Belfast Telegraph

Ryanair ups baggage charges and warns over hand luggage

By Peter Woodman

Ryanair intends to increase baggage charges until no-one takes its flights with luggage that needs to go in the hold, the airline's boss has said.

And Michael O'Leary added it was likely that "at some point" airlines would start charging even for hand luggage.

Speaking at a news conference in London, Mr O'Leary said that Ryanair had increased its charge for hold luggage by €20 (about £17.50) for the summer period.

Asked what was the logic behind charging people more for the summer period, he replied: "That's when they are likely to bring more bags."

Mr O'Leary went on: "We will keep increasing charges until we get rid of (hold) bags. "He said Ryanair had reduced the number of its passengers who checked in hold baggage from 80% to 19% and that this was saving the airline "a fortune in money".

But he accepted that some passengers would always want to bring big bags that needed to go in the hold. He said: "We will never get rid of (hold) bags but I would be disappointed if we don't get our figure for (hold) bags down from around 20% to 10%."

Asked if Ryanair would consider charging for hand luggage, Mr O'Leary said: "At some point in the future I think it's likely that airlines will do it but I can't get my head round how you would do it. I think it's unlikely that we will do it."

Mr O'Leary said Ryanair's decision, announced earlier this week, to get its pilots to increase flight times by two minutes to save fuel, would save the airline around €80m (about £70m) a year.

Asked if he was considering reducing the amount of air conditioning on his flights, Mr O'Leary said: "No. Even I would not do that."

On Ryanair's plans to offer advertising space on its planes, Mr O'Leary was asked if he would take an advert from low-fare rival airline easyJet.

He replied: "I would take an advert from anyone, even the UK Competition Commission."

Belfast Telegraph