Is the New Ryanair Bag Policy Improved? Not For Me

Effective as of Monday, January 15, 2018, a new bag policy is being implemented by Ryanair — touting “lower bag fees, bigger check-in bags and fewer boarding delays”…

Is the New Ryanair Bag Policy Improved? Not For Me

…and the new bag policy — which “will cost Ryanair up to €50m pa”, according to Kenny Jacobs of Ryanair — is as follows:

  • Fees to check your bag will decrease from 35 euros or pounds to 25 euros or per bag
  • The weight allowance to check a bag will increase from 15 kilograms to 20 kilograms
  • Customers can continue to carry aboard two bags — but customers who have not purchased tickets for priority boarding will be required to put the larger of the two bags in the hold — free of charge — at the boarding gate to avoid boarding delays or baggage offloads

How Much Extra For Priority Boarding?

I decided to see how much is the difference in price for a random one-way ticket from Budapest to Dublin on Friday, February 23, 2018.

Standard Fare versus Priority Boarding

Source: Ryanair.

The lowest fare would be roughly be the equivalent of $85.45; whereas the Plus fare — which includes priority boarding and carrying two bags aboard the airplane — is approximately $123.77.

In other words, I would be paying an extra $38.32 to carry two bags aboard the airplane with me, which equates to an increase in price of almost 45 percent.

One might argue that I am getting more value for my money — but I had no major issues with my first flight and my second flight which were operated by Ryanair; and I had both aforementioned bags with me. I did not need to check in for the flight 60 days in advance — nor did I have any use for checking a bag; and I was just fine with not reserving a seat.

Reason For the New Bag Policy

Jacobs said that all customers of Ryanair “will still be free to bring 2 free carry-on bags but because of our heavily booked flights (94% load factors), we don’t have space on board for this many wheelie bags so we will ask non-priority customers to put their bigger bag in the hold — free of charge — from Monday 15 Jan in order to eliminate boarding delays and improve our industry leading on-time departures.”

Bag fees were decreased by Ryanair in June of 2016 by as much as 50 percent for 92 percent of its customers; as well as a reduction from 108 different baggage fees to a mere six.


If you check bags when you fly as a passenger aboard airplanes operated by Ryanair, you will definitely benefit from the new policy…

…but for me, this is essentially a fare increase, as I never check any bags which travel with me — and if I carry two bags, the larger one holds such items as a laptop computer, my clothes and toiletries; while the smaller one is simply a camera bag. I do not want to check either bag.

This means that if I want to carry both bags aboard an airplane operated by Ryanair with me, I will have to pay extra for a ticket which includes priority boarding — even though my larger bag is nowhere near the size or weight of a “wheelie” bag. In fact, I can fit both bags under the seat in front of me if necessary, as that is how little room they occupy.

I do not have any intention of flying as a passenger aboard any airplane operated by Ryanair anytime soon; but I do wonder if there is a chance that an employee of the airline would permit a person with two smaller bags to board an airplane with both of them anyway…

Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

9 thoughts on “Is the New Ryanair Bag Policy Improved? Not For Me”

  1. Laura says:

    You can buy the priority boarding on its own, you don’t need to pay for a plus ticket.

    I’m getting a Ryanair flight in 2 hours and even now is the option to pay for priority boarding in the app for £6

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Although it is still a price increase, that is significantly more reasonable, Laura.

      Thank you — and safe travels to you.

  2. Claus says:

    On your flight Priority is FT. 1750 so much closer to 8% if your do not value priority boarding. The Plus fare includes a checked bag.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Thank you, Claus.

  3. ken says:

    so if I understand correctly, you can still buy the cheapest option and bring two bags, which might be checked in for free at the gate if the airplane is full? If so, for those who don’t care about checking bags at the gate, it doesn’t matter right? I am just asking to clarify because I don’t mind them checking my second bag it is just dirty clothes, nothing valuable, I am guessing this new policy won’t affect me but i just want to make sure

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Yes, ken — if you purchase the absolute cheapest option, your larger bag is checked free of charge.

      If your second bag is just dirty clothes that you can live without for a few days in case it gets lost, then this new policy will not affect you.

  4. cx882 says:

    If both bags can fit under the seat in front of you, why not just get a bigger bag to put your two bags in? (Or what I do: I have a fold-up backpack that I usually put into my one bag, and when I get on board, I can unfold it and turn it into two bags.)

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I suppose I could do that, cx882, as that is not a bad idea. I tend to be minimalist pertaining to what I carry, as every inch and every ounce I save when I travel matters to me.

      Besides, for the times I carry two bags, I have never had an issue — but with the advent of Basic Economy and more flights operated by low-cost carriers and ultra-low-cost carriers, that may very well become more of an issue in the future.

  5. Ric Garrido says:

    This is the Ryanair policy formalized that I almost always used anyway. Ryanair offers to check my larger bag for free when I arrive at the airport and I carry my backpack with camera and computer onto plane. Routine for my last dozen or so Ryanair flights when I had two bags. I only carry clothes in my larger bag.

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