Ryanair has followed through on previous threats and is set to scrap the two on board bag policy, effective from November 1st. Passengers will have to pay five pounds for priority boarding in order to carry a cabin bag on board. The airline is attempting to reduce delays during boarding, caused due to a shortage of overhead cabin space.
Despite widespread condemnation, the airline will still allow passengers their 10kg ‘handluggage’ allowance but they must check the bag at the desk in order that it is placed in the hold. Passengers can choose to pay for priority boarding and take the bag onboard, or leave the bigger bag in the old and carry on a smaller bag.
The airline is also lowering the fees for checked luggage – a move that is said will cost the airline €50m a year. They will also increase the weight allowance in order to encourage more passengers to use the checked luggage service.
Kenny Jacobs, the airline’s chief marketing officer, said the changes to its baggage policy still mean passengers will be able to travel with two bags for free, but under the current rules too many passengers were taking two bags on board busy flights, resulting in insufficient overhead space and causing delays.
Jacobs said that on a typically busy flight, about 186 seats of a total of 189 will be occupied, with space for about 90 bags in the overhead lockers. But some people were bending the rules by bringing on board a wheelie bag and a large rucksack that will not fit underneath the seat.
“We’re making these changes because our flights are so much busier,” he explained. “A number of people will have two very large bags, taking up someone else’s space. They’ll hope they’ll get away with it and generally they have, but we don’t want to go back to policing bags at the gate.”
“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 carry-on bags.”