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Why is Ryanair's baggage allowance lower than other airlines'?

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Question: Why is Ryanair's baggage allowance lower than other airlines'?

In 2009, I was able to put the following question to a Ryanair spokesman:

Why does your airline have a 15kg weight limit for baggage checked into the hold when most other airlines - using the same aircraft as Ryanair - have 20kg? Can you assure your passengers that this difference is not an attempt to catch out first-time Ryanair flyers who assume the limit is 20kg, thereby forcing them to pay an excess luggage fee?

See the full list of questions here: Questions to Ryanair

See also: European Airline Hand Baggage Allowance Comparison Who has the best hand baggage allowance in Europe? Who has the worst? (It's not Ryanair!) See the latest rules and check out the Best Bag for Ryanair and easyJet Flights

Answer: Stephen McNamara, Ryanair's Head of Communications, was kind enough to respond to my question:

Ryanair passengers who purchase a checked in bag allowance are allowed to bring 25KG with them – 10KG entirely free of charge and 15KG in checked in baggage. All airlines baggage allowances vary and Ryanair passengers are made clearly aware of their baggage allowances at the time of booking. Ryanair has made no secret of the fact that we are trying to encourage passengers to travel light by offering them a 10KG FREE cabin baggage allowance. The average return trip with Ryanair in 2.5 days and we feel that our 10KG FREE allowance, which 70% of our passengers avail of to avoid ANY baggage fees, is more than sufficient. When passengers purchase a checked in baggage allowance they are made clearly aware of our 15KG limit and are reminded of their allowance before they travel with a repeat travel itinerary.

 

My Response

Mr McNamara stresses Ryanair's free 10kg three times in this short reply, three times with capital letters, so he presumably thinks Ryanair are being especially generous with this, when in fact every mainstream airline in Europe has the same hand luggage allowance.

When it comes to hold luggage, though, Ryanair has the lowest allowance of any airline in Europe. McNamara fails to make any attempt to justify this, except the dictatorial claim that "we feel ... [it] is sufficient." Since when was it an airline's place to tell a passenger what is sufficient for them to take on vacation with them?

Read the next question, on Ryanair's Expensive Boarding Card Reprint Fee, or see all of my Questions to Ryanair.

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