- Ryanair will no longer allow passengers to take a suitcase in the hold for free
- Only allowed bag measuring 40x20x25cm which must fit under seat in front
- Passengers have to pay £8 to check in a 10kg bag or £25 for up to 20kg cases
- Airline waived controversial new baggage fees amid confusion at airports today
Ryanair has been forced to waive its controversial new baggage fees amid confusion among thousands of passengers at airports today.
From today the airline no longer allows passengers to take a small suitcase in the hold for free, forcing them to pay a minimum of £8 for any bag that won't fit under the seat in front.
But the stringent new rules have led to confusion among many who have pointed out that if they pay for priority boarding – which costs £6 – they will continue to be allowed to take both a 'personal bag' and a small suitcase as hand baggage.
However check-in staff are now waiving the fee 'while customers get used to the new rules' for the next month.
Ryanair said the change, which was announced in August, 'was necessary to reduce delays' but many have labelled it a 'rip off' and threatened to boycott the airline.
But he has found himself under fire from beleaguered customers today.
Robert Davidson wrote on Twitter: 'I suppose it won't be long before you start charging if people want to travel with both of their arms.'
Another Twitter user added: 'There are many reasons to boycott Ryanair but the new baggage prices will do for me.'
In January, Ryanair began a policy which saw passengers who had not bought priority boarding permitted to take a 'personal bag' – such as a handbag – on board while a second, larger bag – such as a wheelie suitcase weighing up to 10kg – could be put in the hold free of charge
Ryanair has responded by no longer allowing any luggage in the hold free of charge.
Passengers have to pay £8 to check in a 10kg bag. The previous lowest price for checked luggage was £25 for up to 20kg, which remains an option for those with heavier cases.
The maximum size of 'personal bags' allowed on board has been increased by 40%.
Passengers who pay for priority boarding – which costs £6 – will continue to be allowed to take both a 'personal bag' and small suitcase as hand baggage.
Ryanair believes some customers may prefer the £8 checked luggage option because they 'do not want to drag a wheelie case through airport security.'
It claimed most passengers will be unaffected by the changes, as 30% already buy priority boarding and a further 30% travel with only a 'personal bag'.
Some check-in staff suspended the new charge at boarding gates today, in the wake of confusion and anger among passengers.
A statement on the airline's website read: 'Main benefits of this new policy will be reduced flight delays and cheaper checked bag option.
'Pack more liquids into a 10kg checked wheelie bag. Walk to the boarding gate hands free.'
Ryanair insists it does not expect to make more money from the new rules, as it will lose revenue from passengers with checked bags switching from the £25 fee to the £8 option.
Experts have warned customers will 'feel the sting' of the new fees.
Hannah Maundrell, Editor in Chief of money.co.uk said: 'Those who are trying to take a short weekend break with just hand luggage are likely to feel the sting as they'll be the ones forced to pay for luggage they wouldn't have been charged for previously.
'It will be interesting to see whether this change does decrease delays as Ryanair has suggested or if it will just line their pockets and our waiting time will be as long as ever.'Industry expert Adam Ewart added: 'For the second time this year, Ryanair is changing its baggage policy and has passed off the rip-off in the name of efficiency.
'Wheelie bags will attract a fee no matter how they are transported. As an airline that often charges as little as £10 for a ticket, this change will impact customers dramatically.
'Earlier this week Ryanair announced profit losses of £133million. Despite this, the airline raked in £1.8 billion in 'added extras' such as checked-in luggage costs. It is clear that Michael O'Leary's 'Always Getting Better' programme paints a different picture to reality.'
RYANAIR'S FEES IN FULL
Bags for life-savings: Airlines' excess luggage prices can range from a reasonable £65 for an extra 23kg suitcase to £54 PER KILO as figures reveal one in five of us are still prepared to stump up the cash
Nothing kills the post-holiday mood quicker than finding out you've over shopped and will have to over pay the excess baggage fee to get all your new goods home.
As many airlines try to strip back the costs of a seat, they're finding other ways to recoup their cash flow, one of which is hefty costs for excess baggage.
But not all added baggage fess are created equal. Some will set the unfortunate traveller back the cost of a new ticket, while others will leave the wallet weighing almost the same.Charges are often confusing and change depending on the flight route, departure airport, ticket class and if customers managed to think ahead and pre-book their excess online.
Last year, these complicated and often expensive fees lead to British passengers paying nearly £400million in excess.
One in five Britons has been charged by an airline for exceeding a baggage allowance for a flight in the past two years, leading to an average of £135 in fees each.Even within the same airline fees can vary markedly, with some carriers having up to 32 different charging brackets.
For instance, Qatar, which has some of the heftiest fees in the world, will charge passengers heading to Australia, Europe, Japan and parts of the Middle East a whopping £54 for every extra 1 kg over 30 kg they pack.
For every 1kg over the 32kg allowance Emirates will charge some long-haul flyers £40.Overall, the average cost for excess baggage per kg is £11.93.
And while United Airlines offers a 23kg bag for free, the airline will charge customers £78 for an extra suitcase and £150 for an extra bag that weighs between 33kg and 46kgs.
In comparison, both Virgin Atlantic and British Airways will allow customers to add an extra bag, worth 23kg, for only £65.
Budget carrier Jet2, which was recently crowned the best airline in the UK, will charge £20 for a bag up to 22kg booked online and £12 per kg after that.
Turkish Airlines have the cheapest per kg option, starting at £8 depending on the route.
And EasyJet will charge £10 per kg at the airport or £3 if booked beforehand, after customers hit 20kg.
Travelers looking to cut down on extras can fly with British Airlines, Air France, Etihad and Virgin Atlantic, among others, who all provide 23kg of baggage free on most routes.
The trick though is to keep the packing, and the shopping, to a minimum.