When traveling with Ryanair you need to be absolutely clear on the carry-on and check-in baggage allowances, what baggage is free of charge, and what options are available to you for the purchase of additional baggage allowances. This article will tell you all you need to know about how much baggage you can take on your Ryanair flight, the fees involved (because you always pay extra for check-in baggage when flying Ryanair), and any restrictions that you need to be aware of.
The only free baggage allowance on a Ryanair flight is one small item of carry-on baggage.
Your hand baggage allowance with Ryanair depends on whether you have paid for priority boarding, or whether you are a non-priority customer. Priority passengers can take two items on board the aircraft, whereas non-priority passengers are only allowed to take one small item of carry-on baggage with them. Ryanair has very strict rules on the size of the hand baggage items allowed on board; if your hand baggage exceeds the specified size limits, it will need to be checked into the aircraft hold for a fee.
Ryanair charges for all check-in baggage, and the fees vary by the weight of the bags, the route, and how busy your flights are at the time of purchase. The maximum allowance is one check-in item up to 10kg in weight, and three check-in items up to 20kg each in weight.
In this article, I explore and uncover Ryanair’s baggage rules and explain what you need to know about Ryanair’s hand and check-in baggage allowances and fees.
Ryanair Fare Types
To understand your basic hand and check-in baggage allowances with Ryanair, it’s important to understand Ryanair’s fare types. When booking a flight, Ryanair offers 4 fare types – Value, Regular, Plus, and Flexi Plus.
Your hand and check-in baggage allowances are determined by which fare type you choose:
- Value – one small item of hand baggage
- Regular – two items of hand baggage, one of which can weigh up to 10kg
- Plus – one small item of hand baggage, plus one item of check-in baggage up to 20kg in weight
- Flexi Plus – two items of hand baggage, one of which can weigh up to 10kg. Note there is no free check-in baggage allowance with this fare
All of the differences between each Ryanair fare type can be seen in the table below:
|Fare Type →||Value||Regular||Plus||Flexi Plus|
|1 x Small Cabin Bag||Included||Included||Included||Included|
|1 x10kg cabin bag||Ꭓ||Included||Ꭓ||Included|
|1 x 20kg Check-In Bag||Ꭓ||Ꭓ||Included||Ꭓ|
|No Fee Ticket Changes||Ꭓ||Ꭓ||Ꭓ||Included|
|Fast Track Security||Ꭓ||Ꭓ||Ꭓ||Included|
Ryanair Cabin Baggage Allowance
For carry-on baggage items taken into the aircraft cabin, Ryanair gives you two options:
- Priority boarding passengers – one bag with maximum dimensions 55 x 40 x 20cm, and with a maximum weight of 10kg, plus one smaller bag with maximum dimensions 40cm x 20cm x 25cm
- Non-priority customers are only allowed one small bag with dimensions up to 40cm x 20cm x 25cm that must be placed under the seat in front of you
The option to purchase priority boarding with the extra 10kg carry-on bag costs between £€8 and £/€30 per flight when purchased at the time of booking, or £/€8 to £/€32 per flight if paid for after booking or at the airport.
Airport shopping bags are permitted in the aircraft cabin together with your cabin baggage allowance.
When traveling Ryanair, you should carefully check your carry-on baggage dimensions. If you have oversized cabin baggage items, you will not be allowed to take them onboard the aircraft. These items will need to be placed in the aircraft hold and you will be charged a whopping fee of around £/€70.
Ryanair Check-In Baggage Allowance
Remember that the only Ryanair fare type that gives you a ‘free’ check-in baggage allowance is the Plus fare type which gives you one 20kg check-in item. For all other Ryanair fare types, the check-in baggage allowance is an optional extra cost.
Ryanair has two main weight options available when purchasing your check-in luggage allowance – 10kg or 20kg.
Both the 10kg and 20kg check-in bags have maximum allowable dimensions of 81 x 119 x 119cm.
