I think I can now say I’m a seasoned traveller having now completed 10 out of my 12 trips planned for this year! I’ve travelled across a few of the main air travel companies but Ryanair have been the one I’ve most used and I realised when trying to travel with some others that their baggage policy just isn’t that simple! And now they’ve gone and changed it again, judging by reactions on Twitter it may not be that great a change either.
I won’t go over what’s been and gone but now if you book a flight that departs from the 1st November or later this new baggage policy will apply to you. In summary:
You now have to pay extra to take any luggage bigger than a large handbag and have the following options:
Cabin Bag – The only way to get a cabin bag actually in the cabin with you is by paying for priority boarding which is £6 pp at the time of booking (£8 after) You have to be one of 95 that pay for this as this is the max they sell for each flight to ensure everyone’s cabin bag will fit in the cabin. This is the small wheelie suitcase size (55x40x20 cms) just like my precious River Island one above and it can weigh up to 10kg. On top of that you can take a large handbag with you (dimensions 40x20x25 cms) which is bigger than it used to be but still has to fit under the seat in front of you.
10kg gold bag option– If you’re not fussed about keeping your cabin bag with you, or prefer to take all the liquids you want on holiday you can pay £8 at time of booking (£10 after booking) to check in a 10kg bag. The benefits of this is that you don’t have to lug it around the airport with you and like I say, you can pack allll the liquids as it won’t go through security with you. Downsides are it costs more than priority (so if your flight has sold out of priority you’ll pay more for the same luggage) and they weigh it so you can’t get away with a heavier bag! You’ll also have to wait at the carousel for your bag, which at Stansted in August we waited for an hour and a half! You still get the large handbag option like above too.
20kg hold option – Finally if you’re an over packer like me you can get a 20kg checked in bag for £25 at time of booking (used to be £40 but that was on top of the 10kg free one) so to get the same you’d pay £31/£33 now so still cheaper. Plus the large handbag as well as.
So what happens if you rock up to the gate with a large bag? The bag sizer for the small bag (larger handbag) is bigger than the permitted size so you can get away with that bit more (up to 42x20x30 cms) if it doesn’t fit in the sizer then it’s over 25% bigger than what’s allowed and they will charge you a £25 fee to put it in the hold at the gate (and everyone will hate you as well as Ryanair as you probably delay the plane). So don’t be caught out!
With all these options and if you don’t pay anything you’ll always get the large handbag option and it’s worth remembering that you are allowed a further duty free bag with your obligatory boots meal deal in and what not. I always take a reusable bag to avoid wasting carrier bags and I’ve always been allowed on with it. My most used now is this beautiful ‘Power Tote’ (£19.99*)from the Cool Calm Collection. The premise of the power tote is that you have your word printed on the bag- one that inspires or empowers you and I had Ad Astra on mine which means ‘To the Stars’ as it’s the one phrase that’s meant something to me throughout the years. We also figured having a constellation printed on it would be cool too so Prue designed the one you see and it was with me within days!
It’s handy as unlike most totes it has a top zip and has a decent depth and width (I believe the technical term is gusset but that makes me snigger) so holds lots! On my last flight I took it as my 6kg carry on bag (with another airline!) and managed to get in nearly 6kg of snacks and bits I needed on the plane in there! I did say I don’t travel light! It’s great for when I’m away too as I can use it as a shopping bag or beach bag so it’s great to have around, in Italy it was a godsend for lugging the Aperol and Prosecco from the supermarket to our b&b. It’ll be coming with us to New York in December that’s for sure as I can use it hands free meaning I can keep my hands nice and toasty in my pockets. It’s certainly a travel hack that I won’t be without especially as I’ve now got to pay for baggage no matter what!
I do hope this has helped but for more info on the baggage policy click through to the Ryanair site here where they explain it in some more detail.
*item gifted for consideration of review. As always words and opinions are my own