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Ryanair to Charge for Checked Baggage (Sort of)

In a move that I’m about 93% certain will be copied by other carriers, Ryanair will now charge passengers for checking their bags.  At the same time, Ryanair fares will be reduced by about $4.50, or the same amount that it costs to check a bag in online.  Passengers who don’t check in the bags online will be charged about $8.  Those checking in online also will benefit from priority boarding.  The carrier has also upped the baggage limit to 30kg. 

In short, if you use the website, this will only benefit you.

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  1. Charging for baggage makes some sense in the European travel context where people are generally prohibited from taking large suitcases on board. But if an American airline tried this, it would be interesting to see the results. To save time at baggage claim, Americans already cram huge rollerboards into the overhead bins. How much more carry-on luggage would they bring if you had to PAY for checked luggage?

    I’m not sure I’d want to find out. I was on a JBLU flight the other day where I think every inch of overhead space was taken by suitcases. The cabin looked like a flying luggage cart. While the flight attendants were helpful in getting all that junk stowed, on deplaning the pax had to get it all down themselves. It took noticably longer than usual to deplane. If the airlines started charging for luggage, I’m sure the extra carry-ons would slow down the boarding process. Would the additional revenue compensate for this extra ground time and reduced block hours?

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