Ryanair hand luggage explained and how to maximise your cabin baggage allowance

What is Ryanair’s luggage allowance and how can you and avoid any last-minute hand baggage charges? Here’s everything you need to know…

Ryanair hand luggage allowance:
From the 15th January 2018, cabin baggage allowance on all Ryanair flights will be changing. Only priority boarding passengers will be allowed one small bag (35x20x20cm), plus a larger cabin bag (55x40x20cm) with a maximum weight allowance of 10kg into the cabin. Passengers who do not have priority boarding will have their larger cabin bag taken at the boarding gate and placed into the hold for free.

Ryanair cabin bag size Ryanair hand luggage weight allowance Number of bags allowed onboard Cost to check in oversized hand luggage
55x40x20cm larger cabin bag dimensions

35x20x20cm smaller cabin bag dimensions

10kg maximum weight One small bag

The larger cabin bag will be placed in the hold

Free if your cabin bag meets Ryanair regulations and flight is full

Excess hand luggage is £50/€50 per item

Ryanair hold baggage size Ryanair hold luggage weight allowance Number of hold bags allowed Cost of Ryanair hold luggage
81x119x119cm maximum dimensions 32kg maximum weight: not including mobility equipment

20kg maximum weight for checked bags

Ryanair baggage allowance can be pooled between passengers on the same Ryanair flight booking

Up to 3 items of hold luggage per passenger Online £13-£24

At the airport £32-£45

These fees can vary depending on the route you’re flying


Ryanair’s hand luggage policy has been impacted by the UK Government’s ban on laptops and tablets in cabins, on direct flights to the UK from Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia. Full details here.

If you can’t travel light with hand luggage alone, then book your bags online and not on the day to save yourself a lot of cash. Last year, Ryanair simplified their baggage allowance categories, so it’s now much easier to pack and go.

Are additional items allowed?

Medical equipment such as dialysis machines are allowed on board. Footballs and other inflatable sports equipment are also permitted, but these must be deflated before boarding.

Ryanair hand and hold luggage allowances diagram guide

How do I get around the Ryanair hand baggage allowance?

Follow these tips to make sure your cabin bags don’t cause a problem:

1. Don’t forget your handbag

Ryanair is quite unusual amongst low-cost airlines in allowing a small cabin bag like a Cabin Max Laptop Bag as well as your standard carry on luggage – as anyone who’s ever tried to stuff their handbag into their suitcase on an easyJet flight will know! Take advantage of the extra baggage allowance and bring an additional handbag, small hold-all or mini rucksack for your personal items and you’ll have much easier access to things like your passport and money as you whizz through the airport. Naturally, because this rule allows people to bring more stuff, you may still have to place one of your bags in the hold. So long as you’re within the Ryanair cabin bag size limits though, there’s no charge for this, so at worst it means a slightly longer wait on arrival, plus having the extra bag means you won’t have to place all of your valuables at the mercy of the baggage handlers!

2. Buy the ‘official’ Ryanair cabin bag

Many retailers now stock ‘cabin approved’ hand baggage that fits within the most common hand luggage dimensions for major airlines. However, if you want to be doubly sure you’ll breeze through boarding, just take the lead from Ryanair itself. You can buy from a range of suitcases that perfectly match the official Ryanair cabin bag size through the airline’s website. Reassuringly known as ‘Ryanair Guaranteed Cabin Bags’, they’re actually made by respected American luggage company, Samsonite. One less thing to worry about while you’re frantically buying last-minute face wipes can only be a good thing. But, if you don’t want to buy one of Michael O’Leary’s latest creations, we’ve got some fantastic alternatives here that are the correct size for the cabin and your bank balance.

3. Get to the airport early

Of course, you stand a much better chance of squeezing both your cabin bags in if you arrive at the airport in plenty of time – 90 minutes to two hours before departure time is recommended for domestic and short-haul flights. There’s not often an orderly queue at the gate when boarding a Ryanair flight, so being ahead of the rest is a good idea, especially if you haven’t booked an allocated seat. Although you now get an allocated seat with Ryanair, all of those Priority Boarding passengers will get their pick of overhead locker space, so the closer you are to the front of the queue the better your chances are of getting your bag on board. Besides, being early affords you time to grab some all-important snacks for the journey: remember you have to pay (sometimes quite a lot) for on board refreshments on budget flights.