Check-In Luggage Fees
I’m going to demonstrate the typical cost differences between Ryanair’s Value, Regular and Plus fare types by exploring the fares available for a return flight from London Gatwick Airport in the UK to Biarritz in France. The website returned the following return fares (for flights in June 2022):
Value: £/€32 return – includes a mandatory seat selection fee and one small cabin bag
Regular: £/€66 return – includes one small cabin bag, one 10kg cabin bag, priority boarding, and reserved seats, but no check-in bag allowance
Plus: £/€82 return – includes one small cabin bag, one 20kg check-in bag, reserved seats, and airport check-in
It’s hard to compare the Ryanair fare types purely from a baggage perspective as they include other non-luggage items such as reserved seats, or airport check-in.
So, using my London Gatwick to Biarritz example above we can see that the Regular return fare is £/€34 more expensive than the Value fare, but gives you an additional 10kg carry-on bag both ways, plus priority boarding. The additional £/€16 for the Plus fare compared to the Regular fare allows you to swap the 10kg cabin bag for a 20kg check-in bag both ways, and also allows you to physically check in at the airport.
Should I Buy My Check-In Baggage Allowance When I Buy My Flight Ticket?
If you know you are definitely going to be taking check-in baggage with you on your trip, it makes sense to book a fare type that includes the appropriate check-in baggage allowance for your needs. If you need to add extra bags, Ryanair will give you that option.
It is always much more expensive to buy your Ryanair baggage allowance, or extra baggage allowance, after you made your initial flight booking, or if you buy a baggage allowance at the airport when you check in.
Ryanair’s typical check-in baggage fees are as follows:
- 1 x 10kg check-in bag: £/€13-£/€24 at the time of ticket purchase, or £/€24-£/€36 after
- 2 x 20kg check-in bag: £/€21-£/€40 at the time of ticket purchase, or £/€40-£/€60 after
What About Non-Standard Luggage Items?
When booking your flight, Ryanair allows you to add non-standard luggage items as follows:
- Sports equipment such as bikes, skis, golf bags, windsurfers, etc. These cost from £/€30 to £/€60 per person, per flight if paid for at the time of booking, or £/€40 to £/€75 per person, per flight if paid for after the booing is made, or at the airport
- Musical equipment which cost £/€50 per person, per flight if paid for at the time of booking, or £/€65 per person, per flight if paid for after the booking is made, or at the airport. Any musical instruments that are larger than the cabin baggage allowance should be checked in. For large musical instruments that you wish to carry onboard the aircraft, you will need to purchase an additional seat
- Baby equipment – passengers traveling with an infant or child can carry one fully collapsible pushchair, plus one smaller item such as a car seat or travel cot free of charge. Any other items with a maximum weight of 20kg will need to be checked in, and paid for at £/€15 per flight
Excess baggage is expensive – avoid it if you can.
If you know you are going to be taking baggage in excess of Ryanair’s weight limits of 10kg or 20kg (depending on which weight category you have previously purchased) you can purchase an excess baggage allowance up to a maximum of 32kg. This can be done online up to 2 hours before your flight departure for €/£9 per extra kg. If you turn up at the airport and your bag is overweight the price is €/£11 per extra kg.
So, if you booked a 20kg bag and you turn up at the airport with a 32kg bag that is going to cost you an additional £/€132!
The only free baggage allowance when traveling Ryanair is one small item of cabin luggage that must fit under the seat in front of you.
All other luggage allowances must be paid for as part of the fare type you have selected, or as an optional extra cost. Ryanair’s various fare types and the optional extras available make it possible to mix and match your luggage allowance to your exact requirements.
You should always try to buy your Ryanair baggage allowance online at the same time you purchase your flight ticket. Buying extra baggage allowance later online or at the airport when you check-in will always be more expensive.
Pay attention to Ryanair’s strict size and weight limits for both carry-on and check-in baggage. If you breach these rules, it will cost you dearly!