Ryanair Luggage Allowance

My latest gripe with Ryanair resulted from a flight out of Liverpool on which I found myself seated separately from my wife. I wasn’t aware of having made a mistake when booking but learned later that it seems I now need to pay extra for us to sit together. So paying for allocated seating is the latest annoyance added to the booking procedure.

Ryanair have long been the leaders in inventing ‘extra charges’ when booking flights. It doesn’t seem long ago that it was unthinkable that an airline would charge to place luggage in the hold yet that is fully accepted as the norm these days. If you can manage with their 10kg hand luggage allowance then that’s the way to go. However, if you must place luggage in the hold then you’re going to see a hefty increase in the price of your flight. Be sure to pay for any such the bag fee when booking as it’s more expensive at check-in and be sure to check in online (for which there’s another fee) as checking in at the airport is more expensive again.

Ryanair Flight
Ryanair Flight – Photo Credit: CC Andrew Thomas

Ryanair Hold Luggage

If you need to check baggage into the hold of your Ryanair flight you will need to pay a fee for each bag on each section of the flight according to its weight. At the time of writing this fee is £15 or €15 for a bag of up to 15kg. The fee for heavier bags weighing up to 25kg is £25 or €25.

Remember that this fee is each way so if you’re going on holiday this fee will be charged twice, once on the outgoing flight and again on the return leg. These fees must be paid at the time of making the booking and allow you to place one or two bags in the hold within the weight category you have paid for.

If you don’t book any bags during the initial booking procedure and decide that you want to take hold luggage at a later date you can still do so by accessing the ‘Manage Booking’ section of the Ryanair website.

Ryanair Hand Luggage

Ryanair are fairly generous with their hand luggage allowance allowing passengers to carry one cabin bag weighing up to 10kg per person. However, you must ensure that the physical size of this hand luggage is no larger than 55cm x 40cm x 20cm. In addition you can carry a small bag onto the flight provided its dimensions do not exceed 35cm x 20cm x 20cm.

Don’t make the mistake of trying to take oversize luggage onboard as you’ll end up having it taken off you as you board with an additional fee of £50 or ¢50 being charged to have it placed in the hold.

An additional annoyance is that Ryanair limit the number of regulation hand luggage items that are allowed on the aeroplane so even though you’ve complied with their regulations you might still have your cabin bag taken from you to be placed in the hold. Their website confirms that they don’t charge for such items (how generous) but this is a major inconvenience for passengers carrying valuable and/or fragile items in their hand luggage. The result is a mad rush to be at the front of the queue to ensure that your bag makes it on to the plane with you. Clearly this is a ploy to encourage passengers to pay for Priority Boarding as a way to prevent having their hand luggage placed in the hold.

Hand Luggage Allowance is Personal: When Ryanair states a limit of 10kg this doesn’t mean that when travelling as a couple one can carry 13kg and the other 7kg.

“All baggage allowances are personal and cannot be combined”.

This nonsense is being enforced to the extent that people are having to repack at the check-in desk so that each individual bag conforms to the weight limit (particularly a nightmare for families with young children). The result is long waits at the check-in desks as people juggle the contents of their luggage between bags.

Bag Drop: At many airports it seems strange that having checked-in online you still have to wait in the same queue as everyone else to drop off any bags so online check-in is of no advantage if you have hold luggage.

Great Flight Deals Thanks to Ryanair

I’ve been critical of some of Ryanair’s policies through this website over the years (and continue to be so) but at the end of the day it’s important to remember that some of their prices are simply incredible. One thing to remember in their favour is that if you travel light and book early you can get some fabulous deals.

4 thoughts on “Ryanair Luggage Allowance”

  1. Warning to Anyone Flying Ryanair:

    I post this as awarning to anybody flying from Malaga airport on Ryanair. Below is a letter I have sent them by Royal Mail and Email. I have also tried to speak to them by telephone. To date this has been a complete waste of time as I never had a reply. Has anybody taken Ryanair to the small claims court as I think that will be my next move?


    Booking Ref HG6KSG

    Dear Caroline Greene

    I am writing to you as head of customer services for Ryanair in the hope that you might be able to help me. I am writing regarding Ryanair’s policy for carry-on baggage and also duty free carry-on bag. On Sunday the 14th October 2012 returning to Manchester from Malaga Spain on Ryanair Flight FR3209 leaving Malaga at 20.55 PM. I had bought some duty free consisting of some sprits and chocolate and I and my wife had a carry-on case each.

    Both these cases adhered to Ryanair’s rules on size and weight. My case weighed 8.6 Kilo and my wife’s weighed 9.1, although not weighted by Ryanair I assure you that was what they weighted. At the departure gate B13 we were made to put the cases in the frame/cage at the gate used for checking case size, both cases fitted without any problem, the problem started with my duty free bag. I was told that I had to put it into my carry-on bag, as only one carry-on bag is allowed, there was no way it would fit.

