Ryanair refunds €400,000 in Priority Boarding payments as 'pre-Christmas gifts'
The airline is also giving free 10kg check-in bags to two million 'non-Priority' customers, it says
Ryanair has refunded €8 Priority Boarding payments to some 50,000 customers as it prepares to introduce its new baggage policy.
The refunds, worth approximately €400,000, were issued to customers who booked flights on or before August 31 for travel after November 1, but added Priority Boarding after that date, the airline says.
Reimbursed passengers may still travel 'Priority' free of charge, it adds.
November 1 is the date Ryanair plans to introduce a new baggage policy that eliminates free 10kg carry-on bags for all 'Non-Priority' customers.
The change is designed to improve punctuality and reduce delays, it says.
Ryanair is also giving free 10kg check-in bags to two million 'non-Priority' customers who booked flights before August 31 for travel after November 1.
These customers have been advised by email of the "pre-Christmas gifts", it says.
“All passengers who had booked on/before August 31 will now face no extra cost or inconvenience, as they have today received a free 10kg check bag, from Ryanair, added to their booking," said Kenny Jacobs, its Chief Marketing Officer.
"We’re also looking forward to welcoming some 50,000 passengers on-board after November 1, (who made their booking before 31 August) but who bought Priority Boarding over the last two weeks, who will now receive this service free of charge."
Baggage policy and customer confusion
Ryanair is tweaking its baggage policy in an effort to smooth out a boarding process that can see up to 120 10kg cabin bags at gates for busy flights.
"We've introduced the new policy to eliminate free gate bags which are causing delays," Robin Kiely, its Head of Communications, told Independent.ie Travel.
It follows another policy change last January, which required 'Non-Priority' customers to check larger, 10kg carry-on bags into the hold, without charge.
The latest policy will eliminate those free bags entirely for 'Non-Priority' customers, while simultaneously introducing a new €8-€10 fee for 10kg checked bags.
It also increases the size of smaller, carry-on bags by around 40pc.
60pc of its customers will not be affected by the changes, Ryanair has said, since 30pc already buy Priority Boarding and 30pc travel with just a single small cabin bag.
Asked whether the latest changes, refunds and "gifts" were further confusing customers, Kiely replied:
"We're doing this now to ease people into the new policy and make it simpler and easier for them as part of our Always Getting Better programme of customer service improvements."
"The policy itself will be very simple."
Read more:'Someone else will take their seat' - Ryanair responds to backlash as free 10kg cabin bag era ends