Ryanair has been forced to waive some of its controversial new baggage fees amid confusion among thousands of passengers at airports today.
From today the airline no longer allows passengers to take a small suitcase in the hold for free, forcing them to pay a minimum of £8 for any bag that won’t fit under the seat in front.
Passengers across the UK have branded the policy ‘outrageous’ and many said that it was ‘typical Ryanair’.
This graphic shows how Ryanair’s new charges will be applied. Passengers have to pay £8 to check in a 10kg bag and if you bring a second bag to the gate or you first bag is too big, you will be charged a fee of £25
Emma and Andrew Rutherford, from Kingston, south west London, were catching a Ryanair flight to the south of France, where they regularly stay at their holiday home.
The couple always use Ryanair, which has the most convenient route to Bergerac, and will be regularly affected by the new fees.
Mr Rutherford, 58, a co-owner of a recruitment firm, said: ‘You might as well quadruple the price of their flights because you end up paying so much more than they say you will.
‘They are not doing themselves any favours. You can pay £9.99 for the flight and then £69 in add ons.
‘I’d rather they just tell you it’s going to cost £70 from the start. It is like they are trying to charge us for everything nowadays. Weren’t they going to make people pay to use the toilets?’
The stringent new rules have led to confusion among many who have pointed out that if they pay for priority boarding – which costs £6 – they will continue to be allowed to take both a ‘personal bag’ and a small suitcase as hand baggage.
Emma Rutherford (left) and her husband Andrew (right) were catching a Ryanair flight to the south of France, where they regularly stay at their holiday home. They said you end up paying much more than you set out to travelling with Ryanair
From November 1, passengers can only take one small personal bag on board measuring 40x20x25cm that must fit under the seat in front
Craig and Gina Steventon, from Lancashire, paid £12 each for Priority Boarding on a return flight to Pisa in Italy when they were warned by the airline they would otherwise have to pay £8 each for their hand luggage.
Craig, a 57-year-old business consultant, said: ‘It’s ridiculous. It’s just so typical of Ryanair.
‘You half expect it from them now – you think your getting a cheap flight but it’s not.
‘Our flights started off at £78 and it ended up being about £200 in the end because of all the add ons.
‘And £24 of that was for the priority boarding that we didn’t even need as now they are letting people on with their cases for free because of all the confusion.
‘They should just tell everybody upfront how much the flight and everything that goes with it is going to cost rather than making it all so complicated.’
Craig and Gina Steventon had to pay additional charges to be sat next to each other on the aircraft
One furious passenger took this picture of the Ryanair check-in desk at Rome–Fiumicino International Airport this morning – noting that, despite the change, customers are still facing lengthy queues
Wife Gina, 58, said: ‘We should get a refund.
‘Ryanair need to refund us for the money we have wasted on a Priority Boarding we didn’t need, now they are letting other passengers off without paying for their cases.
‘They told us the charges were coming in so we booked Priority Boarding which turned out to be a waste of money.
‘Everything is an add on all the time.
‘We even had to pay £28 to sit together on the flight, otherwise Craig would have been sat at the front and I would be stuck at the back.
‘They split you up, even though you can see there are seats available next to each other, unless you pay for it.’
A chaotic departure lounge is pictured this morning after the Ryanair baggage changes caused confusion and misery for passengers
More passenger misery was reported on Twitter this morning after customers were forced to unpack their bags
Dennis Norman was travelling with his four year old grandson Angus (left) and his wife Maggie (right) when they were hit with the new Ryanair charges
Ryanair said the change, which was announced in August, ‘was necessary to reduce delays’ but many have labelled it a ‘rip off’ and threatened to boycott the airline.
One couple branded the airline ‘outrageous’ after they were faced with the new charges at the airport.
Retired married couple, Maggie and Dennis Norman, were returning home to Belfast with their two grandsons Adam, 15, and Angus, four, after spending three days in London.
Husband Dennis, a 64-year-old retired teacher, said: ‘It is outrageous but it’s so typical of Ryanair. We didn’t even know about the additional hand luggage charge.
What exactly IS Ryanair’s baggage policy?
