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Ryanair cabin bag policy shrinks

Passengers must buy priority boarding to take luggage on board

Ryanair planes on stand

From Monday 15 January, Ryanair will force passengers who have not purchased priority boarding to check their main cabin bag into the hold.

While passengers without priority boarding can still travel with two bags free of charge, only the smaller handbag or laptop bag will be allowed into the cabin. Priority boarding prices start from £5

Passengers are also being encouraged to put bags into the hold. Ryanair has reduced the cost of check-in bags from £35 to £25, and increased the weight allowance from 15kg to 20kg.

The changes mean most Ryanair passengers will experience longer journey times, as they are faced with a wait at the airport for their luggage. Ryanair says it has emailed passengers travelling next week to alert them to the changes.

Best Ryanair cabin bags – the luggage that will fit on board

Why is Ryanair changing its cabin bag rules?

Ryanair claims new rules will ‘speed up boarding’ and ‘eliminate flight delays’, and that the move had been ‘welcomed by passengers’.

As a Which? Travel investigation last year demonstrated, Ryanair’s two-bag policy had resulted in the airline not having room in the cabin for all passenger bags. We found more than a quarter of Ryanair passengers had been asked to place their cabin bag into the hold.

Keep hold of your valuables

Our investigation also found Ryanair and other airlines dodging their responsibilities under the Montreal Convention to compensate passengers whose valuable items, such as iPads and jewellery, are lost or stolen from luggage placed in the hold.

Alix Stewart was not reminded to remove her valuables when she handed over a cabin bag to Ryanair staff. She later found that €500 had been stolen, but the airline shrugged off responsibility – directing her to its conditions of carriage, which state that valuables should not be checked in.

Most travel insurance policies also exclude cover for theft from hold luggage.  When we checked with the big five – Aviva, Axa, Churchill, Direct Line and LV – all of them told us that any valuables travelling in the hold are excluded from their policies.

If you’re travelling with Ryanair next week, be sure to take your laptop, camera, tablet and any other high priced item on board with you.

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