Published On: Thu, May 16th, 2024
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I flew with Ryanair and saw so many people making the same mistake | Travel News | Travel

We managed to get through security at Birmingham Airport in just 45 minutes, which felt like a miracle on a May Bank Holiday Monday. We had heard horror stories of three-hour queues and passengers missing their flights.

It seemed that the travel Gods were smiling on us for our journey to sunny Tenerife – or so we thought. Our gate number had just appeared on the board, but we left Wetherspoons immediately to pick up some sun cream and a drink from Boots on the way.

When we arrived at our gate, there was already a long queue and we quickly realised why it was moving so slowly. A separate mini queue was forming behind a blue metal box at the passport check desk. A woman at the front was desperately trying to cram her overstuffed backpack into the top section of the crate.

My heart sank, reports Birmingham Live.

It seemed every other person was being pulled from the queue to test whether their bag fit the allowance on their booking. I was aware of Ryanair’s strict luggage limits – I’d bought an exactly-the-right-size backpack from Amazon to avoid paying extra to upgrade.

I also spent ages rolling up all of my clothes to squeeze in five days worth. I’ve travelled with Ryanair many times before but I’d never seen the rule enforced so strictly.

The woman in front of us handed over her passport and boarding pass to the woman behind the desk and was asked to place her clearly-too-big suitcase in the measuring box sideways. There was no chance, but she tried anyway.

“You’ll have to pay £46 to bring the bag on board,” the Ryanair worker told her. “But I was allowed this last time I flew with Ryanair,” the passenger protested.

“It’s just Ryanair policy,” the staff member responded in a flat tone that told me she’d probably said the same thing 100 times that day.

We were up next and I sheepishly handed over my passport and dropped my backpack off my shoulder to be checked. It was practically bursting at the seams and I doubted it would measure 40x20x25cm anymore.

I suddenly regretted packing that extra beach dress. She took one look at it and allowed us to pass. Phew.

In the 15-or-so minutes until we were allowed to board, we saw plenty of others having to measure their cases and 12 (yes we counted) had to pay to upgrade when their bags didn’t fit.

One woman with an over-stuffed backpack started pulling clothes out of her bag and shoving them on on top of her outfit to lighten the load. It worked and she was allowed to go through without paying.

Another group wearing ‘Girls’ Trip – Tenerife 2024′ t-shirts tried to argue the charge. From eavesdropping, it sounded like they’d added the bags to their booking for the return flight, but not the outgoing one.

They still had to shell out the funds. The traveller expressed sympathy for the couple, noting that a simple mistake had significantly impacted their holiday budget and dampened the start of their trip.

However, she suggested that a few glasses of Prosecco on the plane could help lift their spirits.

She also shared her uncertainty about whether Ryanair is tightening its luggage rules universally or if her experience was an isolated incident. She advised future passengers to be aware of this potential issue.

The cost to add a larger cabin bag and upgrade to Priority Boarding when booking starts from £6. For those who find it challenging to pack lightly, she recommended considering this option to potentially save £40.

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