Ryanair’s 1 Bag Rule is Driven by Safety, Not Revenue

Ryanair Boeing 737

Ryanair (Boeing 737 pictured)

Ryanair [yesterday] explained that its 1 carry-on bag rule is necessary for safety reasons. Ryanair also rejected many of the false claims made by a number of poorly briefed MEP’s in the European Parliament yesterday.

Because Ryanair operates with very high load factors (avg load factor last year was 83% or over 150 passengers per flight), and because Ryanair encourages its passengers to travel with free of charge carry-on bags in order to avoid checked in bag fees, most Ryanair passengers avail of Ryanair’s (free of charge) 10kg carry-on bag policy. This means that on a regular basis, all of the overhead lockers and the storage space under the seats are fully used, and Ryanair cannot allow a second carry-on bag to be brought on board for passenger safety reasons.

Ryanair’s Stephen McNamara said:

“The inaccurate claims made by some MEP’s yesterday that Ryanair’s free of charge carry-on bag policy was designed to “generate revenues” were absurd and untrue. The purpose of Ryanair’s free of charge 10kgs carry-on bag is to allow passengers to avoid our checked in bag fees. 75% of Ryanair’s 80m passengers now travel without paying any checked in bag fees, while availing of our 10kg free of charge carry-on bag facility. This reduces Ryanair’s revenues (and our costs).

“Ryanair’s 1 carry-on bag rule cannot be changed for safety reasons. It would be helpful if these MEP’s made some basic attempt to understand Ryanair’s safety and low fare policies before making false and inaccurate claims in the European parliament.

“The idea that Europe’s only ultra low fares airline, which has pioneered low fare travel and continues to promote free of charge carry-on bags (when other airlines are increasingly charging for carry-on bags) and lower prices than any other airline, is somehow an example of “capitalist greed”, is as absurd as some of these MEP’s claiming to care about consumers, while travelling on high fare airlines at the taxpayers’ expense.

Ryanair’s 1 bag rule is a safety rule, not a revenue rule.”



  1. JENNIFER says

    Oh really! Did Ryanair truely pioneer low cost air travel? I thought it was Mr. Doug Ellis with his first air package tours to Spain that did it or even Mr. Thomas Cook in the 19th Century using balloons!!

  2. Tom says

    Freddie Laker’s “Skytrain” was operating in the 1970’s. I remember the LGW-JFK flight being marketed at £99. A real bargain I recall.

    • JENNIFER says

      Yes Tom, you are correct. I had forgotton that one! I remember being at Gatwick the day following the news of the airline going bust and seeing the DC10’s herded into a quiet corner of the airfield together with a newly delivered Airbus A310. It was a walk on service and was a simple as boarding a train hence the Skytrain titles painted on the aircraft.

      If I recall correctly, it was thought that British Airways had something to do with driving them out of business with aggressive price cutting and soon afterwards Richard Branson got involved and set up Virgin Atlantic at BA’s home base as well as LGW. The rest, as they say, is ongoing!

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