Budget airlines can have strict baggage policies, and high fees if you bring too much. To avoid high costs it’s crucial to understand the baggage limits and rules if you’re planning on flying Ryanair.
Sorting your checked baggage, and sticking to the correct cabin luggage size will save you money, but don’t lose out while you spend abroad with a TransferWise multi-currency account and linked Mastercard.
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When you book your Ryanair flight, you’ll need to confirm what baggage you intend to take. This will change the ticket price. Basic tickets come with only a small hand bag allowance, or you can pay checked baggage fees if you need a larger bag.¹
Every ticket allows you to bring a small hand baggage item into the cabin. The dimensions may be smaller than you're used to with cabin baggage, as the bag has to fit under the seat in front of you. Ryanair allows as cabin bag rucksacks, laptops and handbags, but they must be no bigger than 25cm x 20cm x 40cm.²
If you can’t manage with such a small bag, you can pay extra for Priority boarding and 2 cabin bags. In addition to the small bag you can fit under the seat in front, you can also bring a cabin bag of up to 10 kilos, and up to 55cm x 40cm x 20cm.
There’s no hold luggage automatically included with a Ryanair flight ticket. Instead you have to buy luggage allowance when you book your ticket or at a later stage.³ More on that - and the costs - later.
Hold luggage is checked in and transported in the hold of the aeroplane. Don’t forget, you won’t be able to access anything in your hold luggage during the flight, so you need to put any essentials - as well as your valuables - into your hand luggage.
You may also hear the phrase checked luggage. This means the same as hold luggage.
If you want extra bags in the cabin you can get Priority boarding, as we outlined above. You can also buy extra hold luggage allowance - which is sold as either 10kg or 20kg bags.³
You can buy up to a maximum of 3 x 20kg hold bags per passenger, per flight.
You’ll pay £10 to £17.50 for a 10kg bag if you book it at the same time as you pay for your flight. A 20kg bag will cost you £25 to £35. However, if you book your baggage at check in, or leave it until you arrive at the boarding gate, you’ll pay more - up to £40 per bag.³
It’s worth noting that you pay for each leg of the flight, so if you’re taking a return flight with Ryanair, the fees will effectively be double the amount above.
Ryanair is well known for having strict baggage policies, even for a budget airline. However, in reality, you can take most types of luggage onto a Ryanair flight, as long as you’re prepared to pay for it. Make sure you read all the baggage information before you fly, as bag sizes and weights are strictly enforced and may be smaller than other airline options.
If you arrive at the gate with a carry-on bag that’s too large to take into the plane’s cabin, you’ll be charged £50 to place your bag in the hold. If this is not available you may be refused entry to the plane.
If your bag is too heavy when you check it in, you’ll be charged £11 per kilo above the weight you booked.³
Ryanair applies UK government restrictions on what can - and can’t - be taken into a plane as hand luggage.
Here are the most important limits and restrictions from the government guidelines:
- Liquids must be under 100ml, and in a 20cmx20cm resealable bag. One bag can be carried per passenger. Different rules apply for duty free, some medicines, and baby milk.
- Prams, pushchairs can wheelchairs can be taken as hand luggage after security screening.
- Some countries have restrictions on electronic items may be restricted - check for your destination. Electronics in hand luggage must be charged so they can be switched on by security staff if needed.⁴
It’s worth noting that rules change from time to time and may vary according to destination - double check the full details for your flight before you travel.
Let’s look at some of the things you can’t take on a flight as hand luggage:
- Blades such as knives, large scissors or work tools.
- Flammable items or fireworks.
- Firearms - including replicas.
- Anything which could be used as a weapon including baseball bats or golf clubs.
Get full information about what can - and can’t - be taken on your flight, online on the Ryanair website.
Depending on the route you’re taking you may be able to check your bike into the hold as sports equipment. This will cost £60 per bike per one way flight if arranged when you book tickets, or £75 if you arrange it later.³ Check the specifics for your flight to make sure you’ll be able to carry your bike with you.
Only assistance dogs are allowed on Ryanair flights - and even in this case, strict rules must be followed.⁵ You’ll also need to check if you need a pet passport to travel with your pet.
You can manage your booking online, or contact Ryanair using the chat function on their website.
You’ll first be directed to a chatbot which will try to answer your questions using AI. If you need to talk about a specific booking, you will need to complete a form to give some personal details, and you can then talk to an agent directly using the online chat function.
Don’t pay more than you need to when you travel. Sort your luggage in advance - and save even more with a TransferWise multi-currency account and linked Mastercard, to spend dozens of different currencies for a low fee, all over the world.
- Ryanair: Baggage policy
- Ryanair: Priority and cabin bags
- Ryanair: Baggage fees
- Direct Gov: Hand luggage restrictions
- Ryanair: Travelling with a dog
Sources checked: 14-February 2020.
This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from TransferWise Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.
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