It’s not a good day to be a person who regularly travels by air.
The UK government is looking at curtailing all-day drinking at the country’s airports, while the new Ryanair baggage policy was due to come into force today (1 November) - though it now looks like there’s a brief grace period due to the confusion it’s causing.
The good old days of being able to take a small piece of wheeled luggage onto a plane under the guise of ‘hand luggage’, or being able to put it in the hold at no extra charge if you got unlucky, are effectively over.
However, there are still some bags you’ll be able to take on as normal and which might still have enough space for all you need for that weekend away.
First off, let’s look at the restrictions themselves, as they’re laid out by the airline.
According to the Ryanair website, all customers are now entitled to a “small personal bag” with dimensions measuring no more than 40cm x 20cm x 25cm, which must fit under the seat in front, but you’ll have to pay extra if you want to bring anything larger on board.
As Ryanair explains in the new policy guidelines, an additional piece of wheeled luggage weighing no more than 10kg can be purchased for £8 with the booking or £10 if added online after booking via Ryanair’s ‘Manage my Booking’ facility.
You’ll have to drop the wheelie bag at the ‘bag drop’ desk, while if your “personal bag” is too large then you’ll be hit with a £25 fee to put it in the hold.
Alternatively, you can buy “Priority & 2 Cabin Bags”, which gives you priority boarding plus your “small personal bag”, plus a 10kg piece of wheeled luggage measuring 55cm x 40cm x 20cm - and this costs £6, or £8 if added online later.
Naturally, this means that it is cheaper to pay for priority if you don’t want to check your bigger bag in.
If you’re trying to map out in your head just how small 40cm x 20cm x 25cm really is - for your ‘personal bag’ - it’s really quite small.
A lot of small holdalls or rucksacks will still be too big, but here are a few options which will meet the size restrictions imposed by Ryanair:
Aerolite Cabin Holdall
This bag was designed specifically for Ryanair’s old, even more strict baggage requirements, so it’ll be fine for the new measurements. It comes in at 35cm x 20cm x 20cm and costs £9.99 on Amazon - basically the same amount as paying to check in a larger bag, and you’ve got a new bag at the end of it all.
5 Cities Duffel Bag
Another one which meets the 35x20x20 specifications, this holdall is surprisingly light, and can also easily double up as a gym bag when you’re not travelling. It’s available for £9.99 on Amazon.
Fjallraven Kanken 13”
A couple of Fjallraven’s backpacks come in at just over Ryanair’s specifications, which is frustrating, and while you might get away with it you might not want to take the chance. The 13”, designed to hold a laptop of the same size, measures 35cm x 23cm x 16cm, and costs £90. If you’re prepared to spend a little more, this could be the one for you.