Ryanair hand luggage changes today – Furious passengers react to new fees as Stansted airport opens early to cope

The changes have outraged passengers as they accused the airline of "screwing them over" with the new fees, as Stansted Airport – the budget airline's main hub in the UK – opened early to deal with the potential delays.

Until now, Ryanair customers who hadn’t paid for priority boarding could take a 10kg wheeled suitcase onto the plane for free, but this is changing from today.

Passengers now have to pay for priority boarding to take a bag into the cabin, costing £6 at the time of booking or £8 if you add it on later.

To check a bag weighing up to 10kg into the hold, they will have to pay £8 at the time of booking, or £10 to add it on later.

The only baggage that customers can now take onto the plane for free is a small handbag or a laptop, measuring up to 40cm x 20cm x 25cm – and if it is bigger than this, passengers will have to pay £20 to add the bag to the hold at the check-in desk, or £25 if they wait until the boarding gate.

Customers have reacted angrily to the new charges, with passengers claiming they have been "screwed over" by the airline as they are caught out by extras fees at the airport this morning.

A passenger who goes by the Twitter handle @IsAinmPeppa, who was caught up in queues at Rome Airport, shared a picture of the long lines for check-in and said: "Ryanair are a joke.. They are 1000% gonna lose business over the new bag check in the queues this morning."

Another Twitter user with the username @Ik_ben_daphne said: "It's a nasty way of tricking customers into thinking that Ryanair is cheaper. Next move will surely be to adjust the prices further down to suit headless persons."

A Tweeter called @thechalkmarks added: "D'you get the feeling that Ryanair doesn't even want passengers?"

According to The Independent, Stansted Airport opened its security lanes at 2.30am and manned extra check-in desks in order to cope with the expected heavy workload.

The news website also reported that it is not clear whether the airline has enough staff or the required payment technology at boarding gates to deal with the new charges that will be handed to passengers.


Wizz Air has also introduced similar new charges for luggage – the policies are the same, though the fees are slightly different.

Non-priority passengers will only be able to take a small handbag or laptop onto the plane for free, with dimensions of 40cm x 30cm x 20cm.

To take a small wheelie suitcase on board weighing no more than 10kg with dimensions of 55cm x 40cm x 23cm or less, customers will need to purchase Wizz Priority at £4 at the time of booking, or between €5 and €15 (£4 and £13)  if added to the booking later on.

Paying to check luggage into the hold will cost between €7 and €12 (£6 and £11).

However, Italy's competition and markets authority has called for both Ryanair and Wizz Air to suspend its new charges on all flights in and out of Italy.

The antitrust body said the two low cost airlines were planning to only let very small bags be brought on board for free and instead start charging passengers for trolleys.

The watchdog said: "The request for supplementary pay for an essential element of air transport, such as hand baggage, provides a false representation of the real ticket price … misleading the consumer."

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