We all know that we need Ryanair because without them, Aer Lingus and others would immediately increase their prices. (Mind you, Ryanair prices are not low anymore either, but still lower than Aer Lingus or BA ever would have liked to go.) But at the same time Ryanair ALWAYS ensures that we HATE their guts as well by constantly pushing and moving was once usual practices.
Ryanair started with the intent to get checked in luggage reduced as much as possible. Checked in luggage was charged separately where before it was included. Then they increased the prices for it. Then they lowered the weight from 20kg to 15kg and now all will change again! We were told that we should ONLY bring hand luggage and that we won’t pay for that. We did what we were told! BUT as human beings do, we tried to push the limits.
New much smaller dimensions were specified, but only sometimes enforced. The weight limit of 10kg was introduced but usually not checked and so passengers started bringing bigger and bigger and heavier and heavier bags on board. So much that there was no room in the overhead bins anymore and Ryanair was forced to take the rolly cases that were within the limits but still used a LOT of room from people at the plane.
Now ALL will change again!
For all flights from 01 November, you are only allowed to bring a handbag or Laptop bag on board (up to 5kg; 35cm x 20cm x 20cm). What was formerly the cabin bag now will have to dropped at the bag drop at the check-in counter (NOT at the boarding gate or at the plane anymore). So this achieves EXACTLY the opposite of what Ryanair tried in the past. Now more or less EVERY passenger will have check in luggage again! As long as it is not more than 10kg you will not have to pay for it. Not YET!!! I guarantee that in a few months there will be a new charge introduced. I will eat my (virtual) hat if that won’t happen!
The advantage for them of having less check in luggage is gone, but the advantage for passengers to get out of the airport faster if they only have hand luggage is also gone. BUT you are still allowed to bring your former hand luggage of 10kg IF you pay for Priority Boarding! The Irish Independent claims that this will cost EUR 5 per flight, but we have seen in recent months that that price can easily go to a high multiple of EUR 5 if seat selection is included and the selectable seats went into the higher priced category.
The checked baggage charge will drop from EUR 35 to EUR 25 and the checked luggage max weight is increased from 15kg to 20kg but again I am convinced that this is only a temporary measure and the price will very soon go up again and the weight down. Ryanair uses these tricks to tell us that we allegedly will pay less just to take it back again soon after.
How will they do all this? Wait for it! They will issue colour coded boarding passes! WHAT? Yes, that would possibly require that you don’t print your own boarding pass anymore because not everyone has a colour printer at home. OR your self-printed boarding pass will be replaced by the colour coded one at the baggage drop?
In the end it is just a way to force people to buy Priority Boarding. It seems that the cruel procedure of forcing people that have booked together on seats that are intentionally not next to each other didn’t achieve the increased buying of Priority Boarding that was expected.
Ohh and another thing changed underhand it seems: In the past you could print your return boarding pass up to a week before your return trip. Now this is not possible anymore. But it can only be printed 3 days or so before the return. That means that you can’t print both before leaving if your trip is more than 3 days long. Because while on holidays you don’t have access to a printer, this meant that people HAD to buy Priority Boarding for the return trip because THEN you are allowed to print the boarding pass already days earlier. Devious! But wait, you say, I use the Ryanair app and then I don’t need to print anything at all. You are smart! But wait for it: My predication is that VERY soon that will change and you will either have to pay to use the app or the boarding pass/check in option will be removed from the app or limited.
Ryanair want you to pay more and more and more. And because they are a commercial organisation I get that even if I definitely dislike it. But the temporary customer friendliness that Ryanair adopted about 2 or 3 years ago is DEFINITELY gone for good. They are UNFORTUNATELY now too successful to care.
The Irish Independent outlined the rules in an FAQ here.