Budget holidaymakers will not be able to take two cabin bags on board when flying with Ryanair in new rules implemented today.
The Irish airline is introducing a new system which will mean passengers wanting to take two cabin bags on board must pay for priority boarding, which will let them on the aircraft first and give them access to the overhead lockers.
Anyone travelling without priority booking will still be able to take both bags on the plane, but their bigger bag will go in the hold, meaning they will have to wait at their arrival airport for their baggage to be unloaded.
Passengers can buy priority boarding as soon as 30 minutes before their flight takes off.
Ryanair’s Kenny Jacobs said: “This new policy is centred around lower checked bag fees and bigger bag allowances and we have notified by email all our customers travelling from Monday.
“All Ryanair customers will still be free to bring two free carry-on bags but we will now ask non-priority customers to put their bigger bag in the hold – free of charge – in order to eliminate boarding delays and improve our industry leading on-time departures.
“Ryanair has already introduced new reduced checked bag fees (from €/£35 to €/£25) and increased check-in bag sizes (from 15kg to 20kg) to encourage more customers to check in bags and reduce the number of customers with two bags at the boarding gates. We hope our customers will enjoy this new and simplified bag policy.”
Mr Jacobs said the aim of the policy was to speed up boarding, which can be delayed by packing overhead lockers, and said passengers had been responding positively to the announcement.
Website guidelines add: “Failure to comply will result in a charge of £50 per item at the departure gate and may also lead to delays for all passengers on board.”
Ryanair told Sky News there would be a limit of 100 passengers who could book priority boarding per flight.
Rory Boland of the consumer group Which? warned that passengers’ valuables could be at risk.
“Ryanair needs to make sure customers understand that they may not be insured for loss, theft or damage of their valuables if their luggage ends up in the hold as a result of these new rules,” he said.
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“We would advise travellers to remove wallets, keys, laptops and other important or expensive items from any bag the airline plans to put in the hold. If anything does go missing, you should claim against the airline as they should honour your rights under the Montreal Convention.”
The Montreal Convention regulates cases where luggage is mishandled or lost.