Ryanair and its CEO O’Leary have always been advocates of traveling without checked luggage. The carrier from Ireland would love to have all its passengers bring only a carry-on bag. The official reason is that the airline could cut ground times to a minimum. And consequently, be able to keep aircraft where they earn money: in the air.
But of course, an airplane full of passengers bringing their baggage into the cabin raises new problems. Overhead compartments start to fill up quickly, and the boarding process might take a little longer. That’s why Ryanair reacted and introduced new rules a while ago. One might think that the low-cost carrier would take every chance to rip off customers. But in fact, the regulations are more customer friendly than expected.
- Fares, fees and allowance
- How to bring more than Ryanair officially allows
- FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions
Fares, fees and allowance
Ryanair offers different fares on its routes. There is a ‘Standard’ a ‘Flexi’ and a ‘Flexi Plus’ rate that you can choose from. All three differ from each other in multiple ways, one being the baggage they will allow you to bring.
The ‘Standard’ rate is the one that probably most people will opt for since it gets you the lowest price on flights with Ryanair. This fare includes one small cabin bag. The more expensive ‘Flexi’ fare comes with Priority Boarding and the allowance to bring another bag into the cabin. Besides, you can also check-in one piece of luggage. Same goes for the most expensive fare, ‘Flexi Plus’.
But Ryanair doesn’t only offer different fares. If you want to bring more luggage with you but still purchase the cheapest ticket, you can add bags for a fee. How high this fee will be also depends on your timing. It is less expensive if you added during booking. Although you can also pay the extra charge at the airport, it will be higher by then.
That said higher fees might only apply to checked bags. If you are a priority customer, adding a cabin bag at the airport will cost you as much as it would have cost you during booking.
Size and weight
Ryanair’s policy includes three different types of luggage:
- Small cabin bag
- Cabin bag
- Check-in bag
The small cabin bag is the one that every traveler is allowed to bring. It won’t come as a surprise that it is also the smallest one in the list above. It’s size is restricted to 40cm x 20cm x 25cm. Compared to some other airlines this can be seen as a generous limit. However, the bag has to fit under the seat in front of you since this is where it will go most of the time.
The cabin bag that comes with more expensive fares or that can be added for an extra fee must not be bigger than 55cm x 40cm x 20cm. The limit for its weight is 10 kg. As the name suggests, both cabin bags can be brought into the cabin, since the larger of the two is available in combination with priority boarding. Therefore you should always find enough space in one of the overhead compartments.
There are two types of check-in bags. One of them is more or less what we just discussed before: a 10 kg bag. The only difference is that you can’t bring this piece of luggage into the cabin. It has to be checked through to your final destination, and you’ll have to wait for it at the luggage belt after your arrival.
The thrid type of luggage that Ryanair offers is the 20 kg check-in bag. Each passenger can purchase a maximum of 3 bags (including the one that may be part of the fare you paid for). As already mentioned, the large check-in bag will be more expensive if you add it at the airport and not during the booking process.
Add luggage after you purchased a ticket
As already mentioned above, it can cause extra costs if you wait until you arrived at the airport before adding excess luggage. Consequently, you should try to add a check-in bag as soon as you notice that you’ll bring more than just a small carry-on. By clicking on ‘Manage booking’ on Ryanair’s website, you will be able to do so.
To avoid problems or extra costs at the airport, it is crucial to weigh your bags and suitcases before you leave home! Also, you should measure your luggage. Most airlines aren’t that strict if it comes to checked baggage. But it is always better to be within the dimensions that are stated in the airline’s terms and conditions.
The best option is to get your very own luggage weighing scale. These are available for purchase on e.g. Amazon for under 10€. Of course, you could also step on a scale together with your bags and subtract your weight from whatever it shows. But this isn’t reliable. Also, you can bring a portable scale with you and check if your bags are still okay for check-in after you packed all your souvenirs for the loved ones that had to stay home.
If you want to be entirely sure, you can also use a scale at the airport (for example one at a closed check-in desk). If necessary, you still have the chance to re-arrange your things.
Make no mistakes! Ryanair will make absolutely no exceptions for bags that are too heavy!
It won’t do any harm to go through the following checklist before you head to the airport:
- Is all the additional luggage included in your fare or do you need to add some before your trip?
- Does one of your bags exceed the weight limit (10 kg or 20 kg)?
- Is your luggage (carry-on and check-in bags) within the size limitations?
- Have you completed the online check-in and printed your tickets? (For most fares, Ryanair will charge extra if this has to be done at the airport!)
How to bring more than Ryanair officially allows
Ryanair may be stringent if it comes to weight and size of your bags. But they certainly can’t keep you from wearing more than necessary. So you might just slip into an extra shirt or wear those heavy and clumsy boots that won’t fit into your suitcase. Of course, you can take off the additional layers once you are on board of the plane. This way you’ll save space and weight.
If you want to take this to the next level, there are special jackets and vests, that offer space for an extra 10 kg. That said, buying these will only make sense if you travel excessively with low-cost carriers.
And you shouldn’t go too far! There are stories of passengers that faded out because they have been wearing too many clothes!
FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions
Can I still bring a carry-on with me, if I add a check-in bag to my booking?
Yes, of course! Your basic luggage allowance will always stay the same. No matter what you add to your booking. So you can still bring the small cabin bag (or the 10 kg cabin bag, if included in your fare).
I booked a package tour. How much luggage can I bring?
If you purchased your deal from a tour operator, you should generally receive information from the vendor. If that’s not the case, you can always check your booking with Ryanair.
Just go to Ryanair’s website an look for the ‘My bookings’ tab. Enter your reservation number to view your booking and check what fare and extras you paid for. You will also need the email address that has been used for the booking confirmation.
You can add one piece of check-in luggage and share it with other people. For example, purchase the 10 kg cabin bag and let your girlfriend put her stuff into our suitcase – no problem.
But you can’t divide the weight by more than one. So, it won’t be possible to add a 20 kg piece of check-in luggage and show up at the airport with two bags, 10 kg each.
Can I pool bags with other passengers?
It is, in fact, possible to share your baggage allowance with other passengers. For example, you and your friend both added a 20 kg bag to your booking. But you only need 10kg. In that case, your friend could bring a bag weighing 30kg without any problems. The only two requirements here are that no bag exceeds the limit of 32kg and both bags have to be on the same reservation.