Why Ryanair Is Charging More For Baggage Than Some Passenger Tickets

Ryanair is charging more to carry luggage than for flight tickets themselves. Research by Simple Flying showed that the cheapest ticket prices from London were less than half that of the cheapest baggage fee.

Ryanair Baggage Fees Ticket Prices
It can cost more to take a bag on a Ryanair flight than to buy a ticket. Photo: novakrider via Pixabay

While it comes as no surprise that low-cost airlines are charging for the privilege of carrying baggage, the extent of the fees does seem rather excessive. Especially when the cost of carrying a suitcase onboard an aircraft could potentially be twice that of what has been spent on the ticket.

Ryanair is able to accommodate such ticket prices due to these additional fees, so maybe it is fair to charge so much. The fees were first spotted by the Edinburgh Evening News.

However, Ryanair is not alone in charging for bags. Indeed, Simple Flying recently reported that the big three US airlines have already made $757m from baggage fees in 2019. Let’s look at an example:

Example: London to Bremen

Let us take a day return flight from London to Bremen. While fares can reach upwards of £100, the cheapest fares on this route are found on the 26th of June. This date sees Ryanair offering tickets for just £5.99 each way. Meanwhile, the lowest price on this route is usually £15 each way.

Ryanair’s current hand baggage policy only allows passengers to carry a small bag which will fit underneath the seat in front of them. However, for our example of the 26th of June, we could get priority boarding and a 10kg bag onboard for £9. Meanwhile, to check a 10kg bag is £10. For the return flight, both options are £12.

Ryanair Baggage Fees Ticket Cost
This bag could set you back £12 one way on Ryanair. Photo: katyveldhorst via Pixabay

When you do the maths, this means that a return flight with no luggage would be £12. Meanwhile, the cheapest option for taking a 10kg cabin sized suitcase would come in at £33. This means that we would be spending nearly three times as much to take a 10kg bag. However, to check a 20kg bag into the hold would cost £15 each way giving a total cost of £42.

Why are airlines charging this?

Ryanair is able to keep the price of flights down remarkably well. However, this is achieved by charging more for other services. When operating a flight commencing in the UK, Ryanair has to pay a tax of £13pp. Now, it’s not hard to realise that if everybody on the plane paid ticket prices of just £6, the airline would be losing money before they have even considered aircraft fuel, pilot wages, etc…

Ryanair Baggage Fees Ticket Prices
With some tickets costing less than APD, Ryanair has to make up for the costs somehow. Photo: Jan Claus via Pixabay

This is where high baggage fees come in. Ryanair knows that a large number of passengers will not want to travel with just a small bag. Fees made from these can start to make up for the money lost due to offering crazy cheap fares.

What’s the cheapest Ryanair fare you’ve ever purchased? How much did you spend on extras? Let us know in the comments!

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Catalin-Alexandru Epure

The cheapest by far for a fare was 1 Eurocent back when I was a student and I have to tell you that I went to Barcelona Girona :p for 2 cents roundtrip… they were allowing then a hand luggage bigger then the small one today but I don’t remember ever needing so much luggage when flying with them. I knew exactly what was included and did everything not to pay any cent more :)) Nowadays I don’t fly them at all because of their cheap business model which destroys the whole industry and the way they treat their employees.… Read more »

Nigel

Can you elaborate on “the way they treat their employees”?. I know a Ryanair copilot who is extremely happy with his job. I regularly chat with Ryanair cabin crew on board, and have never heard/sensed any disgruntlement. On the other hand, I’ve seen cabin crew on Delta and American who were clearly demotivated. Is your statement just going with the hype, perhaps? I’m also fascinated by the idea that Ryanair “destroys the whole industry”. Can you elaborate on that? Thanks to LCCs, all sorts of secondary airports are now serviced, prices have come down, and flight frequencies have gone up.… Read more »

CHi

Ryanair has 400+ planes but less than 2000 pilots. Do you know why? Because they are self-employed to reduced the cost such as pension, insurance… Every newbie pilot must pay 29,500 Euro for type rating training (Now reduced to 5,000), however a type rating cost less than 20,000 Euro.

Nigel

And is there something wrong with that?
Is being self-employed evil in some way?
Is there something wrong with paying for a qualification?
If being a Ryanair pilot is so horrendous, then why aren’t all Ryanair’s pilots leaving?
Employment models are changing…didn’t you know that?