You will probably have heard by now that Ryanair is charging for most hand luggage taken into the cabin; a controversial move.
It should be noted that small backpacks or anything like handbags that can be placed under the seat will not be included and will continue to be ‘free.’ Regular passengers will have noticed that for some time anything with wheels on it, no matter how small, is taken from passengers at the aircraft door and placed in the hold.
Ryanair has justified their decision with a new boarding policy:
* Priority Boarding customers (currently 30%) can continue to bring two free, carry-on bags (1 x 10kg wheelie bag and 1 small bag).
* Non-priority customers can only bring one free (small) carry-on bag from 1 Nov.
* If non-priority customers want to bring a 2nd bigger (wheelie) bag they can buy a lower cost 10kg check bag for €/£8 at time of booking (currently a 20kg bag costs €/£25). This 10kg wheelie bag must be checked in at the airport bag-drop desk.
* All customers with checked bags can now switch from the €/£25 x20kg bag to the cheaper €/£8 x10kg checked bag.
* The new policy will go live at boarding gates on/after 1 November 2018 and for all bookings made on/after 1 September 2018.
Note: no euro prices given as exchange rates vary.
According to Ryanair 60% of passengers will be unaffected by this bag-policy change, since , they say, 30% of customers already buy Priority Boarding and 30% already travel with only one free (small) carry-on bag.
The company hopes that the remaining 40% of (non-priority) customers affected by this new policy, most will either switch to priority boarding, traveling with one free bag only, or buy the lower cost 10kg check bag.
Italy has blocked this move because it amounts to false advertising where announced ticket prices are concerned, but at least one other low-cost airline has followed suit: Wizz Air (Hungary).
Editorial comment: There are a couple of holes in their reasoning, namely, if most passengers shift to ‘priority boarding’ then what kind of priority is that? Secondly, whatever way you look at it, travelling low-cost is now more expensive, so the argument that it is to ease boarding falls flat.
On a separate note, the official Ryanair photograph appears to show that the King of Spain moonlights as cabin crew no doubt because he is tall and can reach the overhead lockers.