Travel Unravelled: Is Ryanair allowed to be so strict and inflexible?
We fell foul of Ryanair’s rules on luggage.
Wednesday 15 August 2012
Q: I have just come back with my wife from a fabulous holiday in Mallorca arranged via onthebeach.com. However, the site booked us to travel with Ryanair. At Manchester airport we checked in two cases that we thought were on the weight limit of 15kg each but they were, in total, 5kg over and they charged us £100 excess. Coming back from Palma (pictured) we were charged €40 excess baggage. We then went through security and bought some presents that we put in our hand luggage. My wife's hand luggage wouldn't fit in the sizing mechanism so we were charged €50 and had to put the hand luggage into the hold, which caused my wife distress as it contained personal items. Surely there are laws against this type of practice?
Dr Peter Townley, Preston
A: The moment you accepted flights on Ryanair you signed up to the most rigorously enforced baggage regulations in the airline industry. And harsh though it sounds, the Irish airline will have given you plenty of warnings about its rules.
With Ryanair, the 15kg weight limit for checked-in baggage does not mean 18kg or even 15.5kg. But you are perfectly entitled to eliminate excess baggage at the baggage drop: the solution adopted by some travellers who are marginally over the limit is to take out heavy items, such as electrical chargers or books, and put them in pockets.
Coming home, you should have received from Ryanair an email shortly before your flight warning: "Strictly one item of cabin baggage is permitted per passenger weighing up to 10kg with maximum dimensions of 55cm x 40cm x 20cm." And it further specifies that shop purchases "must be carried in your one permitted piece of cabin baggage". Now, that latter rule appears not to be enforced when outbound at a couple of airports, Manchester and Paphos, but everywhere else the dimensions are strictly policed.
In future you may choose to fly on one of Ryanair's rivals: easyJet and Monarch also fly between Manchester and Palma de Mallorca. But bear in mind that all airlines are seeking to increase earnings from "ancillaries" and a good way to do this is strictly to enforce baggage rules. It might strike you as daylight robbery, but to the airlines it is sound business sense.
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
The 50 Best spas
Iceland volcano: Travel agency has 'Volcano hotline' for dare-devil tourists who want to visit Bardarbunga if it erupts
Luton airport voted worst in Britain for second time running
August Bank Holiday 2014: Five ways to make the most of it
Contactless payment donkey rides are a thing now
- 1 Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC
- 3 London restaurant 34 creates champagne glass modelled on Kate Moss’ left breast
- 4 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians
£6000 - £50000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: Oracle 11...
£17K OTE £30K: Charter Selection: Highly successful and innovative specialist...
£45000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Working with an exciting ...
£23,000: Sauce Recruitment: A global leader in sports and entertainment is now...