Ryanair has changed its hand luggage rules - here's everything you need to know

Budget airline Ryanair is changing its hand luggage policy to encourage passengers to check bags into the hold.

From yesterday (Monday 15 January), only travellers who have paid for priority boarding, Plus, Flexi Plus and Family Plus tickets will be permitted to take two bags into the cabin free of charge: one large (55cm x 40cm x 20cm) and one small (35cm x 20cm x 20cm).

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Other passengers can still bring two bags, but will be made to put the “large" one into the hold, forcing them to wait in baggage reclaim upon arrival at their destination.

Even if you only bring one bag with you, it will only be allowed into the cabin if it counts as “small”. Note also that if your “large” bag is bigger than the dimensions stated above, you will be charged a fee of £50 to put it into the hold.

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Ryanair has reduced the cost of check-in luggage from £35 to £25 and upped the weight allowance from 15kg to 20kg. If you don’t fancy adding to your journey time or putting your favourite handbag into the hold, priority boarding costs £5 at the time of booking or £6 up to an hour before your flight.

The airline says it has emailed passengers booked onto flights this week to inform them about the changes.

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But why?

Ryanair hopes the new policy will “speed up boarding” and “eliminate flight delays” caused by passengers battling to fit their hand luggage into the overhead lockers, often unsuccessfully.

Last February, Which? found that over a quarter of Ryanair passengers had to check-in their cabin bag at the gate after the lockers became full.

Our new baggage policy is commencing on Monday January 15th. Don't forget to familiarise yourself here. pic.twitter.com/deTjCEBYvX

— Ryanair (@Ryanair) January 9, 2018

Kenny Jacobs, Chief Marketing Officer at Ryanair, said: “We hope that all our customers will enjoy these new bag rules which are centred around lower checked bag fees and bigger bag allowances.

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“Ryanair customers will still be free to bring two free carry-on bags but because of our heavily booked flights (95 per cent load factors), we don’t have space on board for this many wheelie bags, so we will ask non-priority customers to put their bigger bag in the hold - free of charge - from Monday 15 January in order to eliminate boarding delays and improve our industry leading on-time departures.”

“These changes will cost Ryanair up to €50 million per year, so we hope our customers will enjoy and welcome them."

A version of this story was originally published on inews.co.uk

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