No-frills airline Ryanair has risked irking passengers, increasing the cost of checking in baggage ahead of the summer holiday season.
The Irish airline confirmed in a statement to passengers it will increase the cost of checked-in baggage to €20 per bag on all bookings for July and August made from midnight.
Arguing the change would “incentivise passengers to travel light”, Ryanair offered a sop by claiming the change in prices was only temporary.
Checked-in bag fees will remain at €15 for passengers travelling outside of the two peak summer months of July and August, argued the airline.
Passengers checking in bags in June or September, for example will pay €15 for a checked in bag.
Explaining the decision Ryanair’s Stephen McNamara said: “Ryanair is determined to incentivise passengers to travel light this summer by increasing our checked-in baggage fees for the months of July and August only.
“Over 70 per cent of all Ryanair passengers will be unaffected by these changes because they travel with no checked-in bags.”
Ryanair urged all of its passengers to avoid checked-in baggage fees by travelling with carry-on bags only using Ryanair’s free ten kilogramme carry-on baggage allowance.
[stock]RYAAY|1y|left|Ryanair’s stocks on a rise[/stock]
However, Ryanair passengers may be in a position to consider themselves lucky when compared to those boarding Spirit Airlines.
The Miami, Florida-based carrier announced earlier this week it would become the first US airline to charge passengers for carry-on luggage stored in planes’ overhead lockers.
The discount carrier - which offers flights in and out of Boston Logan International Airport - will charge passengers $45 per carry-on bag at boarding gates or $30 if the fee is paid in advance.
To soften the blow, those paying the charge will receive priority boarding.
“In addition to lowering fares even further, this will reduce the number of carry-on bags, which will improve inflight safety and efficiency by speeding up the boarding and deplaning process, all of which ultimately improve the overall customer experience,” explained Spirit’s chief operating officer Ken McKenzie.
“Bring less; pay less. It’s simple.”
The new carry-on bag fee is effective for reservations to travel before August 1st, 2010 and beyond, and will be available for purchase on or before July 1st, 2010.
The fee applies to carry-on items to be placed in overhead bins and includes priority boarding in Zone 1.
Passengers still will be allowed to bring on one personal item, such as a purse or wallet, for free - if it fits under a seat.