While Ryanair are currently embroiled in one of the largest cyclones of negative PR the Western World has ever known, one would assume that they would be doing all they could to shirk all opportunities for their bruised reputation to be damaged anymore. Well, if there's one thing that we've learned this year from Ryanair's handling of the multiple strikes through all echelons of the company, it's that it is seemingly always ready to handle a given situation in exactly the opposite way from what you would expect a sane and rational thinking company would do.
With that in mind, and the dust still settling on the fractious ceasefire that has been agreed in the row over ongoing pilot strikes, now, I think we can all agree, is evidently the perfect time for them to announce that they will be scrapping the free 10kg baggage allowance for all passengers from November.
Passengers will still be allowed to carry one small bag - typically pitched as a handbag or laptop bag - to store under the seat in front of them, but will now have to pay €8 to check in baggage under 10 kilogrammes. This €8 marks a reduction from the €25 that they currently enforce for checking in baggage of that size.
Many passengers who purchase priority boarding, currently priced at €6, will still be allowed bring on a small 10kg cabin bag to store in the overhead lockers. For the majority of Ryanair's planes, Boeing 737-800s, they will cap the number of priority tickets to be sold per flight at around 9,5 roughly half the capacity of the plane, though there is only room for approximately 100 overhead bags on board each plane.
Once the priority boarding has sold out passengers looking to bring a 10kg bag on board will have to pay the €8 to have it stored in the hold. And, despite the size of the 'small' bag that you will still be allowed to bring on board being slightly increased, should it exceed the size limitations you will need to pay €25 to have it stored in the hold, or more should it exceed 10kg.
The ostensible reason for these changes is in service of speeding up check-in and boarding times, which, in spite of Ryanair's baggage policy being changed as recently as January this year, so that the majority of 'free' overhead bags would now be taken before boarding and stored in the hold, they have said that it still incurs significant delays on flight times.
To read Ryanair's full explanation of the changes to their policy, click here.