charges for carry
And passengers could also face paying for carry on bags as well as their checked in luggage, after airline chief executive Michael O’Leary said it was “inevitable”.
Speaking in London, Mr O’Leary implied more financial burden for customers who want to bring heavy bags on flights.
“We will keep increasing charges until we get rid of (hold) bags,” he said before accepting that a total lack of checked in luggage is vans an impossible goal.
“We will never get rid of (hold) bags but I would be disappointed if we don’t get our figure for (hold) bags down from around 20pc to 10pc,” he sa vans id.
Asked why the airline had increased these charges by 20 during the summer period, he said that was when people tended to bring more bags.
Ryanair currently charges up to 140 to check in a standard 20kg bag, w vans hile a second bag can cost you another 160. The exact charges depend on the route and the time of year, and whether the passenger pays online in advance, or at the airport.
Before Ryanair introduced the charges, 80pc of customers checked in hold luggage and cutting this to 19pc has saved the airline a fortune.
Asked about charging for carry on luggage, Mr O’Leary said: “It’s unlikely in the short term but it’s probably inevitable”.
One other airline, Wizz Air, is already doing this and charges passengers up to 20 for putting large cabin bags in overhead lockers”At some time in the future I think it’s likely that airlines will charge for carry on bags but I can’t get my head round how you would do it. I think it’s unlikely that we will do it until I can see what’s in it for us,” Mr O’Leary said.
A key difficulty for Ryanair in charging for carry on luggage would be its short 25 minute turnaround times at airports. Charging passengers at the gate would take time, he said.
The Consumers’ Association of Ireland warned that cabin bag charges would be hugely unpopular with passengers.
“Currently it’s more profitable for Ryanair to have planes in the sky than to be messing around with charges at the boarding gate but they’ll probably find some way of doing it by making the charges so astronomical on the day,” said CAI vice chairman Michael Kilcoyne.
“This highlights the importance of competition so they don’t have a free run,” he added.
High fuel prices means luggage adds considerably to airline costs as well as requiring additional baggage handling services.
Mr O’Lear vans y said Ryanair’s decision, announced this week, to get pilots to increase flight times by two minutes to save fuel would save the airline around 80m a year.