Ryanair in­sists it’s ‘not the bad boy’ as cost of car­ry­ing on two bags rises

The Daily Telegraph - Travel - - COVER STORY - Hugh Morris

Ryanair has been forced to deny that “bad Ryanair is back” after it told cus­tomers this week they would no longer be able to take two bags into the cabin for free. The air­line an­nounced that pas­sen­gers would now need to up­grade to pri­or­ity board­ing, at a cost of £5 each way, if they wished to keep two bags with them dur­ing a flight, oth­er­wise the larger of the two would be placed in the hold, free of charge.

Europe’s largest car­rier also found it­self un­der siege once again re­gard­ing its ran­dom seat al­lo­ca­tion pol­icy, which has ir­ri­tated pas­sen­gers by split­ting up groups who have cho­sen not to pay to re­serve where to sit.

Ryanair has long de­nied that it forces such cus­tomers into mid­dle seats and main­tains that nei­ther its pol­icy nor its com­puter al­go­rithm had changed, but this week told Tele­graph Travel it tries to “keep win­dow and aisle seats free”. It also emerged that the air­line had seen a 10 per cent rise in the num­ber of peo­ple book­ing re­served seats since the start of the year – equat­ing to some seven mil­lion pas­sen­gers.

Kenny Ja­cobs, the air­line’s chief mar­ket­ing of­fi­cer, said the two poli­cies were the re­sult of the air­line, which aims to have its air­craft as full as pos­si­ble so that it can keep fares low, be­ing “very, very busy”.

“We’re giv­ing cus­tomers what they are look­ing for, we’re just busier,” he said. “Peo­ple thought that Ryanair had sud­denly gone back to be­ing the bad boy of avi­a­tion – and no, we haven’t with the seat­ing pol­icy; and no, we haven’t with [the changes to the lug­gage pol­icy].”

Mr Ja­cobs said the new rules were a re­sponse to pas­sen­gers tak­ing too much lug­gage on board and caus­ing de­lays, some­thing of which Ryanair has been heav­ily crit­i­cal.

“We hope that re­strict­ing non- pri­or­ity cus­tomers to one small carry-on bag will speed up the board­ing of flights and elim­i­nate de­lays be­ing caused by not hav­ing suf­fi­cient over­head cabin space on busy flights,” he said.

He de­nied that the new rule was shift­ing the de­lay from the plane to the pas­sen­ger forced to wait for the bag at their des­ti­na­tion, adding: “Peo­ple have it in their heads that they’ll al­ways be wait­ing around, but get­ting through the air­port is tak­ing longer now, so we’ve looked at it and know that more than 90 per cent of the time your bag will be wait­ing for you.”

It has been four years since Ryanair launched its Al­ways Get­ting Bet­ter cam­paign in an at­tempt to re­verse its un­friendly im­age. Mr Ja­cobs said this week’s an­nounce­ment was in keep­ing with this as the air­line was cut­ting checked bag­gage fees from £35 per per­son to £25 and in­creas­ing the al­lowance from 15kg to 20kg.

Pas­sen­gers must now pay £5 each way to bring a sec­ond item of hand lug­gage on board

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.