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16/12/2008 – Airline Carry-On Baggage Restrictions : An Extreme Example
Recently while researching the somewhat inconsistent rules of carry on baggage in the United Kingdom I stumbled upon something rather extreme being set for by Ryanair. What is Ryanair’s extreme carry-on baggage restriction, and how does it affect traveling photographers?
Ryanair’s terms-&-conditions of booking has the following wording:
We reserve the right to cancel your reservation without refund and deny you boarding if you arrive at the departure gate with more than one cabin bag or if that item exceeds the maximum dimensions.
Further down in the terms-&-conditions of booking, the following additional restrictions apply:
Handbags, briefcases, laptops, duty-free, etc, must be carried within your permitted one piece of cabin baggage.
Ryanair’s current cabin baggage allowance has no set weight restriction, but the size dimensions are 55cm x 40cm x 20cm (21.65″ x 15.74″ x 7.87″). While this is a fairly standard carry on baggage size, under Ryanair’s carry-on baggage rules, everything you bring into the cabin must fit into the bag. This means you need to pack your gear, laptop, soda, newspaper, everything, in this bag. Flying internationally? Skip the duty-free shop; you’ll never get that plastic bag with a t-shirt you just bought on the plane, unless you can stuff it in your cabin baggage.
I contacted Ryanair three times asking about how this affects cameras out on a flyer shoulders. The question was specifically “Do you count a camera hanging from my shoulders as excess cabin baggage that must be stowed in the carry-on bag.” I got one reply saying the camera would be considered an excess item and may cause me to have my reservation cancelled. I got two replies saying that the camera would not be considered an excess item depending on the side of the camera. Given the inconsistent reply from the airline, I don’t think I would risk the potential problems of flying with anything carried outside of my bag.
You can however wear a photo vest, or photo jacket, and load your gear into those pockets. Photo vests, and jackets, are considered clothing, and not subject to carry-on baggage restrictions.
Airlines are trying to find anyway they can to generate revenue. In Ryanair’s case, by severely limiting what you can carry on board the aircraft, you’ll have to check your bags and be subject to the checked baggage fees.
……….If you are wondering why I am mentioning Ryanair, an Irish airline, with the United Kingdom, the answer is simple. Ryanair operates nine airport hubs with in the United Kingdom (which is more UK hub airports than any other airline, except EasyJet).