Ryanair’s new baggage policy is a first strike in the war on carry-on bloat


So, for passengers who don’t mind the carousel wait after landing, the policy is a boon. It will make for less cramped cabins and more streamlined boarding. And other airlines will undoubtedly be watching closely, to see whether Ryanair has found the solution to an industry-wide problem: More and more airlines—both legacy and budget carriers—are charging for checked baggage, and selling tickets that are carry-on-only. Ryanair’s new policy is the most decisive strike yet against the baggage bloat that is the bane of flight attendants’, pilots, and other passengers’ experience.

Ryanair’s announcement was first made back in September, when the airline also reduced the cost of a checked-in bag and increased the weight limit, to encourage more passengers to check their bags. Implementation of the new carry-on policy was delayed until the new year, to allow customers more time to adapt to the change.

So what do budget travelers need to know? Travelers are still permitted to have two carry-on bags (one small personal item of 35cm x 20cm x 20cm, and one larger rolling carry-on of 55cm x 40cm x 20cm and a maximum weight of 10kgs, or 22 lbs) free of charge. However, the larger item will now be automatically put in the luggage hold at the gate, meaning that passengers will have to retrieve their larger carry-on at the baggage claim after the flight. This rule will apply even if the flight is not full, a rep for Ryanair confirmed.

Those who travel only with a larger carry-on will still have to put it in the hold, so make sure you bring a small bag for your valuables if you usually travel with only one bag. And if your carry-on exceeds the weight or dimensions described above, you’ll be charged a fee (£50/€50 depending what currency you pay in) to put it in the hold.