easyJet Follows Ryanair And Wizz With Hand Baggage Cuts

European low-cost carrier easyJet is updating its baggage policy, which will take effect next year. Coming into effect on all flights from February 10th, 2021, the airline is reducing its basic cabin bag allowance, requiring a more expensive ticket or an easyJet Plus membership to get your larger bag up in the overhead locker. This is becoming increasingly common with budget airlines, as more and more passengers rely solely on cabin bags to avoid putting their bags in the cargo hold. Let’s look at the airline’s new policy.

Easyjet tails
easyJet joins other budget carriers in making access to overhead locker space an addition to the basic airfare. Photo: Getty Images

“We’re making some changes to our cabin bag policy to help improve boarding and punctuality and give customers certainty of what they are allowed to bring on board.” – easyJet

Starting February 10th, 2021

“For all travel from 10th February 2021, the seat you have booked will determine what bags you are able to bring on board,” easyJet states on its website.

While each passenger can take one small cabin bag on board (maximum size 45 x 36 x 20cm, including any handles or wheels), an easyJet Plus membership or more expensive fare or seat will be required if access to the overhead locker is desired. This is something we discussed as a growing trend back in 2019.

Otherwise, the free, basic allowance will only allow customers to bring an item that must fit under the seat in front of them.

“That should be enough to bring all the essentials for your journey or for a short trip. There’s no weight limit, but we do ask that you are able to lift and carry your bag yourself,” the airline says.

Below are the quick-reference charts published to the airline’s website showing what is provided for all customers. The 2nd image below it applies to easyJet Plus members and FLEXI fare passengers.

baggage allowance Feb 2021
The allowance provided to all customers. Photo: easyJet
baggage allowance Feb 2021
Those who pay more for a FLEXI fare, an extra-legroom seat, or have an easyJet Plus membership can store a larger item in the overhead bin. Photo: easyJet

Becoming the norm on budget airlines

This has been a growing trend amongst budget airlines as passengers try to avoid additional fees for checked-baggage by bringing larger luggage on board. Now that checked-bags are becoming less common as passengers fight for overhead locker space, budget airlines are working to control this limited supply of space.

easyJet is spinning the new policy as a passenger benefit, saying: “The limited overhead locker space on aircraft has meant that customers can’t always be certain they will have their cabin bag onboard with them.” According to The Independent, the airline also says the following:

“The new policy will also reduce queue times during boarding and other associated delays which occur due to putting excess cabin bags in the hold and so the move will lead to improved punctuality for all customers.”

easyjet, Ryanair, Flight Cuts
The move follows one made by Ryanair to restrict hand luggage. Photo: Getty Images

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An actual benefit to passengers?

Indeed, it is quite common on a full flight to find a late-boarding passenger walking up and down the aisle looking for available locker space. While passengers may not like the idea of having to pay more for something they’ve been accustomed to getting complimentary with a basic fare, the airline is probably right in saying that the new policy will reduce queue times and delays associated with baggage.

If you have a standard fare easyJet ticket for an upcoming flight before February 10th, you can rest easy (no pun intended) as the old rules will apply. In the meantime, travelers should either mentally prepare themselves to pay a little more to bring an overhead-locker-bag, or practice traveling with fewer items to avoid this upcoming cost.

What do you think of easyJet’s new policy? Do the claims of reducing delays have merit, or is this just a cash grab? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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