Ryanair's baggage policy changes today - here's what you need to know
RYANAIR has changed its hand luggage rules for the second time this year.
From Thursday the airline introduced charges for passengers flying with a small suitcase.
It said the measure is necessary to reduce delays.
In January, Ryanair began a policy which saw passengers who had not bought priority boarding permitted to take a "personal bag" - such as a handbag - on board while a second, larger bag - such as a wheelie suitcase weighing up to 10kg - could be put in the hold free of charge.
But the airline says this resulted in up to 120 bags being tagged at boarding gates for each flight, meaning departures were disrupted.
Ryanair has responded by no longer allowing any luggage in the hold free of charge.
Passengers who refuse to pay extra for “Priority” will only be permitted to travel with one small bag (35cm x 20cm x 20cm) free of charge (read about Ryanair's new baggage policy here).
Previously, the airline allows all customers to travel with two items of hand luggage: one small bag and one large bag (no bigger than 55x40x20cm and no heavier than 10kg). However, if they are “Non-Priority”, the larger bag is taken at the gate and put in the hold free of charge.
Passengers are now faced with a decision. Travel with just a small bag; pay the Priority fee (which costs from €6 per person per flight at the time of booking or €8 during online check-in); or pay €8 per person per flight to check in their 10kg bag.
The airline claims the changes are not about making money, but about speeding up the boarding process and reducing delays. It also insists that only 40 per cent of its passengers will be affected, as 30 per cent already pay the “Priority” fee, and a further 30 per cent already travel with just a small bag.
A statement on the airline's website read: "Main benefits of this new policy will be reduced flight delays and cheaper checked bag option. Pack more liquids into a 10kg checked wheelie bag. Walk to the boarding gate hands free."
Ryanair insists it does not expect to make more money from the new rules, as it will lose revenue from passengers with checked bags switching from the €8 option.