It is no surprise that Ryanair is Europe’s largest airline, shuttling passengers back and forth between all sorts of airports everywhere. They are so successful that they have a 95% load factor which presents a problem for the humble cabin bag.

A great deal of the airline’s passengers travel with a cabin bag to avoid the checked bag fee. With load factors that high there just isn’t enough room in the overhead lockers for them all. There is a change coming from 15 January 2018 to address this.

Buy Priority Boarding To Bring A Cabin Bag

Passengers without priority boarding will no longer be able to take their wheeled carry on cabin bag into the aircraft. These will be taken from you at the gate and put into the cargo hold free of charge.

Everyone is able to bring a smaller bag on board, such as a handbag or laptop bag but you need priority boarding to bring your wheelie bag. Priority boarding costs just €5 or €6 which is reasonable enough. I won’t fly Ryanair without it.

To encourage more people to check a bag in before flight, two changes have been made. First, the baggage fee has been reduced from €35 to €25 which is quite a substantial reduction.

In addition to this, the weight of the first checked bag has increased from 15kg to 20kg. Ryanair is finally coming to the party and harmonising the weight with other airlines. My own bag weighs 9kg empty so this is a godsend for me!

What Does It Really Mean?

I suspect this is going to make the priority boarding queue longer, however Ryanair customers tend to like to save money so perhaps it won’t make a huge difference either way.

Load factors that high were always going to cause issues as there just isn’t enough space for everyone to bring a big cabin bag. It’s interesting how it is being spun because what it is is essentially a carry on bag charge dressed up nicely.

Overall Thoughts

What I like about this is that Ryanair are sticking to their customer friendly mantra. They didn’t have to reduce the hold baggage charges or increase the weight but they did to make it more appealing to people.

As noted above, I always buy priority boarding when flying Ryanair so it’s no big change to my life. I like to bring my carry on bag on board and I like to get off the flight without having to visit baggage claim.

It will be interesting to see how this goes. What do you think of this change? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

To never miss a post, follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Or all three!
All my flight and lounge reviews are indexed here if you want to see more.

All images via Ryanair.