New Ryanair hand baggage policy is confusing passengers

Complaints from passengers of ‘misleading’ wording, and reports of rules being ignored


Simon Calder
Travel Correspondent
Friday 02 February 2018 21:19 GMT
Bag check: some priority passengers complain the new rules are unenforced
Bag check: some priority passengers complain the new rules are unenforced (Simon Calder)

Ryanair has denied that its new cabin baggage policy is being poorly implemented and ignored by some passengers.

Last month Europe’s biggest budget airline changed its rules to favour passengers who pay £5 or more for priority boarding. The hand luggage allowance remains the same: two pieces, one large (maximum weight 10kg) and one small, without paying for checked baggage.

But The Independent has received complaints from Ryanair passengers that the new rules are not clearly communicated, and reports of rules being ignored by some travellers.

Simon Calder speaks to Ryanair customers at Stansted Airport about the carry on luggage charge

One passenger, who did not want to be identified, said he had booked flights in December from Leeds Bradford to Alicante, for travel later this month, but then “received a notification from Ryanair of the reduced baggage allowance that they said would now apply to our pre-booked flights”.

As The Independent pointed out to the passenger, the baggage allowance has not changed; the alteration is that only travellers who pay extra for priority boarding will be able to take two carry-on bags into the cabin. Other passengers will see the larger of the two carry-on bags tagged and checked into the hold. But boarding passes for non-priority passengers state: “1 small bag.”

The airline’s chief marketing officer, Kenny Jacobs, conceded that some passengers have misinterpreted the change. “A lot of people will go back to where the Ryanair baggage policy was six years ago, when you could only take one piece on board,

“We are saying on the boarding passes ‘one small bag’ because that is what you can bring in to the cabin, but I think [the rules are] clear from the communications that all our customers have received.”

Some passengers who have paid extra for priority boarding have said that non-priority travellers are failing to adhere to the new rule by ripping of the baggage tags.

Steve Strachan, who was sitting in seat 1A — by the aircraft door — on a Ryanair flight from Alicante to Stansted, said: “People seemed upset with being ‘tagged’, and ripped off the baggage tags and put them in their pockets or other bags out of sight, so boarded the plane with their bags.

“The crew didn’t even question those that brought bags on board after the priority passengers had boarded.”

Mr Jacobs said: “We hope that doesn’t happen, because we just end up back where we were. You have too many bags that simply won’t fit into the overhead lockers.

“The majority of our customers are saying they get it, they understand why we’re doing it, and they’re happy with the new policy.

”The system is fair, we think the rules are absolutely clear, and I would ask customers not to rip off tags because we’ll end up exactly where we were: bags won’t fit in the overheads, and aircraft won’t leave at their slot time.”

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