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Ryanair’s new £5 charge for wheelie bags. And what you can take on board other airlines

Robin Bowman

Robin Bowman
Sep 7, 2017

Ryanair passengers will need to pay £5 for priority boarding from November if they want to take a wheelie bag on board.

The airline says it’s bringing in the charge to try and reduce delays in boarding times caused by passengers being unable to find enough space in overhead luggage compartments.

People paying for priority will be able to take a wheelie bag on board, plus a second bag, while everyone else will be restricted to a smaller wheel-less bag.

A wheelie bag will have to go in the hold, free of charge, the airline says.

The best way to protect your luggage is to buy the right travel insurance policy

Ryanair also says it plans to reduce fees for check-in bags that will cost it around £46m a year as well as increase the weight allowance, in a move to persuade more passengers to check in bags.

From 1 November, the check-in bag allowance will go up from 15kg to 20kg, but the fee will drop from £35 to £25.

On a typically busy flight, about 186 seats of a total of 189 are occupied, but there is space for only around 90 bags in the overhead lockers.

The airline says some passengers bend the rules by bringing aboard a wheelie bag, plus a large rucksack that will not fit under the seat.

Kenny Jacobs, the airline’s chief marketing officer, said, “We’re making these changes because our flights are so much busier.

“A number of people will have two very large bags, taking up someone else’s space. They’ll hope they’ll get away with it and generally they have, but we don’t want to go back to policing bags at the gate,” he added.

“We hope that by restricting non-priority customers to one small carry-on bag – their wheelie bag must be placed in the hold, free of charge at the boarding gate – this will speed up the boarding of flights and eliminate flight delays being caused by not having sufficient overhead cabin space on busy flights to accommodate over 360 carry-on bags.”

Priority boarding is £5 if added at the time of booking, or £6 if bought up to an hour before take off.

Our advice: What to do when an airline loses your bags

Scroll down to find out what luggage you can take on board with which airline.


What you can take on board with which airline


Currently – Passengers can take one main item of hand luggage into the cabin.

This item must not be more than 55cm x 40cm x 20cm in size and 10kg in weight. You may also take a smaller item, such as a handbag or laptop, no larger than 35cm x 20cm x 20cm.

The restriction on wheelies kicks in from 1 November.

Ryanair check-in baggage fees start from £20/€20 in low season and £30/€30 in high season for 15kg, if you pay when you make your booking.

This allows you up to two bags.

Much higher fees apply if you change your booking or pay at the airport. The 20kg allowance starts from £30/€30.


Just one piece of hand baggage which must be no bigger than 56x45x25cms. That size must include any wheels or handles.

You can pay to take another cabin bag on board, but this one can only be a maximum of 45x36x20cms. You can also take on a duty-free bag for free.

Hold luggage is a paid-for extra in increasing costs from £13 to £30 for 20kgs. The actual charge depends on the route being flown.

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Hand luggage is one bag up to 55x40x20cms, weighing a max of 6kgs.

Checked-in bags come as standard, up to 15kgs, but you can pay to take this up to 25kgs. If you’re on a long-haul flight, you get a checked-in allowance of 20kgs, unless you’re on a flight-only deal, you don’t get any allowance.


One piece of hand luggage weighing up to 8kgs up to a max of 55x40x23cms. You can also bring on a smaller second bag, up to 30x40x10cms.

One check-in bag of up to 23kgs.


Up to two carry-on bags up to a maximum combined size of 56x40x25cms. The total weight must be 10kgs or less. Duty-free goods can also be taken aboard.

Hold baggage is a standard 20kgs allowance, or you can pay for an additional 3kgs or 6kgs.


Two cabin bags – one of up to 55x35x20cms and an extra bag no bigger than a laptop case or handbag. The total weight must be 10kgs or less.

Flybe offers four different sizes of checked baggage: 15kg for £18.50, 20kg for £19, 23kg for £24 and 40kg split over two bags for £49. Prices are per person, per one way flight.

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