Ryanair is scrapping its two-bag carry-on policy, saying passengers are bringing on board too much luggage to make it sustainable.
The low-cost airline on Wednesday announced that only “Priority Boarding” customers who have paid extra will be allowed two carry-on bags from November 1.
Regular 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.”
Ryanair said in July it was considering changing its baggage policy, with Ryanair’s chief financial officer Neil Sorahan saying at the time: “I’ve seen two-year-olds wheeling a bag up to the plane as people try to take advantage.”
Ryanair said on Wednesday: “As too many customers are availing of Ryanair’s improved 2 free carry-on bags service, and with high load factors (97% in August) there is not enough overhead cabin space for this volume of carry-on bags, which is causing boarding/flight delays.”
To combat delays, Ryanair is also reducing the cost of checked bag fees and increasing the weight of bags that are checked. This is meant to encourage passengers to check on big bag into the hold rather than take a wheelie suitcase to the gate that then has to be checked.
Ryanair’s Kenny Jacobs said in a statement: “We believe offering bigger bags at reduced fees will encourage more customers to consider checking-in a bag, which will reduce the high volume of customers we have with two carry-on bags at the boarding gates, which is causing flight delays due to large numbers of gate bag and cabin bag offloads.”
The checked baggage weight is rising from 15kg to 20kg, while the cost of checking a bag is falling from £35 to £25. Jacobs said the changes will cost the airline an estimated £50 million a year in lost revenues.
Jacobs said in a statement: “We hope our customers will enjoy the savings of our new simplified bag policy.”