Shamir Ravel. "It does a favour for people like myself who travel with two young children. We normally have three or four cabin-sized hand luggages (sic), and now they'll take them for free so we don't have to struggle up and down the stairs."
"I bloody hate Ryanair," said Wes Deans. "Unless they go somewhere I want to go."