Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Ryanair changes cabin baggage policy

Photo Ryanair at Stanstead 
The budget airline Ryanair is changing its baggage policies following too many people taking two bags into the cabin.  The changes will take place from 1st November and from that date, passengers will only be allowed to take one item of hand luggage into the aircraft cabin unless they have purchased priority boarding or Plus, Flexi Plus & Family Plus fares.

The airline is introducing it as part of a programme they call  “Always Getting Better” although its unclear what is getting better, customer service and satisfaction or the airlines bottom line?

They have increased check-in bag sizes which they believe will encourage more customers to check in bags and reduce the number of customers with 2 bags at the boarding gates. This was because too many people were apparently trying to save money and turning up at the gate with two cabin bags. Once again the airline blames passengers claiming that customers abiding by the rules allowing two cabin bags, were causing aircraft delays, so they've now stopped that possibility, because, oh hang on a second, passengers can still turn up at the gate with two bags,  but one - the bigger of the two - has to go in the hold. So really it's adding to the work load of the airport staff, causing more confusion for passengers, but it's supposed to be quicker?  

Read more about the policy details.

We loved the Ryanair press release when it said it was introducing this change  "To encourage more customers to check-in some bags and reduce the volume of carry-on bags."  Which more accurately described as forcing passengers to check in luggage, as if they don't check in their second bag into the hold, they won't be allowed to fly and won't get a refund.

The new policy from st November:
The check-in bag allowance will increase from 15kg to 20kg for all bags
The standard check-in bag fee will be cut from €/£35 to €/£25 for this 20kg bag
Only Priority Boarding customers (including Plus, Flexi Plus & Family Plus) will be allowed to bring two carry-on bags on the aircraft*
All other (i.e. non-priority) customers will only be allowed to bring one smaller carry-on bag on board the aircraft, while their second (bigger) wheelie bag must be placed in the hold (free of charge) at the boarding gate.

* Priority Boarding can be purchased for just €/£5 at the time of booking or added to a booking for €/£6 and is available up to one hour prior to scheduled departure.
Ryanair’s Kenny Jacobs said:  “These bag policy changes will cost Ryanair over €50m p.a. in reduced checked bag fees. However, we believe offering bigger bags at reduced fees will encourage more customers to consider checking-in a bag, which will reduce the high volume of customers we have with 2 carry-on bags at the boarding gates, which is causing flight delays due to large numbers of gate bag and cabin bag offloads.

We hope that by restricting non-priority customers to one small carry-on bag – their  wheelie bag must be placed in the hold, free of charge at the boarding gate – this will speed up the boarding of flights and eliminate flight delays being caused by not having sufficient overhead cabin space on busy flights to accommodate over 360 (182 customers x 2 bags) carry-on bags.

These lower bag fees and increased bag size allowances will come into play for all bookings for travel after 1st November, and we hope our customers will enjoy the savings of our new simplified bag policy.”

One interesting point to remember about the reduction in fees for checked in luggage is that it only applies to adding luggage at the time of booking. If it is added to the booking after it has been made or at the airport will cost €/£40.

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