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Ryanair baggage allowance: Everything you need to know

Emma Sims Rachel Erdos
4 Mar 2022
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Ryanair’s hand luggage policy: Everything you need to know

Ryanair offers some of the cheapest flights in Europe, but exceed its baggage allowance and you could be slapped with a hefty fine. The budget airline changed its luggage policy twice in 2018, updating size restrictions for carry-ons, so it’s always best to check before ramming your suitcase with flip flops and hoping for the best.

READ NEXT: The best cabin luggage and carry-on bags

Read on for everything you need to know about Ryanair’s cabin baggage policy, so you don’t get caught out at the ‘baggage gauge’ (you know, that foreboding suitcase measurer you see dotted around airports).

What is Ryanair’s baggage allowance today?

Ryanair presently only lets non-priority customers take one small bag on board free of charge, which must fit underneath the seat in front of you. Dimensions are a wee 40 x 20 x 25cm, so if you’re going away for more than a couple of nights – or unless you’re headed to Ibiza with a carry-on of swimwear only – holidaymakers might want to think about buying more baggage allowance.

If you purchase Priority boarding, you’ll be able to take a larger cabin bag with you too; this has a dimension restriction of 55 x 40 x 20cm and a 10kg maximum weight restriction. Prices start at £6.

How much does Priority Boarding cost and what does it include?

Priority Boarding starts from £6 and for this sum (and upwards) you’ll be able to bring two cabin bags: the 40 x 20 x 25cm personal bag and the 55 x 40 x 20cm 10kg wheelie bag. Plus, you’ll be able to board the plane via the Priority Queue with both of your bags in tow, freeing you up from the monotony of the baggage reclaim carousel.

How can I avoid Ryanair’s hand luggage fees?

Put simply, pack light. Dimensions of 40 x 20 x 25cm are tight, but they’re not impossible to work with. If you select – and wear – your only pair of shoes wisely, make sure to layer up on the plane, and buy your mini toiletries at the airport, you can save a great deal of space. Capsule wardrobes are a smart idea too: make sure each item you pack is classic and versatile – a white shirt can be dressed up or down with the right accessories, and goes with pretty much anything.

Meanwhile, Ryanair’s website shows light travellers some of the ways they can use their allotted 40 x 20 x 25cm – which includes rucksacks, chunky laptop bags or briefcases, and handbags on the larger side.

What charges should I be aware of?

Oversized cabin baggage will, where available, be placed in the hold and incur a £69.99 fee. If there’s no room in the hold, cabin baggage could be refused at the boarding gate. There is a bag gauge available by the Bag Drop desk, so you can ensure your bag is the right size before going through security – although ideally you want to be measuring and weighing up at home to avoid the risk.

The best hand luggage for a Ryanair flight

1. Aerolite Holdall Cabin Luggage: The best for Ryanair’s free baggage allowance

Price: £21 | Buy now from Amazon

This smart, compact holdall from firm favourite Aerolite fits the bill if you’re looking to stay within Ryanair’s free cabin baggage allowance. Measuring up at – you guessed it – 40 x 20 x 25cm – it fits snugly under the seat in front of you, steering you firmly out of £70 fine territory.

Which brings us onto price, which makes this piece of travel kit a fantastic budget option. You needn’t worry about longevity either; this hardy holdall is so durable that Aerolite offers a 3 year guarantee replacement service. There are multiple strap options, so you can sling it over your shoulder or clutch it in your hands. Available in classic Black, sleek Charcoal or a slightly retro-looking Wine (think collegiate-style holdalls), there’s a colour to suit every traveller.

Buy now from Amazon


2. Aerolite Lightweight Hard Shell Cabin Suitcase: The best for paid Ryanair carry-on luggage

Price: £48 | Buy now from Amazon

If you're thinking of paying to bring a bigger suitcase on board with you, the Aerolite hard shell wheelie is a great option. It looks and feels a lot more premium than its price tag would suggest, and is available in a range of exotic colours including Wine and Rose Gold.

The hard shell exterior means you won’t get caught out with a bulging bag at the baggage gauge too. Simply pack your loot into this 55 x 35 x 20cm suitcase and breeze through your boarding gate. Our one small bugbear was that the handle felt a little short for our 5ft 4in reviewer – so it might not be the most comfortable option if you’re particularly tall.

Buy now from Amazon

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