Ryanair cuts carry-on baggage allowance to just one handbag
Ryanair customers will only be able to bring a small handbag or laptop on board and put all other luggage in the hold from next week.
The policy change - which applies to 'non-priority' customers - will see all 10kg 'carry-on' bags placed in the hold.
Ryanair said the changes are being introduced to reduce boarding delays and squabbles over overhead bin space as too many customers were taking advantage of the airline's 'two free carry-on bags' service.
However, the larger 'carry-on' bags which now have to be placed in the hold will be checked free of charge.
The controversial policy was to have kicked in last November, but was delayed "to allow customers more time to adjust to the changes". From January 15, only customers who pay Ryanair's €5 priority boarding fee (including Plus, Flexi Plus & Family Plus) will be permitted two carry-on bags.
All 'non-priority' customers must check their bigger (up to 10kg) pieces of hand baggage into the hold.
They will be able to carry one piece of hand luggage - such as a laptop or handbag - on board for free, but it will have to fit under the seat in front.
The changes are being introduced as Ryanair load factors hit 95pc in December.
"There is not enough overhead cabin space for this volume of carry-on bags, which is causing boarding/flight delays," the airline stated.
The new policy also sees check-in bag allowances increased from 15kg to 20kg for all bags, and the reduction of its check-in bag fee from €35 to €25.
However, a €10 supplement will be levied at Easter, Christmas and on longer routes during the peak summer months. The supplement is to reflect "increased handling costs".
The changes will cost Ryanair over €50m a year in lowered fees, said chief marketing officer Kenny Jacobs.
Priority boarding can be added to bookings up to two hours before a flight on ryanair.com, or 30 minutes before on the company's app, for €6.