Ryanair, the Irish budget airline, has highly specific baggage policies and allowances. Are you up to date on their current policies?
If not, here’s all of the information you’ll need regarding baggage for Ryanair flights in 2021.
In this post you'll learn:
Carry-On Rules for Ryanair
Ryanair passengers have one small bag—such as a laptop, purse, or small backpack—included in their fare as a carry-on. This carry-on must be no larger than 15.7” x 7.9” x 9.8” (40 x 20 x 25cm) and must fit underneath the seat in front of you. This is the policy for non-priority passengers.
Ryanair airports have bag sizers stationed around various terminals that you can use to make sure that your carry-on bag meets size restrictions and will fit under a seat (these sizers will also show whether your checked baggage is the right size). If a small bag does not fit in the sizer, non-priority passengers must pay a fee of about $28 (€/£25) to check their bag as cargo and will not be able to take it as a carry-on.
Priority travelers are allowed to take two bags on board: one wheelie bag (a rolling suitcase) and one small bag. The wheelie bag has a weight limit of about 22 pounds (10kg) and a size limit of 21.7” x 7.9” x 15.7” (55 x 20 x 40cm).
This 22-pound carry-on is available for purchase by non-priority passengers for a price of between $11 and $28 (€/£10 – 25), depending on the flight. This can be done during check-in, at the time of booking, or up to 40 minutes before take-off through the Ryanair app. If added to your flight at the gate, expect to pay $28. These carry-ons must be checked-in at the airport bag drop desk. Alternatively, passengers can pay between $7 and $16 (€/£6 – 14) to add priority to their trip and bump up their cabin bag allowance.
Checked Baggage Rules for Ryanair
Every passenger may purchase up to three checked bags per flight and these are each restricted to a maximum weight of 44 pounds (20kg). Baggage is charged per person, per one-way flight. Checked baggage may not exceed 70.5 pounds (32kg) and/or 31.9” x 46.9” x 46.9” (81 x 119 x 119cm), for safety reasons. Weight restrictions do not apply to medical and mobility assistive devices.
If you add checked baggage to your flight at the initial time of booking, you will pay $28 (€/£25) per bag. If you add checked baggage to your flight online, through a call center, or in-person after booking, you will pay about $45 (€/£40) per bag. These prices are subject to change during peak travel times.
For those traveling in groups, know that you are allowed to pool per-person baggage allowances as long as everyone checks in at the same time. Otherwise, if you exceed your personal bag limit of three, you will be charged additional fees by weight.
Items allowed to all passengers free of charge include:
- One child stroller
- One child restraint seat or carrier
- Medical/mobility assistive devices such as wheelchairs, walkers, and canes
2020 Ryanair Excess Baggage Fees
Ryanair offers an in-depth guide to all additional fees (from extra legroom to flight-change fees) on its site, but the table below gives a complete list of charges for oversize and overweight sports and musical equipment. Prices vary based on whether you add an excess baggage item at the time of booking or after booking.
|During Booking||After Booking|
|Bikes||$67 | €/£60||$84 | €/£75|
|Large Sports Items||$61 | €/£55||$72 | €/£65|
|Sports Equipment||$39 | €/£35||$45 | €/£40|
|Ski Equipment||$50 | €/£45||$56 | €/£50|
|Golf Clubs||$33 | €/£30||$45 | €/£40|
|Musical Instruments||$56 | €/£50||$72 | €/£65|
If a piece of sports or musical equipment weighs more than the 44-pound (20kg) allowance, extra baggage fees apply on top of the above fees. The current rate for extra baggage is $5.70 per pound (€/£11 per kilogram) for every bag you check outside of your three-bag limit. In addition, extra child/baby equipment may be purchased for about $17 (€/£15) a piece.
Get Baggage Fees Reimbursed With These Cards
If you’re on the hunt for top-rated travel credit cards that will reimburse you for baggage fees, keep these five in mind:
- American Express Platinum: $200 annual reimbursement
- American Express Gold: $100
- Bank of America Premium Rewards: $200
- Chase Sapphire Reserve: $300
- Citi Prestige: $250
How to Get Free Checked Bags Through Ryanair
At this time, Ryanair does not have its own airline credit cards that will get you free checked baggage, so you’ll have to try to save money on flights in other ways. Other than the small personal bag that’s free for everyone and the free 22-pound bag for priority flyers, there is no way to get checked bags for no cost or to have fees waived.
Ryanair is already a discount airline, so tracking down additional discounts is nearly impossible. With that said, follow these tips to save the most money:
- Add baggage to your reservation at the time of booking.
- Travel priority if your baggage weighs 10kg or less.
- Pool your bag limit with other passengers in your reservation.
Ryanair Fee Waivers and Loopholes
Ryanair Choice is an annual frequent-flyer membership, launched in 2019, that offers free priority boarding, flight discounts, and exclusive access to members. It costs about $222 (€199) annually, so be sure that joining is something that makes sense for you before committing. Consider joining the Ryanair Choice frequent flyers program only if you plan to do a lot of flying through Ryanair in a year.
Ryanair does not offer a miles-earning program. However, booking stays with Ryanair Rooms earns flight credit that can be used on any Ryanair purchases.
Ryanair does not offer military discounts to U.S. active-duty military members and/or their dependents.
Special Declaration of Value for Checked Bags
If you plan on flying with something of value in your checked bag(s), then you may want to look into Ryan Air’s Special Declaration of Value coverage. By default and per the Montreal Convention 1999, liability coverage only extends up to ~ €1,600.00 per bag.
You may pay a Special Checked Baggage Declaration of Value fee prior to your trip to have the liability coverage increased to ~ €2600.00 per bag.
Customers may purchase this at the Airport Ticket Desk and must do so for each airport of departure.
If you plan to fly Ryanair, you can already be sure that you’re getting some of the best flight prices out there. But if you travel light and book smart by taking advantage of ways to save on baggage fees, you can score low fares on any number of international flights.