London – Irish no-frills airline Ryanair, Europe’s biggest carrier by passenger numbers, will start charging passengers for cabin bags that do not fit under seats from November 1, the company said.
Passengers on the beleaguered budget carrier, which faces increased costs due to industrial action in recent months, can currently carry a small bag and a small suitcase for free.
This will only continue to be the case for passengers who have purchased priority boarding costing six euros ($7), according to a statement from the airline issued on Thursday.
Passengers can alternatively put their small suitcase in the hold but will have to pay eight euros to do so when booking their tickets.
For the past few months, the airline has been placing some small suitcases for free in the hold. Ryanair had told passengers this was necessary because there was not enough space on board.
But the company on Thursday said this policy “led to the tagging of up to 120 free gate bags which caused delays to 25-minute turnarounds”, adding that starting in November “there will be no free gate bags”.
In a bid to improve its image, Ryanair in 2013 changed a strict luggage policy to allow passengers to carry a small bag and small suitcase onto the plane for free.
This helped increase traffic and Ryanair has since become Europe’s biggest airline in terms of passenger numbers.