Ryanair threatens to change its hand baggage policy

More passengers than ever are ducking baggage fees by taking hand luggage only on flights, according to Ryanair.

The low-cost airline says that travellers are bringing more and more into the cabin, and this could lead to a change in its baggage policy.

“I’ve seen two-year-olds wheeling a bag up to the plane as people try to take advantage,” Ryanair’s chief financial officer, Neil Sorahan, told The Guardian.

As it stands, a two-year-old child has a free luggage allowance of a 10kg suitcase and second small bag – just the same as an adult.

“We’re very generous with our cabin baggage allowance,” added Sorahan. “If everyone does that there’s no issue. It’s the people coming with the kitchen sink that could change the policy.”

The company upped its baggage policy from one case only back in December 2013, as part of a PR campaign to improve Ryanair’s image.

Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary said at the time: “We are very excited at these significant improvements in what is already Europe’s number one customer service airline.”

Those who bring bags bigger than 55cm by 40cm by 20cm and/or heavier than 10kg as hand luggage risk being charged £50 at the airport for it to be checked into the hold instead.

Ryanair also ruffled feathers recently by warning that, unless a deal is struck soon, there would be no flights from the UK after Brexit. It said it could move its planes out of the country if no aviation deal is reached by next year.

Ryanair has almost 90 aircraft based at British airports, and flies them to dozens of European destinations under the EU “Open Skies” agreement.

Announcing its first quarter results, the Irish airline warned: “There may not be sufficient time, or goodwill on both sides, to negotiate a timely replacement bilateral.

“If we do not have certainty about the legal basis for the operation of flights between the UK and the EU by autumn 2018, we may be forced to cancel flights and move some, or all, of our UK based aircraft to Continental Europe from April 2019 onwards.”

In fact there will be no problem flying between the UK and Europe, as indeed  many airlines based outside the EU already do.

There may however be some problems with intra-European flying by a UK based airline, such as EasyJet, if Europe decides to be difficult which will mean that UK based airlines may need an EU based subsidiary.

The Independent

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