From November 1, passengers can only take one small personal bag on board measuring 40x20x25cm that must fit under the seat in front.
If you bring a second bag to the gate or you first bag is too big you will be charged a fee of £25.
Passengers have to pay £8 to check in a 10kg bag.
Passengers who pay for priority boarding – which costs £6 – will continue to be allowed to take both a ‘personal bag’ and small suitcase as hand baggage.
‘I didn’t see it in the booking details. It was just attached underneath in the fine print after we checked in.
‘When we found out, we couldnt believe they were charging for it, but obviously they are. You would have thought they would give us a bit of notice.
‘We would certainly consider other airlines now but we have limited options from Belfast and we use Ryanair because they have cheaper flights. The only other option we really have is Aer Lingus.’
Maggie, a 67-year-old retired civil servant, said the new restrictions were absolutely ridiculous.
She said: ‘We have a good pension but all the extra charges, they all add up. Whatever airline has the best price is what we go for. Usually the best price would be Ryanair but now, with all these add ons, it won’t always be the case.
‘When we booked a few weeks ago, it wasn’t mentioned about the new baggage charge. It was only when I checked us in yesterday when we saw it.
‘Ryanair used to let you travel with hand luggage for free. Then earlier this year, we had to have our hand luggage put in the hold, but still at no extra cost.
‘That was when they were being disuasive of you taking hand luggage rather than saying you had to pay like they are now.’
The new rules in place today have led to outrage – and confusion – among many passengers on social media
Jane O’Rahelly and Adam Collinan said that the new process added ‘stress to your holiday’
Earlier this year the airline’s CEO, Michael O’Leary, admitted that letting passengers check cabin bags at the gate was causing chaos and a ‘handling issue’ on flights.
But he has found himself under fire from beleaguered customers today.
Jane O’Rahelly, from Tooting in south London said she flies with Ryanair almost every month to visit her family back home in Ireland.
How airlines’ baggage fees compare
One cabin bag up to 56x45x25cm with no weight limit, but you must be able to lift it into the overhead locker. Only about 70 cabin bags can fit in the overhead lockers, so all others will be put in the hold.
Any bags larger than the specified size will be checked into the hold for a fee.
One cabin bag up to 56x45x25cm and 23kg and one handbag/laptop bag (max. 23kg and up to 40x30x15cm) for standard fares. The smaller bag is guaranteed to go in the cabin, but on busy flights, the larger bag may be put in the hold free of charge.
All passengers can take a carry-on bag up to 40x30x20cm onboard to be placed under the seat in front.
Those who pay for priority boarding can also bring an extra wheelie bag of up to 55x40x23cm in the cabin.
The 30-year-old physiotherapist said the airline advised her in an email she would be exempt from the new £8 hand luggage fee because she booked her flight before August 31.
But by the time she received it, she had already paid extra for Priority Boarding to avoid the new charges.
Jane said: ‘It is just typical Ryanair.
‘It’s all added stress at the airport when you just want to enjoy your holiday.
‘The customers service is shocking and the quality has gone down.
‘We have spent hours on the phone with them trying to sort everything out.
‘And I am still confused as to what we are supposed to do.’
Jane’s friend Adam Callinan found himself in the same situation when the pair booked their flights to attend a friend’s wedding in Portugal.
The 29-year-old IT manager said: ‘Ryanair keep pushing the boundaries on what they can get away with making customers pay for and how much they can charge for all these add ons.
‘They say they are a cheap airline when they are not anymore.
‘This new add on is just an annoyance.
‘It’s frustrating, we thought we had to pay for Priority Boarding so we wouldn’t have to worry and then find out passengers are being let off today.’
Robert Davidson wrote on Twitter: ‘I suppose it won’t be long before you start charging if people want to travel with both of their arms.’
Another Twitter user added: ‘There are many reasons to boycott Ryanair but the new baggage prices will do for me.’
Social media is awash with reaction from passengers outraged at the stringent new rules
In January, Ryanair began a policy which saw passengers who had not bought priority boarding permitted to take a ‘personal bag’ – such as a handbag – on board while a second, larger bag – such as a wheelie suitcase weighing up to 10kg – could be put in the hold free of charge.
