RYANAIR has started charging passengers who want to fly with anything larger than a ‘personal bag’ to reduce delays.
It is the second change in hand luggage rules for the Dublin-based airline this year.
In January it had allowed travellers to take a personal bag — such as a handbag — on board while putting a second bag weighing up to 10kg — such as a suitcase on wheels — in the hold for free.
However, this resulted in up to 120 bags being tagged at boarding gates for each flight, meaning departures were disrupted.
As of yesterday, Ryanair no longer allows any luggage in the hold free of charge and introduced an £8 fee to check-in a 10kg case. The previous lowest price for checked luggage was £25 for up to 20kg, which still applies.
However, the maximum size of ‘personal bags’ now allowed on board has increased by 40 per cent.
Passengers who pay for priority boarding — which costs £6 — will continue to be allowed to take both a ‘personal bag’ and small suitcase as hand baggage.
Ryanair believes some customers may prefer the £8 checked luggage option because they do not want to drag a suitcase on wheels through airport security.
It claimed most passengers will be unaffected by the changes, as 30 per cent already buy priority boarding and a further 30 per cent travel with only a ‘personal bag’.
A statement on the airline’s website said the main benefits of this new policy ‘will be reduced flight delays and cheaper checked bag option’.
It advises: ‘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 £25 fee to the £8 option.