Ryanair's new luggage rules start today: Here's what you need to know

Ryanair’s new luggage policy has come into place (Picture: AP Photo/Martin Meissner, file)

Ryanair’s new luggage policy comes into effect today, the second time it has changed its hand luggage rules this year.

The low-cost airline has introduced charges for passengers flying with a small suitcase in a measure that it claims will help reduce delays.

But what does it mean for passengers?

What has the policy been up until now?

In January, Ryanair introduced a policy which meant that passengers who had not bought ‘priority boarding’ were allowed to take a “personal bag” – such as a handbag – on board.

A second, larger bag such as a wheelie suitcase weighing up to 10kg could be put in the hold free of charge.

And what is it now?

From Thursday, November 1, passengers now have to pay £8 to check in a 10kg bag.

Those with heavier cases can check in bags of up to 20kg at a great charge, with the lowest price for checked luggage £25 for up to 20kg.

The maximum size of “personal bags” allowed on board has been increased by 40%.

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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 claims most passengers will be unaffected by the changes, as 30% already buy priority boarding and a further 30% travel with only a “personal bag”.

Why did they change the rules again?

Ryanair says the previous policy led to up to 120 bags being tagged at boarding gates for each flight – leading to delays.

Its response is to no longer allowing any luggage in the hold free of charge.

A statement on the airline’s website says: “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.”

The airline 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.