Luggage is shrinking on low-cost flights

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A pioneer of the budget airline industry will now allow passengers to bring only one small bag on board, unless they pay extra, as Ryanair’s new cabin baggage policy officially starts on January 15.

The Irish airline has been at the forefront of the no-frills and low-cost boom that has upended the aviation industry. Like rivals easyJet in the UK and Southwest in the US, Ryanair offers lower fares for fewer traditional comforts, and often charges supplements for extras like food, seat allocation, and baggage.

According to the Financial Times (may be behind paywall), low-cost airlines European budget carriers have taken as much as 40 per cent of the market from flag carriers such as British Airways, Lufthansa and Air France-KLM.

Passengers have often carried hand carriage to avoiding check-in charges but from now on, Ryanair will only allow passengers to bring one small bag on board without paying a surcharge. The one cabin bag allowed must not exceed 35x20x20cm, around the size of a handbag, purse or laptop bag, and “should easily fit under the seat in front of you.”

If passengers haven’t purchased a priority boarding pass (for €5/£5 each way) or the two cabin bags fee, a second 10kg bag, measuring at most 55x40x20cm – or a standard wheeled travel bag – will be placed at the gate in the hold but free of charge.

Ryanair has also decreased its checked luggage charge from €/£35 per flight to €/£25, and increased the weight allowance from 15kg to 20kg

For passengers worried about waiting for their bags at the carousel, Ryanair insists that 90 per cent of hold luggage arrives at terminal buildings ahead of passengers (The Telegraph).

“So far we’ve had lots of flights taking off today and we haven’t had any issues,” Kenny Jacobs, Ryanair’s chief marketing officer, told BBC 5 Live on Monday morning about the newly introduced changes.

The new policy is designed to improve punctuality and avoid slow boarding, which can cause delays, as reported by The Independent. It was initially expected to be issued in November, but according to The Telegraph it was postponed to allow passengers “more time to adjust to the changes.”

“These bag policy changes will cost Ryanair over €50 million (£46 million) per annum in reduced checked bag fees. However, 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,” Jacobs told the London Evening Standard in September.

Ryanair has undergone major changes in the last few years in attempts to attract new customers. Chief Executive Michael O’Leary said in 2013 that easy-Jet had “wiped the floor with us” (The Telegraph) by introducing extra services for those who are willing to spend extra.

Last year, the airline cancelled flights affecting 700,000 customers from September 2017 through to March 2018 with the company citing a problem with pilots’ rosters.

This is an emerging story which needs expansion if you wish to EDIT to add information or discuss it in TALK




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