Ryanair hand luggage allowance cut – nice Ryanair becoming nasty again?

Ryanair hand luggage allowance cut – nice Ryanair becoming nasty again?

Some links to products and partners on this website will earn an affiliate commission.

Joe and I make little secret of our regular use of Ryanair. While they’re far from perfect, they provide a great option for connecting to ultra cheap long haul Business Class flights, or just taking advantage of a great value European getaway.

ryanair hand luggage allowance

In recent years, and not least following customer and shareholder “feedback”, Ryanair appeared to be moving away from the “nasty Ryanair” tag. Genuinely, the service appeared to have improved and the relationship between passenger and company seemed to be becoming far less antagonistic.

However, Ryanair now appears to be slipping a little. First of all they started pulling all sorts of stunts with seating, leading to “Ryanair sympathiser” and InsideFlyer UK editor Joe Deeney labelling them “desperate” and “disingenuous”.

And I’m afraid things have arguably just got a touch worse…

One of Ryanair’s recent steps towards becoming much nicer was to allow a second small piece of hand luggage, such as a handbag. That, I’m afraid, is being ditched.

As a result of “abuse” of the extra free bag policy leading to delays (people are massively pushing the boundaries, apparently), Ryanair is removing this right from 1 November 2017. From this date, the position will be as follows:

  • The check-in bag allowance will increase from 15kg to 20kg for all bags
  • The standard check-in bag fee will be cut from €/£35 to €/£25 for this 20kg bag
  • Only Priority Boarding customers (including Plus, Flexi Plus & Family Plus) will be allowed to bring two carry-on bags on the aircraft
  • All other (i.e. non-priority) customers will only be allowed to bring one smaller carry-on bag on board the aircraft, while their second (bigger) wheelie bag must be placed in the hold (free of charge) at the boarding gate.

So your second free hand luggage will be permitted on the plane: you’ll just have to check it in (for free), unless you have priority boarding.

ryanair hand luggage allowance

Despite me moaning slightly above, with priority boarding available at £5, this actually may be a net win for many people. You pay the extra £5, get your priority boarding, 2 x Ryanair hand luggage allowance (in the  overhead compartments, not the hold!) and pay £10 less for a checked in bag.

Even as a worst case scenario for people without priority boarding, you can still take your second piece of “hand luggage”, you just need to check it in (for free). If you’re checking in other luggage, this basically makes little difference as you’d have to wait at the carousel anyway, and you’ll have paid £10 less to check in the 20kg luggage.

Funnily enough, the main person I know this will affect negatively is Joe “I travel with hand luggage only” Deeney. He will be gently seething over his cornflakes this morning…



  1. RichT says

    To be fair – this just brings them pretty much in line with EasyJet in terms of only priority/flexi getting 2 bags in the cabin.

    The upside of this is unlike EasyJet where you are only allowed ONE BAG if you are non-priority and it depends on your position in the queue if this bag actually makes it on board; at least Ryanair are saying you can take your little bag on (which actually isn’t THAT little), but all larger bags will have to be checked which should speed things up no end preventing people from fighting over gate checking/overhead compartment space and helping get the plane away on time.

    Taking all your luggage into the cabin should be seen as a benefit/perk as it speeds up your arrival time; so this makes sense it should be charged for; and they should encourage people to check bags where possible. But maybe not go totally SPIRIT on us…..!

    Generally when flying FR we’ll pay for extra legroom/priority ANYWAY to make sure we get our bags on board – so this won’t make any difference to me.

    I actually think this is a genuine improvement!

    • RichT says

      When I say “on board” for EasyJet… I mean in the cabin… obviously they don’t force you to leave it at your departure gate….!!!

  2. Andrew H says

    I’m not clear what the bad news is here. You were getting two pieces of cabin baggage for free. Now you’re getting one piece of cabin baggage and one piece of hold luggage for free.

    • Miles Hunt says

      The bad news is for people like Joe who want hand luggage only so they can race off the plane rather than hanging around for ages waiting for the carousel.

      These “deodorant dodgers”, as I call them, are now forced to check in their larger “hand luggage” and they can only take on the very small bag.

      You’re not really getting a piece of hold luggage for free – it still needs to be hand luggage-sized, it’s just you check it in rather than taking it on the plane with you.

