Ryanair’s New Cabin Baggage Policy 2018

Here we go again, Ryanair is changing its baggage policy that will further restrict what passengers can take on its aircraft for free. Here we outline how the changes will affect your trip. Pack accordingly and try to save some money by packing less, use packing cubes to organize and de-clutter your suitcase.

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What is changing?

Much like Spirit Airlines, RyanAir introduced new rules on luggage in January.

Ryanair will no longer let passengers take small suitcases on its planes for free, with charges for cases 10kg and above being introduced in November. Passengers will still be allowed to take one small carry-on bag or free, as long as it fits under the seat in front of them.

How much is it going to cost?

You can purchase Priority & 2 Cabin Bags on the web up to 2 hours pre-departure or on the go using the Ryanair app up to 30 minutes before your flight departs.

Personally, I opted for the priority boarding option for my trip from Athens to Santorini and Mykonos to Athens. It was roughly an additional €25 or €105 total.

The choice is your and it really depends on your needs. You could opt for one of the limited priority boarding tickets (£6 each way), which permits passengers to take small suitcases up to 10kg onto the aircraft for no extra charge.

Alternatively, you could opt to check the bag into the hold, which will cost £8 each way for cases weighing less than 10kg. The current minimum checked luggage fee is £25 for a 20kg bag.

RyanAir says the majority of its customers will be unaffected by the new policy, claiming 30% of their customers already buy priority boarding and another 30% only travel with a small bag.

“Ryanair has claimed that 60 per cent of its customers will be unaffected by these changes, but it looks as though the remaining 40 per cent will either have to dramatically reduce the amount of luggage they travel with, or pay £12-16 extra on a return fare,” said Nick Trend, Telegraph Travel’s Consumer Expert.

“Given that Ryanair says its average fare is about £71 return, that represents an increase of 17-22.5 per cent for many of its passengers.”

Is it about making more money?

It is about making more money and ROI (return on investment). Business is business and if the business sees its overhead costs continue to climb, eventually the cost is going to be passed onto the customer. I wouldn’t be surprised if this caused more people to opt-in for the priority boarding because not only will it allow you to carry-on more luggage but it will get you on the plan faster as well.

Ryanair claims this change is for the better and it will speed up the boarding process. We shall see about that! In my experiencing, boarding has not been any faster. Even buying a priority ticket, I’ve been force to have my bag held and then go searching for it after I get off the plane.

The new checked bag option is £25 each way or £8 each way for the 10kg option.

Why is Ryanair’s baggage policy so confusing?

Sometimes change is good, sometimes change is bad and sometimes change is just confusing.. In January of 2018, Ryanair changed it’s baggage policy to not allow free carry-on luggage anymore. If you wanted to carry on luggage you had to buy a priority pass.

Customers travelling with small suitcases were, however, allowed to check them into the hold for free at the gate. As part of the changes the airline also reduced its cheapest checked baggage charge from £35 to £25 each way.

The policy was designed to cut the volume of carry-on bags, which had increased as more passengers tried to avoid Ryanair’s baggage fees. That the airline has adopted another new policy so soon suggests that policy didn’t work.

“It’s yet another complication when comparing fares,” said Trend. “As I wrote only a few weeks ago about other fare changes made by the airline – its pricing system has become so labyrinthine, there are so many options, incentives and disincentives, that it has become seriously hard work for customers to work out whether they are getting good value for their money.”

Why are the overhead bins so small?

They are small to cut down on cost and fuel efficiency. The smaller the plane, the smaller the overhead bins and the smaller the overhead costs, which means cheper fares for the consumer (you). In the future the overhead bins will be slightly larger, but those new Boeing 737 planes will not be out until early 2019.

READ MORE: Top 10 Must Pack Carry-On Items

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