Ryanair shares falter on bad day for European markets as it says new luggage policy will cost it €50m

Shares in low-cost airline Ryanair fell today after it said changes to its bag policy would cost it over €50million per year.

The Dublin-based carrier announced it will no longer allow all passengers to have two pieces of hand luggage on board from 1 November, but will still put the bigger one in the hold for free.

It also said it would lower the price of checking in a 20kg bag from €/£35 to €/£25 and increase the minimum check-in bag allowance from 15kg to 20kg.

Baggage changes: The new minimum check-in bag allowance has gone up from 15kg to 20kg

Baggage changes: The new minimum check-in bag allowance has gone up from 15kg to 20kg

Ryanair’s chief marketing officer, Kenny Jacobs, said he hoped the changes will ‘eliminate flight delays’ caused by not having sufficient overhead cabin space on busy flights.

He added: ‘These bag policy changes will cost Ryanair over 50million euros (£46million) per annum in reduced checked bag fees.

‘However, we believe offering bigger bags at reduced fees will encourage more customers to consider checking in a bag, which will reduce the high volume of customers we have with two carry-on bags at the boarding gates, which is causing flight delays due to large numbers of gate bag and cabin bag offloads.’

In a bad day for European shares with major indices all slipping, Ryanair’s share price was down 0.8 per cent, or €0.13 at €18.05, as of late morning.

The carrier said that only passengers who purchase priority boarding, which costs €5/£5 at the time of the flight booking or €/£6 afterwards, will be allowed to have two bags with them in the cabin.

The rest of the passengers will only be able to carry a small bag, although the airline will still continue to put the other bigger bag in the hold for free.

It comes as Ryanair continues to attract a growing number of customers thanks to its low fares.

Yesterday it said its traffic grew by 10 per cent last month to 12.7million passengers while load factor rose 1 per cent to 97 per cent.