Ryanair allows all passengers to take one small hand luggage item onboard for free
Ryanair is known for their low-cost flights, with some journeys available from as little as £19.99 when you book in advance.
However, the cost can soon mount up if you want to select a seat or take additional luggage.
Luckily, there are some Ryanair hand luggage tips and tricks which can reduce the risk of baggage fees while ensuring you have everything you need for your flight.
For more money-saving airline hacks, see our cheapest easyJet baggage tip.
Stick to the luggage rules
Ryanair is renowned for its strict luggage policy including cabin bags and checked luggage. That means, if you find yourself bringing more than your ticket allowance, you could be facing a hefty fee of as much as £59.99 at the airport.
Before packing your bags, it’s worth checking exactly how much luggage you are permitted to bring onboard. In all cases, you can save money on Ryanair luggage if you purchase extra bags online. Passengers paying for extra luggage at the check-in desk will pay far more.
- All passenger fares include a small personal bag, measuring 40 x 20 x 25cm, which must fit under the seat in front of you
Passengers who wish to take a second, larger piece of luggage must purchase a Priority fare.
- Priority fares allow customers to take a small personal bag (40 x 20 x 25cm) and a 10kg bag (55 x 40 x 20cm) with them onboard
- Priority fare passengers also board the plane first via the Priority Queue
- Priority plus two extra bags costs between £6 and £30 when done online, compared to at the check-in desk where it can cost anywhere from £6 to £35.99
Passengers should make sure their luggage fits Ryanair’s size requirements
If priority is sold out or passengers wish to check their bag, they can purchase a 10kg check-in bag.
- When purchased online, a 10kg checked bag can cost anywhere from £12.00 to £25.00
- At the airport, passengers could end up forking out between £23.99 and £35.99
But, there is a major catch Ryanair passengers should be aware of. If you do show up at the boarding gate with a 10kg bag which has not been purchased in advance, you could face a last-minute check-in fee of £45.99.
Alternatively, if passengers are going on a longer holiday or are planning on packing more items, they can purchase a 20kg check-in bag.
- A 20kg checked bag can cost between £17.99 and £50.00 per flight when purchased online
- A 20kg checked bag can cost between £39.99 and £59.99 per flight if purchased at the check-in desk, though Ryanair says some suitcases purchased at the bag drop desk can incur a fee of up to £69.99
Passengers should make sure to weigh their suitcases before heading to the airport. Bags which are in excess of the weight allowance will face an excess baggage fee.
Excess baggage can be purchased online up to two hours before departure for £9 per extra kilo. The price at the airport is £11 per extra kilo.
In addition to the weight restrictions on checked luggage, does not accept bags with combined dimensions of more than 81 x 119 x 119cm.
Choose the right bag
Once you are aware of the luggage allowance specified for your ticket, it’s time to make sure your bag fits Ryanair’s measurements.
Though hard shell luggage can be durable and strong, soft shell luggage is generally lighter and can even be more forgiving when squishing in an extra couple of items.
Bags matching Ryanair’s small personal bag allowance
- CUQOO 2022 cabin bag with adjustable shoulder straps – £12.99Softshell holdalls are a great option as they are much lighter than wheelie bags or hardshell suitcases. The soft fabric also is a little more forgiving if you do need to squeeze an additional item into your bag. This bag, which comes in a selection of colours, has an adjustable shoulder strap and multiple pockets to aid organisation. The bag fits Ryanair’s bag specifications perfectly, measuring 40 x 20 x 25cm.
Underseat carry-on bag with removable shoulder strap – £22.95
This canvas bag is another lightweight option which features a removable shoulder strap, an inside 14-inch laptop pocket, a front zipper pocket and a trolley strap. Measuring 40 x 20 x 25cm, the bag fits exactly into Ryanair’s small hand luggage specifications.
Travel Ready underseat two-wheel 40 x 20 x 25cm carry-on cabin luggage suitcase – £39.99
If you’re looking for a small bag which you can also wheel along, this two-wheel suitcase from Amazon is a great option. The bag fits exactly into Ryanair’s size guidelines, including handles and wheels, measuring 40 x 20 x 25cm.
Bags which match Ryanair’s larger Priority bag allowance
- Ryanair Priority hand luggage two-wheel case – £49.99This suitcase is advertised as being lightweight, yet still meets Ryanair’s Priority luggage sizing, measuring 55 x 40 x 20cm
Folding cabin bag with two wheels – £28.99
If you’re short on storage space, the perk of this lightweight two-wheel suitcase is that it folds away for storage. The bag measures 55 x 40 x 20cm in line with Ryanair’s Priority baggage allowance.
Some sneaky travellers claim to have found a hack that allows passengers to bring on additional items without incurring an extra fee. The trick comes in the form of a neck pillow.
Most airlines, including Ryanair, allow passengers to bring a neck pillow onboard for use during the flight.
However, while some travel pillows are already stuffed, others such as the Tube Neck Pillow, are cushioned by filling them with soft items to maximise your luggage space.
The hack was put to the test by TikTok travel influencer @cheapholidayexpert, who described it as a “game changer”.
Specially designed neck pillows can double up as an extra place to store soft items
Save up to £30 on Priority plus two cabin bags
Paying for your additional luggage online is always the cheapest way to go about it. If you are going on a longer trip, or need more than Ryanair’s small bag allowance, it’s well worth paying for Priority when you book your flight.
While a Priority ticket, with two additional bags, can cost up to £35.99 when purchased last-minute at the airport, online prices can be as low as £6. That’s a whopping saving of £30.
Always purchase travel insurance
One area of cost holidaymakers might not consider is if their luggage is lost or damaged while travelling. It’s important to note that you only have the right to claim for a problem with cabin baggage if it’s the airline’s fault.
This is why travel insurance is so important. According to Citizens Advice: “If you have travel insurance or home contents insurance that covers luggage, you’re likely to be better off making an insurance claim instead.”
What you can claim from an airline is usually limited. Baggage cover, also known as baggage insurance and luggage insurance, covers you if your bag is lost, stolen or damaged while travelling. Although it is often included with standard travel insurance, it is always worth double-checking the level of cover offered suits your needs.
Travel insurance should be purchased at the time of booking your flight or holiday to ensure you are fully covered.