      • James says

        I don’t understand the ‘deoderant dodger’ title, can you elaborate ?
        It’s easy to put a roll on deodorant in your liquids bag in carry on luggage or a solid deodorant stick in without need for the liquids bag.

      • Joe Deeney says

        As the ‘checked-bag-dodger-in-chief’ I can assure you that I smell delightful at all times!

        On the substantive point – what are actual max dimensions now if you just take 1 bag (i.e. can I still take my normal carry-on if I don’t have a second, small, bag?). If so, no big deal really. If not, this is actually quite an annoying change as I’ll have to pay an extra fiver in order to carry on being a checked bag dodger (which I’d still do).

        I normally end up with my bag under the seat in front of me these days (which is fine, but obviously not ideal) as I tend to get on as late as possible and refuse the ‘opportunity’ to have it gate checked as I hate waiting for a bag. Maybe paying £5 to have a guaranteed spot in the overhead bin isn’t so bad…

  3. James says

    Ryanair are making a change which negatively effects all passengers due to some taking the p*ss. Surely they should simply penalise those who take the p*ss instead of everyone.
    Simply enforce the size rules at the gate, apply £50+ charges to anyone taking the p*ss and if they refuse to pay simply offload them – those of us who don’t abuse the system see this as quite reasonable.

    When someone breaks the law, the whole of society isn’t punished – just those who offend.

    On a slightly different tac, weren’t the rules on an extra bag brought in so that passengers felt they could spend money at the airport and still get it on the plane (bit of wine, sweets, shades, watch, spirits) because people stopped buying stuff as their main hand luggage was full so the airport revenue went down ??
    Won’t this again discourage spend at the airport, forcing airports to put their fees up which in turn is passed on to all passengers by the airlines – again effecting all passengers because of the ones who abused the baggage policy.

    Ryanair should be looking to penalise those who take the p*ss, not negatively effect everyone instead including those who have never abused the situation.

    • Craig Sowerby says

      Exactly. second bag was about duty-free.

      But presumably you can just return to the bad old days of squeezing everything into your main roll-aboard. I didn’t get the impression that people with one at-the-size-limit carry-on are affected in any way.

      • James says

        If you never make use of the second small bag then you won’t be directly disadvantaged however you have still lost out as are losing an opportunity that you could take advantage of.
        The disadvantage to you is that if you ever do want to make use of it you will now have to take, say, your bottle of spirits into the cabin with you and have your main carry-on put into the hold meaning you have to waste time hanging around the bag carousel.

        Even if someone never does need a second small bag they should be miffed for their fellow rule-obiding passengers who are being penalised due to some rule-breaking passengers 🙁

  4. Relaxo says

    I wouldnt classify this as being nasty. I actually think this is quite a masterful move. From an “economics” perspective – it pretty much achieves Pareto equilibrium – no party is being disadvantaged, except as you rightly point out, the deodorant dodgers who now have to give up a bit more of their time (and even that is contingent on the definition of a ‘small’ bag). This is good work imo.

  5. RichT says

    Maybe we shouldn’t be getting angry with Ryanair – but with the airport and ground handling process that take sooooooo long to off-load the bags onto the carousel in the first place which is the main reason (besides cost) that people try and avoid checking bags in the first place (be that at the gate or at check-in)

    Delta have a 20 minute baggage guarantee on domestic flights, or you get 2,500 miles. I’ve never waited more than 5mins for my bags on any AA domestic flights either. Surely it can’t be that difficult to have a similar system for Ryanair shorthaul type flights as well?

    Even if it was 30mins from arriving at the gate to on the carousel that wouldn’t be toooo bad especially when you factor in the time to clear immigration.

  6. Yan says

    It’s not about losing the “second bag”, instead actually now customers are scrapped with their “first/main carry-on”. From 1st Nov a non-priority customer can only bring a small carry-on (35x20x20cm). #enhancement

  7. Mike G says

    I’m not surprised by this. I fly a lot (a *lot*) of Ryanair, and some of the stuff I’ve seen people bringing on recently has been ridiculous.

    • James says

      Then they just shouldn’t have been letting people on with all that, or started enforcing the rules now instead of changing them to the detriment of those who played by the rules.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *