A fee of £80 per 20kg hold bag will be imposed throughout the peak summer season, meaning a family of four carrying normal suitcases face an eye watering £320 charge on top of their basic flight cost. Add to that the myriad of other fees and it would seem that Ryanair can no longer call itself a budget airline.
If only it were that simple. Firstly, Ryanair's base fares generally remain lower than its rivals, meaning the Irish carrier will continue to attract the lion's share of holidaymakers chasing the cheapest advertised price.
What is clear though is that Ryanair has no interest in being a family-friendly airline. Families bring baggage, baggage increases weight and weight increases the airline's fuel costs. So, instead it would appear a policy "sod-off pricing" has been introduced. The airline is quite open about it too. "Ryanair continues to incentivise passengers to travel light, especially during peak periods, by raising our online checked-in baggage fees," a spokesman said. The message is loud and clear – travel light and you can fly cheaply, bring heavy suitcases and we'll rinse you.
Luckily for the hard-pressed families of Britain, the wide choice of cheap flights to most popular holiday destinations means Ryanair can easily be avoided. A family of four travelling on Flybe, easyJet, BMI, Thomson, Jet2 or Monarch will face luggage charges ranging from £103 to £151.