**Update: 06/21/21 @ 10:50 UTC – An Aer Lingus spokesperson has shared additional information about the policy; details below.**
Up until now, Aer Lingus passengers could bring a bag that weighs up to 10 kg into the cabin for free. However, with immediate effect, those wanting to bring their hand luggage with them on the flight have to pay €5.99/£5.99 (~$7.00) for priority boarding.
To avoid the charge, customers will have to check in this luggage. Moreover, if they don’t purchase priority boarding and try to bring the 10 kg baggage to their gate, they will have to pay a €35.00 fee (~$41.00).
“We’ve changed our carry-on bag policy and now offer different ways to bring your 10kg bag on your journey. A free option for your 10kg bag remains available, and a small personal item (handbag or laptop bag) is still included for all customers.” – Aer Lingus.
According to the airline, only the following passengers automatically have a carry-on bag with priority boarding included. Furthermore, all travelers with a carry-on bag with priority boarding that is either purchased or included need to check in online or via the carrier’s app.
- Those connecting to and from a transatlantic flight with Aer Lingus or one of its partners
- Passengers with books made with Aer Space, Advantage, and Plus fares
- Customers flying with an infant
- Fliers with Silver, Platinum, and Concierge AerClub membership (companions not included)
A growing pattern
This move follows similar measures by other European carriers in recent times. For instance, in February, easyJet reduced its basic cabin bag allowance, with passengers needing a more expensive ticket or an easyJet Plus membership for larger bags to be stored overhead. Ryanair and Wizz Air also have corresponding views with their policies.
Notably, unlike these other airlines, the flag carrier of Ireland is not a budget carrier. Rather, it operates a hybrid business model, with a full service on transatlantic flights and a mixed fare offering across Europe.
The flights across the Atlantic haven’t gone through the same policy shift.
“The 10kg carry-on bag policy remains unchanged on transatlantic flights where you can bring the bag on board and store it in the overheard locker. A small personal item (handbag or laptop bag) is also included, and must be stowed under the seat in front of you” – Aer Lingus
Fewer quick exits
It’s worth a note that even though the charge may seem small, in some cases, this cost is close to an actual ticket price. For instance, one-way flights between London and Dublin are as low as around £9.00 (~$12.00) with the likes of Ryanair.
Additionally, passengers often choose not to check in a bag due to added time and risk involved. Dropping off a bag and waiting for it to appear on the conveyor belt on the other side can add many crucial minutes to a journey. Additionally, these bags often get lost, incentivizing travelers to keep important items or documents with them in the cabin.
Overall, airlines are continuing to find ways to monetize the customer journey. Whether it’s a low-cost carrier or a national outfit, operators are all going in a similar direction.
Simple Flying reached out to Aer Lingus for comment on the report regarding the baggage policy. A spokesperson for the airline has since shared that the changes are being implemented to ensure faster boarding and disembarking, which it says would improve the overall customer experience. The representative affirms that Aer Lingus passengers can continue to carry one small bag on board for free. This item must be within the correct dimensions to fit under the seat in front of them.
What are your thoughts about Aer Lingus’ policy with its carry-on baggage? What do you make of the recent change to the system? Let us know what you think of the move in the comment section.