But this resulted in up to 120 bags being tagged at boarding gates for each flight, meaning departures were disrupted.
Ryanair has responded by no longer allowing any luggage in the hold free of charge.
Passengers have to pay £8 to check in a 10kg bag. The previous lowest price for checked luggage was £25 for up to 20kg, which remains an option for those with heavier cases.
The maximum size of ‘personal bags’ allowed on board has been increased by 40%.
Passengers who pay for priority boarding – which costs £6 – will continue to be allowed to take both a ‘personal bag’ and small suitcase as hand baggage.
Ryanair believes some customers may prefer the £8 checked luggage option because they ‘do not want to drag a wheelie case through airport security.’
It claimed most passengers will be unaffected by the changes, as 30% already buy priority boarding and a further 30% travel with only a ‘personal bag’.
Some check-in staff suspended the new charge at boarding gates today, in the wake of confusion and anger among passengers.
Rapinder Kaur (left) who was travelling to Venice with her granddaughter Hannah Bennett (right), said it was the ‘last add on charge I can take’ and that the new policy was ‘very annoying’
Italian watchdog suspends ‘misleading’ new baggage rules
Italy’s Antitrust Authority today announced it was provisionally suspending the new policy at both Ryanair and Whizz Air.
The Italian watchdog said in a statement: ‘Asking more for an essential element of the air transport contract, carry-on baggage, is a fallacious representation of the ticket’s true price and harms cost comparison among carriers, which misleads consumers.’
But Ryanair has vowed to would fight the order by Italian regulators to suspend the charge for carry-on bags.
‘We will immediately appeal this decision,’ a Ryanair spokeswoman said.
A spokesman said: ‘While our new bag policy has come in to effect today (1 Nov), we have briefed our gate agents to take a reasonable approach while customers get used to the new rules.’
Rapinder Kaur was travelling from London Stansted to Venice with her 14-year-old daughter Hannah Bennet today.
The 54-hear-old, from Canterbury in Kent, said: ‘This is the last add on charge I can take. It’s very annoying.
‘I would absolutely fly with another airline after these new hand luggage restrictions.
‘It is just another reason not to travel with Ryanair. It would have cost us another £40 to sit together in total so we are seated in different parts of the plane.
‘Then there’s the late check in fee so if we have problems with our WiFi at the hotel in Venice, we could be charged another £55 on top of we have to check in at the airport.
‘But we are just going to have to take that risk. We booked through Thomas Cook and didn’t realise that we’d be flying with Ryanair. I usually avoid them.’
The airline’s CEO, Michael O’Leary, has found himself at the centre of a social media storm
Passengers have to pay £8 to check in a 10kg bag. Passengers who pay for priority boarding – which costs £6 – will continue to be allowed to take both a ‘personal bag’ and small suitcase as hand baggage
A statement on the airline’s website read: ‘Main benefits of this new policy will be reduced flight delays and cheaper checked bag option.
‘Pack more liquids into a 10kg checked wheelie bag. Walk to the boarding gate hands free.’
Ryanair insists it does not expect to make more money from the new rules, as it will lose revenue from passengers with checked bags switching from the £25 fee to the £8 option.
Experts have warned customers will ‘feel the sting’ of the new fees.
Hannah Maundrell, Editor in Chief of money.co.uk said: ‘Those who are trying to take a short weekend break with just hand luggage are likely to feel the sting as they’ll be the ones forced to pay for luggage they wouldn’t have been charged for previously.
‘It will be interesting to see whether this change does decrease delays as Ryanair has suggested or if it will just line their pockets and our waiting time will be as long as ever.’
The maximum size of ‘personal bags’ allowed on board has been increased by 40%
Industry expert Adam Ewart added: ‘For the second time this year, Ryanair is changing its baggage policy and has passed off the rip-off in the name of efficiency.
‘Wheelie bags will attract a fee no matter how they are transported. As an airline that often charges as little as £10 for a ticket, this change will impact customers dramatically.
‘Earlier this week Ryanair announced profit losses of £133million. Despite this, the airline raked in £1.8 billion in ‘added extras’ such as checked-in luggage costs. It is clear that Michael O’Leary’s ‘Always Getting Better’ programme paints a different picture to reality.’
