Starting from the first November, Ryanair and Wizz Air’s hand luggage rules have been changed again – for the second time in a year.
Airlines have cut by two-thirds the volume of cabin baggage you can take on board (without paying any extra fee).
Below is what you need to know about the rules and some advice to choose the best airline.
What has changed?
Ryanair and Wizz Air have seriously reduced the amount passengers can carry without paying extra, changing their cabin-baggage policies.
Until the 31st October, Ryanair rules were allowing passengers to take one large and one small cabin bag through the security checkpoint to the departure gate without paying any additional fee. Unfortunately, starting from this month the limit is cut to one midsize bag.
The maximum dimensions are 40x25x20cm. The overall volume allowed without paying has been reduced by almost two-thirds, from 58 litres to 20 litres.
Ryanair claims that only 40 percent of passengers will be affected, because 30 percent already buy Priority Boarding and 30 percent currently travel with one bag which complies with the new dimensions.
The Irish company insists the move is not aimed to make more money, but purely to improve timekeeping and punctuality.
What options you have with Ryanair new rules?
- Bring the single bag measuring 40x25x20cm and make do with that.
- Pay for Priority Boarding and take a second bag (measuring 55x40x20cm, weight no more than 10kg) on board. The cost will be £6 if you buy at the time of booking, or £8 if you book later. Nota bene: the number of passengers allowed to choose priority boarding will be capped at 95 (half the capacity of Ryanair’s Boeing 737s).
- Check in a bag weighing up to 10kg for £8 or £10, again depending on when you choose this option.
What happens if you bring an unpaid second bag?
The airline warns that if you bring a second bag to the gate or if your small bag is too big to fit under the seat in front of you, you’ll be charged a fee of £25.
What are the rules of Wizz Air?
The Hungarian-based budget airline has copied Ryanair’s new policy, with some small differences in dimensions. The free cabin bag can be 40x30x20cm, and if you pay for Priority Boarding (between €5 and €15) the larger cabin bag can be 55x40x23cm.
A 10kg checked bag with Wizz Air costs between €7 and €12.
Comparison with other big airlines
EasyJet currently allows one piece of cabin baggage with no weight limit and a volume of 63 litres.
British Airways has the most generous cabin-baggage allowance in Europe, permitting two bags – one measuring 56x45x25cm and the other up to 40x30x15cm, with a maximum weight of 23kg each.
The meanest limits are on Thomas Cook Airlines (6kg) and TUI (5kg or 7kg, depending on aircraft/holiday type).
Almost certainly, these airlines and others will be looking closely at the effect of the new rules and gauging the reaction of passengers before making their next moves.