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.
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.
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.
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…
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!