RYANAIR’S FEES IN FULL
This graphic shows how Ryanair’s added charges have ramped up over the years and how much they are hitting passengers in the pocket
Extra legroom seats (row 1, 2 and 16-17) – €15.00 / £15.00
Front seats (rows 2 – 5) – €13.01 / £13.01
Standard Seats (rows 6-15 and 18-33) – €4.00 / £4.00
Boarding card re-issue fee – €20 / £20
Priority boarding from (per person/per one way flight) – from €5.00 / £5.00 (An increased charge is applicable for priority boarding on selected routes.)
Airport check-in fee – €55 / £55
Infant fee – €25 / £25 (per infant/per one way flight – must be under two years for both outbound and return flight)
Infant/child equipment (car, booster, travel cot) – €15 / £15 online and €25 / £25 at the airport
Bike – €60 / £60 online and €75 / £75 at the airport
Large sports item – €55 / £55 online and €65 / £65 at the airport
Sports equipment – €35 / £35 online and €40 / £40 at the airport
Ski equipment – €45 / £45 online and €50 / £50 at the airport
Golf clubs – €35 / £35 online and €40 / £40 at the airport
Musical instrument – €55 / £55 online and €65 / £65 at the airport
Flight change fees – from €35 – €65 online and €50 – €95 at the airport
Name change fee per passenger – €115 / £115 online and €160 / £160 at the airport
Government tax refund administration fee per passenger – €20 / £17
Booking fee at the airport – €20 / £20
Therapeutic oxygen reservation fee – €55 / £55
Missed departure fee – €100 / £100
Hold fare fee – €3.00/£3.00
Bags for life-savings: Airlines’ excess luggage prices can range from a reasonable £65 for an extra 23kg suitcase to £54 PER KILO as figures reveal one in five of us are still prepared to stump up the cash
Nothing kills the post-holiday mood quicker than finding out you’ve over shopped and will have to over pay the excess baggage fee to get all your new goods home.
As many airlines try to strip back the costs of a seat, they’re finding other ways to recoup their cash flow, one of which is hefty costs for excess baggage.
But not all added baggage fess are created equal. Some will set the unfortunate traveller back the cost of a new ticket, while others will leave the wallet weighing almost the same.
Figures taken from SkySkanner and airline websites shows the cost of taking 50 kg of luggage
Charges are often confusing and change depending on the flight route, departure airport, ticket class and if customers managed to think ahead and pre-book their excess online.
Last year, these complicated and often expensive fees lead to British passengers paying nearly £400million in excess.
One in five Britons has been charged by an airline for exceeding a baggage allowance for a flight in the past two years, leading to an average of £135 in fees each.
Even within the same airline fees can vary markedly, with some carriers having up to 32 different charging brackets.
For instance, Qatar, which has some of the heftiest fees in the world, will charge passengers heading to Australia, Europe, Japan and parts of the Middle East a whopping £54 for every extra 1 kg over 30 kg they pack.
For every 1kg over the 32kg allowance Emirates will charge some long-haul flyers £40.
Overall, the average cost for excess baggage per kg is £11.93.
And while United Airlines offers a 23kg bag for free, the airline will charge customers £78 for an extra suitcase and £150 for an extra bag that weighs between 33kg and 46kgs.
In comparison, both Virgin Atlantic and British Airways will allow customers to add an extra bag, worth 23kg, for only £65.
Budget carrier Jet2, which was recently crowned the best airline in the UK, will charge £20 for a bag up to 22kg booked online and £12 per kg after that.
Turkish Airlines have the cheapest per kg option, starting at £8 depending on the route.
From today the Dublin-based airline introduced charges for passengers flying with a small suitcase
And EasyJet will charge £10 per kg at the airport or £3 if booked beforehand, after customers hit 20kg.
Travelers looking to cut down on extras can fly with British Airlines, Air France, Etihad and Virgin Atlantic, among others, who all provide 23kg of baggage free on most routes.
The trick though is to keep the packing, and the shopping, to a minimum.
Last year British passengers payed nearly £400million in excess baggage fees