Ryanair Ups Its Checked Bag Fees One More Time

Ryanair, Ireland’s low cost airline, is known for extremely low base fares and additional fees for everything else … including fees for boarding passes, and for not using an airline branded pre-paid Visa card.


Passengers flying with Ryanair generally are forced to check a bag, especially if traveling with kids or on vacation, due to the airline’s highly restrictive carry on regulations. Passengers are allowed a single carry on,  21″ x 15″ x 7.5 and 22lbs, and no personal item. The airline even requires that cameras, airport shop purchases, laptops, purses and even newspapers be placed inside the single carry on bag.


While Ryanair is open about all the fees it charges passengers, and that many fees can be reduced by paying via the company’s website, its new increase in checked baggage fees seems extreme … even for Ryanair where almost nothing seems extreme any longer.


Fees for checking a single 20kg (44lbs) bag on board a Ryanair flight, if paid in advance via Ryanair.com, range from £25 to £50 depending on the time of year a passenger is flying with Ryanair.   Now, as families begin planning their summer vacations the airline has increased checked baggage fee to £80 (US$125) for its peak summer season (June 1 to September 30).


An Average family of four, two adult, two children, will check four bags when going on vacation for a week, while traveling with at least two ‘full sized’ carry on bags, in addition to each family member traveling with a smaller ‘personal item’ bag.   Although Ryanair does not allow for a carry on and a personal item, lets assume a family of four can contain itself to four checked bags for a week long vacation … this increase in checked baggage fees automatically increases the cost of travel by £640 (US$1,005) for a family of four.


Previously a family of four, traveling during the peak summer season would have “only” been paying £50 per checked bag, or £400 (US$628) for all checked bags on a round trip summer vacation.  While £400 in checked baggage fees is still very expensive, it is far less expensive than £640.


Travelers that have already booked summer travel with Ryanair, and have not yet paid for their checked baggage up front, will be subject to the new peak checked baggage fees, despite having purchased their tickets prior to fee increase.


Is it legal for an airline to change the terms and conditions of its fees after tickets have been purchased?   That is up to the courts in the United Kingdom and European Union … but from a passenger point of view it is one more sour taste being left in their mouth by a supposedly ultra-low cost airline.


Happy Flying (as long as you can fit it all in one small carry on bag)!




  1. If it is that expensive to check a bag, don’t bring anything. Save the $1000 and buy all new clothes at your destination.

  2. At the end of the day, the difference between the so called low cost carriers and a full service airline reduces to only a few dollars, but the difference in terms of service is worth every single cent. And if you add the cost of transport to a far away airport served by an lcc, add the time it takes to get to said airport, take into account timetables, delays and lack of communication – i once waited for 5 hours in an airport for a plane that wouldn’t come and nobody told us passengers why or when, needless to say i landed in Barcelona at 3 am instead of 10 pm and found myself in a deserted airport paying a premium to the taxi to get me to the hotel…

  3. I have long time been a Ryanair customer, I played by their rules and had no problem with the way they “unblunded” their fees, but I recently was subjected to a level of arbitrarieness from their ground staff that made me think twice about the sort of incentives this system is creating. Basically, when my hand-luggage was slightly overweight, I managed to bring it back within limits by stuffing a couple of books and a camera into my coat’s pockets (they fitted perfectly), however, the ground staff was not ready to renounce her commission and told me she was charging me anyway as coat needed to be checked in too, I told her that was nowhere in their terms, then she said she was charging me on the grounds that by putting things in my pockets I had become an “encumbrance” and a “safety risk” (totally BS). I ended up paying because the gate was about to close, most of what I was carrying were presents for otehr people and did not have time to start sorting them out, but I won’t be flying with them anytime soon (if the charge had been 80 pounds I would certainly left part of it there). While I understand the need to enforce bagagge restrictions and that this can be a good additional soruce of ancillary revenue, I think RYA is showing more and more of a predatory behavious on its own customers. I admire their efficiency but wondering how long a business can go on while alientaing their most loyal (now ex-)customers…

  4. Eventually Ryanair will price itself out of certain markets as its prices become closer and closer to full service airlines that the price differential is worth the switch. Of course Ryanair is relying on the greed of the Legacy airlines who will follow suit and increase their fees.

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