Ryanair Cabin Baggage Changes 2017: What It Means for You

Ryanair have recently announced they are changing their cabin baggage policy due to overfilled overhead lockers full of cabin bags, ‘abuse’ of the system with people taking carry on bags exceeding the Ryanair cabin baggage allowance and to reduce flight delays. That these lockers are full is no surprise given the free cabin bag allowance and the expensive cost of checked baggage which Ryanair seems to have realised.

What are the Changes to Ryanair Baggage Policy?

Ryanair passengers without priority boarding (which costs £5 at time of booking, or £6 after online or via the app) will have to put their bigger cabin bag (out of the two free cabin bag allowance) into the hold for free at the gate.

So, you pay £5 for priority boarding or you will only be allowed to carry one smaller cabin bag on board from 1st November.

Encouraging Checked Bags

Ryanair is simultaneously reducing the cost of checked bags from £35 to £25. This should encourage some customers to purchase checked bags.

Furthermore, they are also increasing the weight limit of checked bags from 15kg to 20kg which again should get more customers paying to check their bags.

However, the usual downsides of checked bags such as possible delays at the baggage carousel, more time spent in the airport and increased risk of damage/theft of your bags and items will of course remain which is why we usually encourage people to pack light and travel hand baggage only.

It is important to note that the size of the cabin baggage allowance hasn’t actually changed, just that without priority board one of your bags will probably put in the hold.

What Ryanair Have Said:

“These bag policy changes will cost Ryanair over €50m p.a. 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 2 carry-on bags at the boarding gates, which is causing flight delays due to large numbers of gate bag and cabin bag offloads.

We hope that by restricting non-priority customers to one small carry-on bag – their wheelie bag must be placed in the hold, free of charge at the boarding gate – this will speed up the boarding of flights and eliminate flight delays being caused by not having sufficient overhead cabin space on busy flights to accommodate over 360 (182 customers x 2 bags) carry-on bags.” Source: 

What Do the Ryanair Changes Mean for you?

You really have 3 choices now:

  1. Purchase priority boarding for £5 and you’ll be able to take both your cabin bags on board for no further charge.
  2. Carry on the same and accept one of your bags will be put in the hold but you can still make the most of the allowance but will have to get your luggage from the carousel after your flight.
  3. Decide it’s all a hassle and just pay the reduced £25 fee for checked bags which now allow you 20kg which may very well be the best option if you are going for a trip of 3+ days and can split the cost across two or more passengers.

When do these Ryanair changes come into effect?

These changes come into effect on 1st of November.


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