Were you one of many, many surprised Ryanair customers when a while ago the airline introduced 2 free carry on bags? An act of generosity, certainly not typical for Ryanair, surprised many of us - including myself. Under those new regulations passengers were able to bring a carry on bag (55x40x20cm) together with a small bag (35x20x20cm - duty free bag, laptop bag, handbag etc.) for free. Both of those items were allowed to be brought on the board of an aircraft and on a busy flight you could have been asked at the gate to check your cabin bag for free.
With the new policies, Ryanair staff also seemed to be much more relaxed about the size restrictions in general. For many travellers that was a nice addition and a sign of a positive change in the company's vision to improve the quality of service for passengers. Unfortunately, and I have witnessed that on many occasions, some of the passengers were fully taking advantage of those relaxed policies. After working with Samsonite for 6 years now and having a Ryanair cabin sizer basket in one our of boutiques, I can judge the size of a bag literally in nanoseconds! Some of what supposedly was a small bag, would not actually fit as a regular cabin sized bag.
Ryanair's Boeing 737-800 aircraft has a capacity of 189 seats1 and the airline's baggage policy claims that the aircraft can only fit 90 large cabin bags in the overhead compartments2. On a busy flight Ryanair has seen up to 360 carry on bags!3 To "tackle" this problem Ryanair came up with a new baggage policy.
The main changes in the policy concerned carry on bags regulations and checked baggage weight and price. Under the new rules you can still bring on board two cabin bags. A small bag (35x20x20cm) and a cabin bag (55x40x20cm). However, if you did not purchase priority boarding (from €5) or Plus/Flexi Plus ticket, your cabin bag will be placed in the hold.
All checked bags can now weigh up 20kg (used to be 15kg or 20kg for extra charge) and the fee has been reduced to €25 from €35. It is worth noting that still there is also a €10 increase in price for peak travel periods (Christmas, Easter and Summer).
Ryanair claims that the company will be making substantial losses on reduced checked baggage fees in order to facilitate passengers and resolve the before mentioned issue. However, when you give the new policy a thought some reflections appear quickly. If stricter rules for hand luggage are introduced and if the baggage fees are reduced, but the weight limit is increased, a natural conclusion would be that there will be...? Yes, you are right - many more checked bags. And with more checked bags - more revenue. Also, if you decide to travel only with hand luggage, would you really mind paying the extra €5 to make sure your bag stays on board? Ask any retailer on how important it is to keep increasing ATV in your business. "Clever little yokes!"
To sum up, in my opinion the new changes are not that dramatic as they are made to be. What was a common practice for Ryanair will now be regulated and on top of that checked baggage fees will be reduced. However, as mentioned above I do not believe that it is a genuine attempt to improve quality of service or to speed up the boarding, more likely another idea to increase the spend of passengers.
Have you any thoughts on the new policy?
Let us know in the comments section below!
(1) - https://www.seatguru.com/airlines/Ryanair/Ryanair_Boeing_737-800.php
(2) - https://www.ryanair.com/ie/en/useful-info/help-centre/faq-overview/Baggage#0-1
(3) - http://www.independent.ie/life/travel/travel-news/ryanair-axes-free-10kg-carryon-bags-for-all-but-priority-boarding-passengers-36105074.html