Ryanair hand baggage changes: how to avoid the extra luggage fees

Ryanair and Whizz Air have dramatically reduced the size of bags you're allowed to carry, here's how to avoid the luggage fees

TODO alt text

Ryanair has changed its hand luggage rules for a second time this year, cutting the volume of cabin baggage you're allowed to take on board by two-thirds. That's a substantial change.

The new rules have come into force today (Thursday 1st November), and could result in extra fees if you're not paying attention.

We've got all the information you need on the new luggage limits here, and a selection on bags which will ensure your journey is fee-free.

As we previously stated, the strict new rules dramatically reduce the amount passengers can carry without paying extra.

Up to the 31st October, Ryanair passengers could take one large and one small cabin bag through the security checkpoint to the departure gate without paying. 

Now the limit is cut to one "midsize" bag, with the maximum dimensions of 40 x 25 x 20cm

The overall volume allowed without paying has fallen by almost two-thirds from 58 litres to just 20 litres.

Ryanair claims around 40-percent of passengers will be affected, and you'll be allowed a bit of "wiggle room", with the size gauge at the departure gate 25-percent larger than the maximum size.

The Hungarian-based budget airline, Wizz Air, has employed a similarly strict allowance. The free cabin bag can measure 40 x 30 x 20cm.

What are your options?

  • Bring the single bag that measures 40 x 25 x 20cm
  • Pay for Priority Boarding and take a second bag on board. It must be smaller than 55 x 40 x 20cm and weight no more than 10kg. The cost will be £6 if you buy at the time of booking, or £8 if you book later.
  • Check your bag. It can be any size and weigh up to 10kg. It'll cost £8 or £10, depending on when you choose this option.

Five bags which avoid the fee:

5 Cities Hand Baggage

One enterprising company has already created a bag with the exact dimensions of Ryanair's new restrictions. The hand baggage measures exactly 40 x 25 x 20cm. It's affordable too, at just £29.99.

It looks like you could fit quite a bit in there, but the build-quality doesn't look amazing.

If you're after something a little more premium, check out the luggage below:

Briggs & Riley Kinzie Street Micro Messenger Cross Body Bag

Okay, you're not going to fit too much in here, but it should fit your travel essentials, such as headphones, phone, charger, travel documents, liquids, and an iPad. 

You could probably even squeeze a T-shirt and change of underwear in there, if you're planning on travelling really light.

It measures 25.5 x 34.5 x 9cm.

Samsonite PRO-DLX 5 BRIEFCASE 14.1"

With more than enough space for essentials, this bag could be the one for you if you're planning on travelling with a laptop.

It's part of Samsonite's Business Collection, and has been designed fulfil the demands of the frequent business traveller. That means it's lighter and has more useful features than its predecessor.

It measures 27.5 x 37 x 11cm

Wenger Reload 14" Laptop Backpack

Feel brave enough to bend the rules slightly? This backpack is larger than the 40 x 25 x 20cm, but it falls within the 40-percent wiggle room.

If you pack efficiently you will have plenty of space for a weekend's worth of clothing, laptop, and travel essentials.

It measures 42 x 27 x 15cm.

Knomo Curzon Shoulder Tote for 15" Laptop

This lightweight and spacious tote bag from Knomo could be your saviour. It's got plenty of space for your laptop and essentials, and is pretty luxurious as well, finished with a Saffiano leather trim.

Side poppers can be undone to add extra capacity (when you're past the gate) or making it easy to find whatever you're looking for inside.

It measures 27 x 38 x 16cm.