    I pointed to a large airport advertising sign right next to the departure gate but there were many more all over the airport which stated “DON’T FORGET YOU ARE ALLOWED ONE EXTRA CARRY-ON BAG OF GOODS BOUGHT IN ANY OF OUR SHOPS” or words to that effect. I was told that this was so for all other airlines but not for Ryanair!

    I argued and argued the point to no avail and was told one of the bags had to go into the hold, which in its self was a stupid statement. How on earth are you supposed to put a plastic bag filled with duty-free bottles in to the hold of a plane without damaging them? I had to put my wife’s case into the hold and was charged 50 Euro’s. I have been a Ryanair customer for many many years, if you check your computers you can see the amount of travel me and my wife have done using Ryanair, we have travelled a lot of miles on Ryanair. We had travelled from Manchester where you are allowed an extra carry-on bag of goods bought at the airport (again advertising signs all over the airport stating this fact). Some weeks previous we travelled return on Ryanair to Barcelona. On returning to Manchester with duty free we had no problem.

    On finally boarding the plane at Malaga after paying the ransom for my case, I complained to the stewardess on the plane about what had happened and she told me she was sure I should have been allowed an extra carry-on of duty-free but no Ryanair staff onboard the plane had done anything to check this out. They were too busy making sure we took off on time. Me and my wife are retired and travel quite a lot using mostly Ryanair. This is the first time we have ever had a problem with Ryanair and apart from disagreeing strongly with some of the statements and remarks of your Director and Chief Executive Officer have always found Ryanair to be a great airline and the planes clean and always on time, the onboard staff to be friendly and very helpful.

    It is wrong that an airline should have different rules and conditions for different airports and at the very least should warn people when they book that this is the case. I feel in this case I followed all the rules but in the end I was mugged by Ryanair of 50 Euros. Nowadays fifty euro’s is not a lot of money, but it is to me and my wife as pensioners and the principle involved in what happened to me and my wife is huge. I feel I have done nothing wrong and Ryanair should refund this fifty euro’s. They should also make people aware that every airport has different rules and people should not believe all the signs they read in airports especially when it comes to Ryanair. For instance if they book to Malaga surely a warning could be printed on their boarding pass informing people of one bag rule from this airport. If I had known this I would not have purchased duty free and would have saved me and my wife a lot of upset and the ruining of the end of a great holiday. I would also like to point out that I am not an imbecile, just someone that thought he was following the rules. I await your reply before taking this matter further.

    Yours Sincerely

    William O’Connor

    • Hi William

      Whilst Ryanair are very clear with regard to their rule about one piece of hand luggage they are in dispute with the Spanish Airports Authority (AENA) who wish to protect retailers in their airport departure lounges. Unfortunately, individual passengers such as yourself are being caught in the crossfire between these two organisations. I doubt that you’d get any joy in referring this matter to the small claims court as Ryanair’s rules are very clearly stated.



  2. This all just proves the point that ryanair don’t care what their customers think, or have to endure and they certainly don’t know how to run a company! They are working on the cheap works over customer service and treats its customer with derision.

    The best answer is to vote with your feet in future and use an alternative carrier, even if it costs more, what price peace of mind? Further to this I encourage you to bring this up on social media as often as possible and once the company starts to loose passengers and revenue it will start to take notice but by that time it will be to late and and it will go bust. Hurrah, you can then sit back and say “I did that”

    Good luck on your battle with ryanair but they don’t even read the complaints!

    • Hi Rob

      In reality it seems that as far as profit is concerned they are pretty good at running a company:

      Ryanair expects to make more than €1bn (£730m) in profit in 2016 – a 25% upgrade on earlier forecasts – as rising numbers of British holidaymakers flew to the Med to take advantage of the plunging euro.

      The Irish no-frills carrier, which is marking its 30th anniversary, said it expected net profit would be between €1.18bn – €1.23bn for its full financial year ending 31 March 2016, around 25% higher than previously forecast.

      The airline had expected to make profits of €940m – €970m, but said it had been surprised by a spike in passenger traffic and increase in takings. The news sent its shares racing ahead by 8.5%, taking them to an all-time high of €14.

      “Treating customers with derision”, however, is another matter … they are the first airline I look to when booking a trip thanks to the bargain prices which they frequently offer. Yet their behaviour with adding on a multitude of extra fees for whatever they can think of next is so annoying.

      As I mentioned above I recently found myself seated separately from my wife having failed to pay for “allocated seating” and saw people having their hand luggage taken away to be placed in the hold having not been early in the queue and not having paid for “priority boarding”.

      The result is a cheap flight but an unnecessarily stressful experience. I’ll continue to put up with this experience thanks to the prices but will never be able to recommend Ryanair from a customer satisfaction point of view.

      Best Regards


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