Ryanair Is Changing Its Carry-On Bag Policy—Here’s What You Need to Know

Eliane Kobayakawa/Flickr

Europe’s iconic blue-and-yellow budget airline, Ryanair, will be changing its baggage policies beginning January 15, and if you’ve already booked a flight, it’ll almost certainly affect you. Here’s the skinny on these changes.

Non-priority customers will be required to gate check their larger carry-on bags into the hold—this will be free.

Currently, Ryanair allows passengers to bring two carry-on bags into the cabin, free of charge, provided they fit the size and weight requirements. (More on the specifics here.) As of January 15, that’s no longer the case. Base fare flyers will be able to bring one small personal bag into the cabin (35cm x 20cm x 20cm), while their larger carry-on bag must be checked at the gate. Those who have purchased a “Priority & 2 Cabin Bags” ticket or a Plus/Flexi ticket will still be able to bring two approved carry-on bags into the cabin, free of charge -- unless you’re flying to Israel, which means you’ll have to check your larger bag anyway.

For the record, the Priority ticket only costs five pounds if you select the fare at the time of booking, and six pounds if you upgrade up to 40 minutes before your flight, so it might be worth purchasing if you’d like to bring both bags into the cabin with you.

The price of checked bags will drop to €/£25 from €/£35, but the maximum weight limit will go up to 20 kilograms from 15.

Ryanair would much prefer you check your bag, and with the lowered fees and higher weight limit, there’s more of an incentive to do so.

Why all the changes?

Ryanair has a need for speed. Passengers spend a ton of time trying to maneuver their carry-ons into the overhead luggage bins, which often slows down the boarding process and can delay flights. By getting flights into the air faster, Ryanair will be able to up its on-time arrivals percentage. I mean, who doesn’t want to hear that delightful fanfare more often?

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