Arrive at the airport in plenty of time

4. Pool your (checked) baggage

Travelling with a friend? Share the load – and the cost – if you need to check your hold all bags in. Ryanair checked baggage fees start from £20/€20 in low season and £30/€30 in high season for 15kg, if you purchase when you book your flight. This allows you up to two bags, and higher fees apply if you change your booking or pay at the airport. The 20kg allowance starts from £30/€30. However, if you check in with an allowance of 15kg each, even if one of you goes over the weight by a couple of kilos, you can use part of the other person’s allowance – as long as you don’t exceed 30kg combined. Note that checked baggage fees are charged per person by Ryanair, so you won’t be able to ask a friend to check your bag with theirs if you haven’t paid before you arrive at the airport.

5. Go travel-size

Travel-size no longer just means a tiny shampoo and a squirt of sun-cream; there’s an amazing array of miniature items you can take on holiday these days, from mini hair straighteners that take up half the room of full-size pairs, to micro-fibre travel towels that fold away to the size of a tissue. Don’t forget the airport liquids rule when you’re buying travel toiletries – all travel liquid containers must be 100ml or less if you’re carrying them in your hand luggage. And if you can’t get a smaller size of a particular item, think about whether you really need to take that bulky jacket or those extra heels. Learning how to pack sensibly for weekend breaks is a valuable skill these days, so check out our guide on packing light, to avoid those last-minute baggage fees once and for all.

Essential items to pack on holiday
Image: Terminals & Gates, CC BY 2.0.

6. Bump up to Business Plus

If you want to rule out the hassle altogether, consider booking a Ryanair Business Plus flight. This option starts from £59.99* and Ryanair often runs discounts and special offers to entice passengers to upgrade. What do you get for your money? Well, you’ll have access to the fast-track at security at 31 European airports including London Gatwick, Edinburgh and Belfast, priority boarding (and therefore guaranteed room for your carry on bags) and better seats. You can also change your flight up until and including the day you travel at no extra cost. Crucially, there’s a checked baggage allowance of up to 20kg included in the price, so you don’t need to worry about whether your bags meet the Ryanair cabin baggage size limits. For more on how to land a flight upgrade for free, read all of our staff’s sneaky tips and tricks here.

Keep up-to-date on Ryanair baggage fees by signing up to our weekly newsletter, and we’ll send you news, tips and cheap flight deals to help you travel smarter.

7. Pick and choose Ryanair extras

Ryanair is known for being the pick-and-mix of the aviation world, so you could always just purchase what’s important to you. There are different prices for allocated seats, depending on whether you want Priority Seats with extra legroom for your bulky carry on (£15/€15), as oppose to risking Standard Seats (£8.00/€8.00). If you don’t have a huge cabin bag but just want to ensure it makes it on board, select Priority Boarding for an extra £4. Find all of Ryanair’s fees laid out in a table here and buy at the time of booking to make the best savings.

Ryanair flight cabin

8. Shop around other budget airlines

Ryanair is not the only option for cheap flights out there, so it’s worth shopping around other major European airlines. easyJet have a similar size limitations on hand baggage to Ryanair, but there’s no weight restriction, while Flybe customers are now allowed to carry an additional laptop bag or handbag stowed under the seat in front. Use our guidelines here to compare the baggage allowances for easyJet, BA and more

Man pulling suitcase through airport

  • From 1st January 2018, Ryanair customers will have to pay £5 for priority boarding if they want to take two pieces of hand luggage on board. The check-in bag allowance will increase from 15kg to 20kg, while the fee for luggage in the hold will be reduced from £35 to £25.

Savvy traveller? Read on for more budget-boosting and stress-saving tips:

Airline baggage allowances and information from Skyscanner
Everything you need to know about the baggage rules and restrictions for the UK’s biggest airlines, including easyJet, British Airways and Jet2.

50 insider tips and tricks to travelling smart that will change the way you organise a trip

From the philosophical to the funny, the serious to the silly, we present our list of learnings from travelling the world.

Find the best flights every time with these 6 tips

Find the perfect flight with Skyscanner’s super search tools and explore the world without making a big hole in your pocket.

Save space on cheap flights: wearable luggage jackets reviewed

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*Published January 2017. All prices are lowest estimated prices only and are subject to change. Charges may vary if you book through an online travel agent rather than the airline direct. Always check the terms and conditions applicable to get up to date information.

Skyscanner is the world’s travel search engine, helping your money go further on flights, hotels and car hire.

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