European budget carrier Ryanair has warned it may review cabin baggage rules unless passengers stop ignoring existing restrictions and causing delays.
The issue highlights the tension between passengers wanting to take as much as possible with them for free and airlines wanting to boost revenue by imposing fees for checked baggage.
Low-cost carriers spearheaded the move to charge for checked baggage and some, such as US LCC Spirit Airlines, even charge for larger cabin luggage. Basic tickets on some full service carriers also restrict carry-on.
Others have reduced the maximum weight of baggage they allow passengers to take into an aircraft cabin without incurring a charge.
Flouting the rules can mean unwelcome and heavy penalties for passengers.
Ryanair’s 10kg (22lb) cabin baggage limit is more generous than the 7kg limit imposed by a number of LCCs.
The carrier also allows customers an additional smaller bag, such as a handbag or small laptop bag , which is not always the case.
But with flights flying an astonishing 97 per cent full this summer, the airline has reminded customers they must comply with the rules.
SIZE MATTERS WITH RYANAIR
Weight is not the only criteria applying the cabin baggage — there are also restrictions on size.
For a big bag on Ryanair that comes down 55cm x 40cm x 20cm (21.6in x 15.7in x7.9in)
The airline says it can only accommodate 90 bags of the maximum size in overhead lockers. Once that limit is reached, bags head to the aircraft hold where they are accommodated free.
But that won’t be the case if the bag does not fit in the airport sizer. Oversized bags are also consigned to the hold but attract a charge £50 or €50.
The airline noted that passengers who pay for priority boarding, starting at €5, were guaranteed to get their bag on board because they boarded the plane first.
“Despite our repeated messaging, some customers are still attempting to bring larger than permitted bags onboard, which are causing delays at the boarding gate,’’ Ryanair chief marketing officer Kenny Jacobs said of the airline’s warning.
“As advised, customers are permitted to bring a normal cabin bag and a smaller bag onboard.
“However, many customers are repeatedly exceeding our cabin baggage allowance and we will be left with no choice but to review our policy should this practice continue.”
Jacobs said gate agents were “rigorously enforcing” the carry-on policy and advised passengers with larger bags to check them in.
Carry-on has also proved a safety issue in the past with passengers on a burning American Airlines plane last year endangering others by stopping to grab their belongings