Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Baggage Charges & How to Use Your Kids to Avoid Them!

You may have seen in the media over the last couple of weeks that Ryanair have increased their baggage charges. But what does that really mean for you and is there a way to avoid hefty baggage charges? Well the short answer is that if you’re travelling with children, yes there is and you’ll save yourself a few Euro, which I bet will come in handy as spending money.

Ryanair previously had 108 different baggage charges but they've streamlined it down to just 6. While Ryanair had announced a baggage charge reduction was in the pipeline a couple of months ago and recently the media reported a baggage charge increase it’s a little confusing until you dig a little deeper. It all depends on the destination of your flight whether prices have increased or decreased, a look at the costs below should clear up the confusion.

Domestic Flights Less than 2 hours (Within the same Country)

Bags up to 15kg ~ €15 per flight (Previously €20 off-peak/€30 peak)
Bags up to 20kg ~ €25 per flight (Previously €30 off-peak/€40 peak)

Flights less than 3 hours 

Bags up to 15kg ~ €25 per flight (Previously €20 off-peak/€30 peak)
Bags up to 20kg ~ €35 per flight  (Previously €30 off-peak/€40 peak )

Flights Over 3 Hours

Bags up to 15Kg ~ €40 per flight (Previously €25 off-peak/€40 peak) 
Bags up to 20Kg ~ €50 per flight (Previously €35 off-peak/€50 peak)

Now for the way around it to try and save you some much needed spends: In 2014 Ryanair launched their Family Extra Scheme where they aimed to make family travel less stressful and budget friendly for families. The features of this scheme include,20% off your third family flight in a calendar year, 2 items of baby equipment per baby/child carried free of charge, 50% off kids priority boarding, on-board bottle warming facilities, a 5kg carry-on baggage allowance for babies and a 50% discount on checked baggage for all children.

That last one is the one that’s saved us a tidy sum over the last two years. The reason being is that you don’t have to book a full price adults check in bag to avail of the children’s half price option. Unfortunately they have closed this loophole on their website when they updated their systems last week to reflect the new baggage charges. I realised this when I was booking flights a couple of days ago. When I attempted to book a check in bag for my daughter a popup error message appeared to advise I must first book a full price adult bag.

However all is not lost. If you have a mobile device, which I’m sure you all do, simply download the Ryanair app. You can still avail of half price children’s bags through the app without first booking one under an adult’s name. If you’re not comfortable booking flights through the app that’s perfectly fine just book using your PC then use the ‘Manage Booking’ function on the app to add bags at a later date. I did for our flight to Birmingham later this year and I saved €25 for a 15kg bag by booking it under my daughter’s name.

Cabin Baggage

Hand luggage is still free up to 10kg, a maximum size of 55cm x 40cm x 20cm. Since 2014 you can now take a second small item of carry-on baggage, a handbag/ laptop or a shopping bag (up to 35cm x 20cm x 20cm). All children over 2 years of age in their own seats have the same cabin bag allowance as adults. Babies under 2 years old that sit on an adults lap during the flight have a 5kg cabin bag allowance.

What I’ve found really helpful is that when travelling with children and we have a check-in bag, when we get to the check-in desk at the airport they always ask can they check-in any of our carry-on bags free of charge. It’s great to free up our hands so we can glide through security with our five little ones.

So tell us, how do you manage when travelling with baggage? Have you been stung before? 

No comments: