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The following might sound like a silly question, but I'm totally confused. I haven't flown with Ryanair in at least a year and apparently the luggage policy has changed since then. Previously it was allowed to carry two cabin bags (a small one and a medium one) and any other extra stuff was supposed to be checked-in and later held on by Ryanair.

I might be also wrong but it seems to me that the web portal is changed a bit as well.

I've booked a flight and if I've understood correctly I'm still allowed two bags, but one of them will be held on for free. I realized however that I need a third bag, but am I then supposed to purchase the "check-in bag" or is this only to allow me to carry the second bag in the cabin with me?

Ryanair staff (via chat) told me I need to buy an "extra seat", which doesn't make any sense to me unless they meant something else they did not explain.

Summary of the question:

I need to carry a third bag (not in the cabin with me... just extra stuff that doesn't fit in my luggage). Should I purchase the "check-in" bag?

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    I understand that Ryanair would be confused - I don't understand clearly what you want from this description! You seem to use the word carry when you mean checked baggage, and I'm not sure what you mean with "checked-in and later held on". Maybe you could use the same expressions throughout your question: checked baggage and carry-on baggage? – pipe Jun 26 '18 at 14:59
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    @pipe I understand that it's confusing. But it's Ryanair who came up with this crazy terminology. The UK site uses a different wording but the german FAQ say each passenger is allowed "two carry-on items, a large and a small one" and then, two paragraphs later, "pax with standard tickets must check the large carry-on item at the gate" (rough translation mine)... – Sabine Jun 26 '18 at 15:26
  • @pipe I actually think my question is very simple, if not I'm not sure I can make it more clear... I have 2 bags (small and "medium") that as far as I know I'm allowed to carry for free (regardless they would be in the cabin or not), I have the need of a third one which would be of the size of the "medium" what should I do?... I believe the guy was trying to charge me more. My question is given the website and terminology is confused what should I purchase? And if Ryanair was confused because of my "lack of terminology" why suggest "buying an extra seat is the only way"? – user8469759 Jun 26 '18 at 15:40
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    Step 1: They confuse you. Step 2: They charge you more money. – Fake Name Jun 26 '18 at 18:41
  • I am very glad they don't fly here, it makes me think of simpsonlejeutapotonsles.com/tag/mad-max that. Or someone Screaming, Plane tickets for sale only, $9 you might get where you're going. – coteyr Jun 27 '18 at 13:04
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Yes, you should purchase the check-in bag.

The new policy is that you have two "carry on" items - a large one (55 cm x 40 cm x 20 cm, typical hand luggage suitcase) and a small one (35 cm x 20 cm x 20 cm, medium handbag, camera case (for camera only), etc). However, only passengers with priority boarding or flex tariffs (or whatever it's called in your language) get to take both items on board. All others have to gate-check the large bag.

The "check-in" bag has nothing to do with bringing bags on board. You buy it if you need more than two bags or if you want to bring one larger suitcase instead.

In the German version of the FAQ, there is one question "Can I bring a musical instrument on board". The answer is to buy an extra seat if the instrument (such as a cello or guitar) exceeds the maximum size for carry on items but mustn't go into the hold. I guess that's what they were trying to suggest in the chat. However, if your luggage is fine in the hold, it's probably cheaper to pay for checked luggage.

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    Smaller backpack?! Requiring the second largest dimension to be no more than 20cm disqualifies almost anything larger than a purse. I'm not sure that many handbags fit in that size. Certainly my binocular case doesn't. – Peter Taylor Jun 26 '18 at 15:46
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    @Harper If by "rest of the world", you mean "one country", sure :) – Pyritie Jun 26 '18 at 17:46
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    "However, if your luggage is fine in the hold, it's probably cheaper to pay for checked luggage." - a bag costs 10 - 50 GBP/EUR so an extra seat may actually be cheaper. It's a weird world. – CompuChip Jun 27 '18 at 9:35
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    @JAD Yes. What actually happens is (at most airports) you put your bag on a baggage cart or on the tarmac in front of the plane before you climb up the stairs to board. – MJeffryes Jun 27 '18 at 11:38
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    @smci 35x20x20cm can fit any tablet or up to 17in laptop in a laptop sleeve - absolutely not, my 15.6" laptop is 38x25cm without any case! – nekomatic Aug 13 '18 at 11:24
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From the 1st of November Ryanair policy will change:

The main thing changing is that you can no longer travel with 2 bags for free to the airplane. Details are given next

You have 3 bags: 1 big bag, 1 medium bag, 1 small bag

  • You will need to buy a checked-in bag, for the big bag and drop it off as usual. For the medium bag you have 2 options from now on: You can buy a 10kg luggage and drop it off on the luggage drop off before security with the large bag OR you can buy priority boarding in which case you are allowed to take a the medium bag with you into the plane. The small bag is free and you can carry it into the plane. The allowed size of this bag was increased.

You have 2 bags: 1 medium bag, 1 small bag

  • You can buy a 10kg luggage and drop the medium bag off on the luggage drop off before security OR you can buy priority boarding in which case you are allowed to take a the medium bag with you into the plane. The small bag is free and you can carry it into the plane. The allowed size of this bag was increased.

For the sake of simplicity I divided bags in big, medium and small bag. Often in Ryanair website, regarding this change, you will see the medium bag referred as wheelie.

Here are the maximum dimensions for each:

  • 81x119x119cm large cargo hold bag
  • 55x40x20cm medium cabin bag
  • 40x20x25cm small cabin bag (size is now a bit larger)

Official information at: https://www.ryanair.com/gb/en/useful-info/help-centre/faq-overview/Baggage#0-0

And a video about this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=5&v=0Jt7geRoNUs

Before 1st of November 2018

You have 3 bags: 1 big bag, 1 medium bag, 1 small bag

  • You will need to buy a checked-in bag, for the big bag and will have to deliver it in check-in counters or equivalent. The medium bag will go with you until you're next to the plane. There the handling company picks it up and puts it on cargo and it goes through the same routes as check in luggage from there on. If you want the medium bag to travel in the cabin you can pay an extra value, at the time of writing 5 euros. The small bag can allways travel with you in the cabin.

You have 2 bags: 1 medium bag, 1 small bag

  • The medium bag will go with you until you're next to the plane. There the handling company picks it up and puts it on cargo and it it goes through the same routes as check in luggage from there on. If you want the medium bag to travel with you (in the cabin) you can pay an extra 5 euros, at the time of writing 5 euros. The small bag can allways travel with you in the cabin.

For the sake of simplicity I divided bags in big, medium and small bag.

Here are the maximum dimensions for each:

  • 81x119x119cm large cargo hold bag
  • 55x40x20cm medium cabin bag
  • 35x20x20cm small cabin bag

The luggage that you take next or into the plane will have the same security treatment. Restricted liquids, sharp objects, etc. If you want to take some of the items that can't pass security you can always buy checked in luggage.

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    The first point is my scenario. – user8469759 Jun 26 '18 at 15:41
  • If you add what happens to the small bag it will be perfect. +1 already. – Willeke Jun 26 '18 at 15:42
  • ...and, just in case anyone has any doubts, unless you get to take it into the plane, the contents of the 'medium' piece have to be compliant with checked-in luggage regulations, meaning you may not get reimbursed for certain valuable items being damaged/lost – crizzis Oct 26 '18 at 14:39

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