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Ryanair amends luggage policy to avoid delays

Ryanair is changing its baggage policy as its struggles to accommodate carry-on luggage in overhead cabin space are causing delays.

The budget carrier's passengers are currently permitted to bring a wheeled case and a smaller bag into the cabin. But from 1 November, that allowance will apply only to passengers with priority boarding status, says Ryanair. Other passengers must hand in their wheeled cases at the boarding gate for placement in the aircraft's cargo hold, free of charge.

Ryanair will also reduce prices nearly a third for checked-in baggage "to encourage more customers to check in bags and reduce the number of customers with two bags at the boarding gates".

As "too many" passengers use the current allowance of two carry-on bags per person, "there is not enough overhead cabin space... which is causing boarding/flight delays", notes the carrier.

In addition to lowering baggage fees, Ryanair has raised the weight allowance for checked-in luggage from 15kg to 20kg.

"We believe offering bigger bags at reduced fees will encourage more customers to consider checking in a bag," states Ryanair's marketing chief Kenny Jacobs, who estimates that the luggage policy change will cost the airline over €50 million ($60 million) per annum in lost fees.

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