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UPDATE: Aviation source criticises Ryanair’s baggage policy

The airline said its one bag rule was necessary for safety reasons but has now confirmed that passengers in some airports are allowed a second bag.

AN AVIATION INDUSTRY source has criticised Ryanair today after the airline defended itself against comments from MEPs in Brussels about its carry-on luggage policy.

In a statement today the low cost airline said its one bag rule was necessary for safety reasons and rejected the claims of “poorly briefed MEPs” in the European Parliament yesterday as false.

Ryanair’s Stephen McNamara said:

The inaccurate claims made by some MEP’s yesterday that Ryanair’s free of charge carry-on bag policy was designed to “generate revenues” were absurd and untrue. The purpose of Ryanair’s free of charge 10kgs carry-on bag is to allow passengers to avoid our checked in bag fees.

However a spokesperson for Ryanair confirmed this afternoon that the airline has entered into a commercial agreement with Manchester airport and a number of other airports to allow passengers to bring additional hand luggage on board.

As part of the agreement passengers can bring an extra bag of airport purchases on the plane with them. The spokesperson asserted that this did not contradict the airline’s claim that the rule was enforced for safety reasons as it is “closely monitored and can be removed at any time”.

An aviation industry source told that the company’s operation of a different set of criteria for its one bag rule at different airports “makes a mockery of any claim that the rule is related to safety.”

“A passenger flying from Manchester to Brussels-Charleroi can take an extra bag of airport shopping on board a Ryanair plane in Manchester but that same passenger returning with Ryanair from Brussels-Charleroi to Manchester can’t do so in Brussels,” the source said.

Some 75 per cent of Ryanair’s passengers now travel without any checked bags which the airline said reduces revenues and their costs.

Earlier the airline said this means that on a regular basis, all of the overhead lockers and the storage space under the seats are fully used, and Ryanair can not allow a second carry-on bag to be brought on board for passenger safety reasons.

“Ryanair’s one carry-on bag rule cannot be changed for safety reasons,” McNamara said. “It would be helpful if these MEP’s made some basic attempt to understand Ryanair’s safety and low fare policies before making false and inaccurate claims in the European parliament.”

Read: MEPs urge Commission to draft rules for carry-on luggage>
Poll: Should the EU introduce common rules for airlines on hand luggage?

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