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Ryanair's new baggage policy comes into effect
Ryanair and Hungary's low cost airline Wizz Air will both be applying a new hand baggage policy as of Thursday November 1st in an attempt to reduce delays.
Ryanair will be making customers pay to take a wheelie bag (10kg maximum) with them, a service that has been free up until now. Priority-boarding customers will still be able to take on two free bags (one small carry-on and one wheelie bag). Priority boarding costs from 6€ each way. Importantly, Ryanair will only allow a maximum of 95 (out of 189 potential passengers per plane) to buy priority boarding. Once this is sold out, customers will have to check their bag in before security, at a cost of 16€-20€ return.
Similarly, from November 1st, all Wizz Air passengers will be entitled to bring one free carry-on bag up to a size of 40cm x 30cm x 20cm on board to be placed under the seat in front of them. Passengers who have purchased priority boarding will be permitted to bring an extra wheelie bag (maximum size 55cm x 40cm x 23 cm). Additionally, Wizz Air is introducing a new type of checked-in bag with a 10 kg allowance from 7€, besides the available 20 and 32 kg options.
The new rules, which Ryanair first announced at the end of August, are aimed at reducing delays and lowering the cost of checked-in luggage. Previously, all passengers could bring on board one standard-sized wheelie bag plus a small carry-on free of charge. But unless passengers had bought priority boarding (from 6€), the wheelie bag was tagged at the gate and put in the hold. Most travellers have been happy with this, but it has meant that as many as 120 bags have been left waiting on the tarmac to be loaded onto the plane. This has caused significant delays, with ground staff often not immediately available to load them.
From today, non-priority passengers will only be able to take one small bag on board free of charge (max 40cm x 20cm x 25cm - has to fit under the seat in front of you); priority passengers will be allowed two bags, one of which can be a wheelie bag.
Passengers not wishing to pay the priority boarding charge can add a small suitcase or wheelie bag (up to 10 kg) to their booking from 8€, which will have to be checked in at the check-in desk before going through security.
Passengers who add checked-in luggage to their reservation after making their booking and up to 40 minutes before the scheduled departure time will be charged 10€. Passengers who turn up at the gate with a wheelie bag or small suitcase without priority boarding will have to pay 20€-25€ at the gate to have it tagged and put in the hold.
Authorities in Italy have already issued a challenge to the airlines in view of their new policies and have ordered the provisional suspension of the policy while they investigates consumer rights.
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