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21st May 2018

Ryanair may ‘review’ their new cabin bag policy, admits Michael O’Leary

Tony Cuddihy

Ryanair give, Ryanair (potentially) take away.

Michael O’Leary has admitted that Ryanair’s new luggage policy may need to be abandoned if record numbers of passengers continue to hand in their bags at the boarding gate.

In a video presentation to investors, the airline’s CEO said that the company stricter cabin bag policy – which sees passengers pay £5 to avoid having their main cabin bag checked into the hold at the departure gate – has improved both boarding and punctuality.

However, O’Leary admits it is causing ‘handling issues’ at peak periods.

“There are many flights where we’re now having to put 100 or 120 gate bags free of charge into the hold,” O’Leary said. “If that continues to build, it’s something we may have to look at again.”

Despite seeing an increase in profits, O’Leary expects the company’s rota issues in 2017 and subsequent recognition of trade unions to affect revenue in the coming year – staff costs and rising fuel prices would also play a role in this.

O’Leary does, however, reveal that air fares should remain flat over the next 12 months as it takes a full year for the rising price of fuel to translate to fare prices.

He also warned that December’s decision to recognise unions would lead to more strikes.

“Being unionised means we will have occasional strikes,” O’Leary said.