When Ryanair is packing
Ryanair has therefore decided to charge its passengers the right to take a small suitcase with them, whether in the hold or in the cabin, pushing the low-cost model and its profitability criteria even further.
Until now, passengers on the Irish low-cost airline could take a small suitcase and an extra small bag with them free of charge.
But the low-cost airline explained in a statement published Thursday evening that its customers would now have to pay a « priority » boarding, charged 6 euros per trip and per person, to have the right to take a small suitcase in the cabin.
Passengers who do not choose this option can otherwise check in their small suitcase in the hold, but this will also cost 8 euros per bag at the time of booking.
From now on, passengers will only be able to take a small bag free of charge, such as a handbag or a small backpack that can be placed under the seat.
The Irish company explained that it wanted to reduce boarding delays.
One of the important profitability criteria for a low-cost airline is the turnaround time of its aircraft.
For better damping normally
To increase the number of daily flights, amortize all fixed costs and make the fleet profitable, each aircraft must spend as little time as possible on the ground – about 30 minutes for a low-cost flight – between two flights.
Paid luggage means more income but also, if there are fewer of them, reduced loading and unloading time. And less weight in the plane, rhyming with lower kerosene consumption.
While checked baggage is already an adjustment variable for many airlines, cabin baggage, which can be stored in the compartments above the seats, remains free.
Ryanair’s main competitor, the British easyJet, still offers one piece of hand luggage per person on board, with no weight limit, but with certain dimensions.
Registering your suitcase in the hold was already systematically paying for low-cost airlines, where this service is included in the ticket price for traditional airlines.
But the latter are also adapting: some – such as Air France – now offer « light » fares, with an optional checked baggage charge on transatlantic flights, in order to align their call prices with those of their formidable new competitors, the long-distance low-cost airlines.
For a few months, Ryanair had been taking some of the small suitcases that passengers were planning to take to the cabin at the boarding gate and carrying them free of charge in the hold, according to her, because there was not enough space in the luggage compartments above the seats.
But this policy » which led to the labelling of up to 120 suitcases free of charge at boarding gates led to delays of about 25 minutes, » the company explained.
To put an end to this problem, she warns that as of November, » there will no longer be free luggage labelling at the boarding gate« . In practical terms, this means that passengers must have paid in advance either for priority boarding or for checked baggage.
Ryanair allowed passengers to bring a small suitcase and a small bag for free since 2013 and the launch of its Always Getting Better policy. This service improvement program was designed to make a company previously known for its harsh travel conditions more friendly.
This policy has been successful and has contributed to boosting Ryanair’s traffic, which has since become the leading airline in terms of passengers carried in Europe.
However, the company is faced with a social sling of its staff that has not been seen since last year and has undertaken to negotiate with unions to meet some of the demands for improved working conditions, which will entail additional costs.