by Hugh Morris from The Telegraph, July 25, 2017
Parents are making their toddlers drag suitcases past staff at airport gates to avoid paying baggage fees, Ryanair’s chief financial officer has said.
Neil Sorahan believes holidaymakers are using their children, entitled from the age of two to travel free of charge with a 10kg suitcase, as well as a second small bag, to spread the load of their luggage and avoid checked and excess luggage fees.
Sorahan said the airline could review its baggage allowance and fees after he agreed that some passengers were “taking the p***”. Ryanair began allowing customers to bring along an additional smaller cabin bag free of charge in October 2013 as part of an attempt to improve its image.
“I’ve seen two-year-olds wheeling a bag up to a plane as people try to take advantage,” he said.
“We’re very generous with our cabin baggage allowance; a 10kg case and a second small carry-on. If everyone does that there’s no issue. It’s the people coming with the kitchen sink that could change the policy.”
The airline said that fewer than one in six passengers now pays to check in luggage, while research by Which? earlier this year found that one in four travellers is being forced to place their carry-on luggage in the hold as overhead lockers fill up.
Asked if passengers were “taking the p***”, Sorhan said: “Some are. The vast majority of people play by the rules but some don’t. Unfortunately some bring massive backpacks and things that don’t fit under the seat. We’ve been a little bit lax... we are victims of our own niceness.”
A spokesperson for Ryanair confirmed Sorahan’s comments.
Checking baggage with Ryanair often cost more than the flight itself, with even bags pre-booked online costing up to £40 each way.
In January Michael O’Leary said the airline was “struggling at the boarding gate because far too many passengers are turning up with half the contents of their homes now instead of one normal-sized bag and one small bag”.
The 10 airlines that make the most from extra charges
- United - $6.22bn (£4.77bn)
- Delta - $5.17bn (£3.96bn)
- American - $4.9bn (£3.76bn)
- Southwest - $2.83bn (£2.17bn)
- Air France/KLM - $2.1bn (£1.61bn)
- Ryanair - $1.98bn (£1.52bn)
- EasyJet - $1.36bn (£1.04bn)
- Lufthansa - $1.35bn (£1.04bn)
- Qantas - $1.19bn (£912m)
- Air Canada - $1.18bn (£904m)