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All You Need To Know About The New Ryanair Hand Luggage Rules

contender for worst european airline
Source; Pixabay

Ryanair hand luggage

I’ve just received an email from Ryanair explaining their new rules on cabin bags. Take note, if you are travelling with this airline soon, you need to read the NEW Ryanair hand luggage rules. Please ensure you do not get caught out .

The new rules

Ryanair are shrinking the size of the the bag you can bring onboard without paying. The bag must now be 35cm x 20cm x 20cm and must be able to fit under the seat in front. Much as I could jump to the conclusion that this is just another one of Michael O’Leary’s mad ideas to increase revenue, this seems to make a lot of sense.

These days, budget flights are often held up because of issues with fitting bags into overhead lockers. Usually by the time I get on the flight, those lockers are overflowing. Cases which barely fit within the size parameters. dominate the hold. Unlike the days of old, when people simply brought a small bag on board, these days everyone has a case.

Expert travel hacker luggage
Source: Pixabay

This change may encourage those people to either pay extra, or accept that their bags will be relegated to the hold. They will then have to join the hoards scrambling for their bags at the arrival destination.

A window of opportunity

The email goes on to say that ‘if you arrive at the gate, and you haven’t purchase Priority & 2 Cabin bags, your second bag will be put in the hold for free.’ This second bag must not exceed 10kg or 55cm x 40cm x 20cm, and must fit into the sizers at the gate. There, it will be tagged and put into the hold free of charge.

Failure to comply will result in a charge of £50 per item at the departure gate. In other words, risk trying to squeeze a slightly bigger case onboard and it could cost you. Priority & 2 Cabin bags costs £6 so it might be better to simply accept the cost.

Am I missing something here?

Isn’t this simply a great way to be able to get an extra bag onboard for free? Admittedly, some people carry hand luggage only because they want to avoid the wait for the luggage at the other end. However I suspect for most, it is more a question of avoiding the excessive additional charge for putting a bag in the hold. It shows how out of touch I am with Ryanair. I thought they had limited onboard bags to one already!

The bad news

Obviously, if you genuinely do want to avoid waiting around for your bags at your destination, then you have no option but to pay. This will add an extra £6 to the cost of your ticket.

Travel Insurance horror in the event of no luggage
Source: Pixabay

The cost includes priority boarding as well as two cabin bags. This cost is duplicated for each leg. That £9.99 ticket you thought was such a bargain may not be quite the deal you thought.

Hold charges

As the cost for a hold bag is £20, this seems like a great way to save money. Why on earth would I pay for Priority boarding and two cabin bags, if I can can get my extra bag free?

Is there a catch?

Not that I can see but that will maybe come out in the wash as the impact of this change is felt.

What do you think?

So, what do you think? Good news or bad news?

About Anne

Anne is the founder and editor of Frommilestosmiles. If she isn't travelling, she is thinking of travelling or planning her next trip. She has visited over 90 countries on six continents and sampled everything from backpacking to bank bursting travel. Her mission is to help you enjoy more luxurious travel without the luxury price tag through the use of airline and hotel rewards and other money-saving travel tips

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  1. Interesting. I have traveled by Ryan Air during my trip Paris to Switzerland 6 years back. I remember we had carried a very small bagpack. Now, I think they have become quite strict with the sizes that they allow in the cabin. Its a good and bad news both. While we might end up paying due to heavy stuff, they also force us to pack and travel light. But for Europe trip, its difficult.

  2. Great post, Anne. I’m still yet to fly with RyanAir but everything I read about them is negative. I guess after reading this, the changes aren’t as bad as people were making out on Twitter. Still seems inconvenient – especially if you’re only travelling for the day and want to jump straight off of the plane with your luggage.

    • Thanks for stopping by Max. I hate flying with them but there is no denying they serve a purpose. I am flying with them in June but will definitely be putting a bag in the hold

  3. WOW! this post is so useful. I had absolutely no clue what hold charges are. It is definitely a great way to save money. Wish I had known before. I could have saved so much money by now.

  4. I honestly think it’s good news. I fly very often with Ryanair and I know they have followed this policy from at least a year, but allowing the first 90 passengers with cabin bags and then checking in the rest for free. Personally I am happy about this new policy as I often volunteered to put my bag in hold because I can’t lift it due to my back problems. In big airports the bags arrive before I clear customs anyway, so I don’t mind picking it up from the baggage claim.

  5. Such a love/hate relationship with these guys. I love how you can get around Europe for so little, but all the hoops you have to jump through is such a headache. This does seem like an odd new policy though. Not sure they thought it all the way through??

  6. I had never thought about this ‘Why on earth would I pay for Priority boarding and two cabin bags, if I can can get my extra bag free?’ The cost of flying and checking luggage keeps rising, and people are finding some clever ways around that.

  7. Urghhhh I really dislike Ryan Air, but it is hard to avoid when I’m in Europe. Once I was travelling from Madrid with a handbag within the size and weight limits, but since the zipper didn’t close (it was broken) they wanted to charge me extra. For the zipper! For one side, I understand than the upper compartments are always crowded, but, on the other side, the cost of travelling with luggage has risen ridiculously. If you are travelling, it is only logical you have to carry lugagge! Thanks for all the new information!

    • That’s ridiculous. I once got so annoyed with them as we were travelling with kids and had three bags. In total they weighed less than 45kg but they insisted we repack each so each weighed under 15kg. How stupid is that?! So we were in the middle of the airport having to repack getting in everyone’s way because of some stupid regulation which makes no sense.

  8. Ah thank you that is super helpful. I have a love/hate relationship with them. But use them wherever I can find cheap flights in Europe! Thanks for the update

  9. I have a love/hate relationship with RyanAir, as I suspect do many of their customers and destinations. They certainly shook up the short haul air travel market, and arguably continue to innovate and offer exceptional value for those who can manage with “passport and credit card.’ As far as I’m concerned, they can make whatever rules they like, as long as they are clearly and unambiguously stated when booking. I’ve never really understood ‘the cram it in the lockers’ brigade, and I usually travel with things that need to be put in hold anyway…

    • Same here. I can’t be bothered denying myself all those little extras I love to travel with. Besides, travel blogging needs lots of gadgets. Laptop, iPad, camera, the works goes with me.

  10. It’s not too bad if you can get your normal cabin sized luggage into the hold for free and priority boarding isn’t too expensive… But my issue isn’t waiting around for my bag at the other end, it’s if my luggage gets lost or things stolen from it. This would be especially annoying if I was going on a short weekend trip because I wouldn’t have my luggage for the entire trip.

    I’m flying with Ryanair this weekend and while my boyfriend’s backpack will be tiny and will be okay going under the seat, I’m not sure about mine! And if not, I’ll be paying for priority because I’d just prefer that extra security of keeping my belongs with me.

    • Hi Rebecca

      That’s a really good point as insurance often will not cover high value items if put in the hold. Things like cameras, laptops etc should ideally therefore be carried in hand luggage and I know my camera bag definitely wouldn’t fit under the sit and allow me a comfortable flight,

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