Ryanair has changed its hand luggage policy, meaning holidaymakers will now be restricted to one item of hand luggage unless they pay an additional fee.
The new policy, coming into play from Monday 15 January, also includes additional restrictions on the size of cabin baggage permitted with a standard ticket.
Customers who don’t pay extra will only be allowed to take a small bag sized 35cm x 20cm x 20cm into the cabin, meaning we can kiss goodbye to using handy wheelie cases as hand luggage.
On a standard ticket, you will be able to bring a second “large” bag (sized 55cm x 40cm x 20cm) on holiday with you, but this will be put into the hold, meaning you’ll have to wait for it at baggage reclaim upon landing.
Ryanair claims the changes will help “eliminate boarding delays”.
Under the new policy, customers will be able to take two cabin bags on board if they have purchased a “Priority & 2 cabin bags” or a “Plus/Flexi” ticket.
These tickets will set you back an additional €5/£5 if purchased at the same time as your flight or €6/£6 via the Ryanair app on the day of your flight (up to 45 minutes before departure time).
For that, you’ll be permitted to use a smaller bag as hand luggage (sized 35cm x 20cm x 20cm) plus be able to keep your wheelie suitcase in the cabin (max size 55cm x 40cm x 20cm in size and 10kg in weight).
If bags exceed the stated permitted dimensions you’ll risk a €50/£50 fee at the gate.
For all passengers, duty free bags are still permitted in the cabin along with your cabin baggage.
Commenting on the changes, Ryanair spokesperson Kenny Jacobs said in a statement: “Ryanair customers will still be free to bring two free carry-on bags but because of our heavily booked flights (95% load factors), we don’t have space on board for this many wheelie bags, so we will ask non-priority customers to put their bigger bag in the hold – free of charge – from Monday 15 January in order to eliminate boarding delays and improve our industry leading on-time departures.
“These changes will cost Ryanair up to €50 million per year, so we hope our customers will enjoy and welcome them.”
You have your heart set on a European vacation, but now you have to decide where to go. With endless options, it's hard to pick just one city or country. Where you go should reflect what you want to do there, so here are 11 different options tailored to 11 different kinds of travelers. Some of the choices may surprise you!
Romantic: Lake Como, Italy
Venice and Tuscany are lovely, but for a truly romantic European getaway, head to Como. Located about 40 minutes from Milan, the lake is easily accessible via rail or bus. There are five principal towns around the shores of the lake: Bellagio, Como, Menaggio, Varenna, and Lecco. If you're looking for fun and crowds, stay in Como or Menaggio; for isolation and romance, Varenna or Bellagio is the way to go.
Skip out on Mykonos or Ibiza and instead party the night away in Split, Rijeka, Zadar, and (during the summer months) at Hvar and Pag Island in Croatia. The summer season brings dozens of music festivals to the area, like Hideout and Ultra Europe, while the major cities tend to take over the nightlife scene when the weather cools down.
Just a five-hour flight from the U.S. East Coast, Portugal is one of the easiest and cheapest European destinations to reach. From the Azores to Porto's wine region, there are a variety of destinations to visit. And with both a favorable exchange rate and new flight routes—JetBlue recently partnered with TAP to offer direct Boston-to-Lisbon flights—there's never been a more affordable time to visit.
Norway is quickly becoming the next Iceland for adventure-seekers. Located along the West side of the country, the Fjord Norway area is a bucket-list destination for any adventurer. From glacier hikes and whitewater rafting to bird-spotting safaris and fishing trips, there's an incredible variety of activities along the fjords. Drive one of the 10 National Tourist Routes for the ultimate experience, or opt to take an activity tour through Fjord Tours.
Shopper: Antwerp, Belgium
Belgium's second city may be small, but it's also an underrated shopping mecca. Thanks to its size, you can easily walk the city (or better yet, rent a bike) and have a full-day shopping spree. The city is divided into seven districts: the South District, known for art galleries and local designers; the Fashion District, which hosts the famous MoMu (Mode Museum), international brands, and vintage shops; Wilde Zee, home to boutiques; the Historic City Center, which hosts the Grand Bazar Shopping Center; Meir, home to big chain stores and Festival Hall; the Theatre District, known for specialty stores and antiques; and Station, home to the city's China Town, and also diamond jewelry stores.
From Gaudi's famous parks and buildings sprinkled throughout Barcelona to Madrid's Golden Triangle of Art—the Prado Museum, the Reina Sofia Museum, and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum—Spain is home to some of the world's most famous and sought-after art, even in comparison to France and Italy. Make sure to see Pablo Picasso's incredible Guernica at the Reina Sofia (Madrid) and Gaudi's masterpiece, the Sagrada Familia (Barcelona).
Nordic cuisine is quietly dominating Best Restaurant in the World awards and taking over the "foodie scene" due to its farm-to-table concept—the idea of minimizing the number of steps ingredients take between the source and the consumer. Denmark itself has a total of 21 Michelin stars awarded to 18 restaurants throughout the country. Copenhagen is at the forefront of this movement with spots like world-famous noma, Amass, Geranium, Manfreds, and Radio. If fine-dining isn't what you're looking for, the coffee shops, street food, markets, and open-faced sandwiches are just as popular—and delicious.
Between rugby and soccer (i.e. football), England is Europe's mecca for sports. You can tour all of the European Premier League (EPL)'s stadiums—many even have their own museum—like Arsenal, Chelsea, and Fulham. You can even take Premier International Tour's EPL London Fan Tour during the EPL season and pick your favorite team to watch on your vacation.
There's also the National Football Museum in Manchester, the World Rugby Museum and tour of Twickenham, as well as the River and Rowing Museum, Marylebone Cricket Club Museum, and Wimbledon's Lawn Tennis Museum—assuming you're not in town for the British Open.
(Photo: Thinkstock/iStock Editorial)
Family Friendly: Edinburgh, Scotland
While whisky and scotch might be the first things that come to mind when you think of Scotland, Edinburgh is actually a great family destination. From a leisurely hike up Arthur's Seat to the Edinburgh Castle and dungeons, it's like a medieval playground. Other activities great for kids include the National Museum of Scotland, the Edinburgh Treasure Trail, Camera Obscura on the Royal Mile, and an underground tour at the Real Mary King's Close.
Switzerland is one of the most expensive and luxurious destinations for U.S. travelers. Whether you're going for the decadent food, lakeside chateaus, apres-ski scene, wineries, shopping, or world-class spas, it's going to cost you. You'll even find the world's most expensive hotel suite in Geneva at the Hotel President Wilson—it's close to $100,000 USD per night (including taxes).
Slovenia borders Italy, Austria, Hungary, Croatia, and the Adriatic Sea. It's well-known by Europeans for skiing, and come summertime, the country has some of the best rafting along the Soca River. Its capital, Ljublijana, was named the European Green Capital of 2016 with one of Europe's most extensive pedestrian and cycling networks; it plans to be a zero-waste city by 2025. Thanks to its outdoor activities, glacial lake, castles, and islets, Slovenia is sure to be Europe's next hot destination—so visit soon to avoid the masses.