Irish low-cost airline, Ryanair is to review its baggage policy but one of its top men is irritated that customers have become adept at thwarting the airline’s money-grabbing policies.
The airline's chief money man explained that customers are abusing the system by making their toddlers drag suitcases onboard to escape baggage fees.
"We are very generous in our policy for cabin luggage, it is 10 kilogrammes per person plus an item of hand luggage. If we all do it, it's okay. But there are people carrying kitchen sinks, which can lead to a change in the rules," explained Neil Sorahan.
The Irish airline's chief financial officer said he already had seen "two-year-olds dragging suitcases to the aeroplane" and concluded that Ryanair "is a victim of its own niceness."
Two-year-olds are allowed a 10 kilogramme bag, while one-year-olds are allowed a five-kilogramme bag, so both age groups are being loaded up with parents’ packing to avoid having to pay for a suitcase in the hold.
The airline says that currently only one in six passengers pays for extra luggage to be carried in the hold and overall the company is facing downward pressure on fares with a 13% decline between 2016 and 2017. Future headline fare prices are predicted to fall 7% over the next 12 months with low-cost airlines planning to increase 'extras' to compensate.
Sorahan said the Irish airline may well look at its second bag allowance rules - these were introduced in a rare fit of generosity in 2013.
Customers often are irritated that seemingly low fares are swamped by having to pay for seats and for baggage, which often costs more than the flight. A 20 kilogramme suitcase will cost around £90 on a short-haul summer return flight and it is no secret that Ryanair made €443 million in profit over the past three months.
Sorahan said that “the vast majority of people play by the rules but some don’t. Unfortunately some bring massive backpacks and things that don’t fit under the seat. We’ve been a little bit lax or nice - we are victims of our own niceness.”