'Genius' Ryanair hack to bring extra bag onboard flight for free shared by insider

Ryanair passengers boarding a plane
Ryanair passengers boarding a plane -Credit:(Image: Getty Images)

As the summer holiday season approaches, many people across Ireland are planning their overseas trips. However, amidst the excitement of travel, there's also the practical concern of managing expenses, especially in light of the current cost of living crisis.

A money-saving tip for those jetting off is to pack everything into free hand luggage, avoiding the additional cost of checked-in baggage.

Airlines like Ryanair permit passengers to bring one small piece of carry-on luggage onto the plane at no extra cost, provided it fits under the seat in front of them.

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But flight attendant Miguel Munoz, who has more than a decade of experience as an air steward, has revealed his top tip for bringing an additional bag onto the plane for free, suggesting that "the crew won't realise". He refers to this trick as the 'duty-free hack', and claims that not many travellers are aware of it.

Speaking to The Express, Miguel said that "duty-free bags don't count as carry-on baggage". He said: "If you have something that doesn't fit in your suitcase or you want to bring an extra bag onboard, here's the trick. All you have to do is carry a duty-free bag. Or ask for one at the duty-free shop and you place whatever you want in the shopping bag," reports the Irish Mirror.

The seasoned cabin crew member shared a useful tip, noting that "there is obviously limited space, but at least you are bringing an extra bag to the cabin with you". He further explained that this method could be beneficial if your checked-in luggage exceeds weight limits and the airline charges for the extra weight.

In such cases, passengers can transfer some items into a duty-free bag and carry them on board. "Now you know. If you ever find yourself in that situation, just put whatever you need in a duty-free bag. You are welcome," he said.

Miguel revealed that he regularly employs this strategy when travelling, saying: "I know the trick because I always do this when I fly as a passenger. And when I see people coming onboard with a duty-free bag that looks very full I always assume they are using it for this purpose as it obviously doesn't contain just one perfume or bottle of wine."

"But a lot of crew don't know this and most won't realise. If you come onboard with one piece of luggage, which you are allowed to, and a duty-free bag with some of your belongings, no one will say anything," he added.

This loophole is also acknowledged by Ryanair, as indicated on their website: "Duty-free bags are also permitted in the cabin along with your cabin baggage."

However, passengers should be aware that over-packing a duty-free bag could result in having to pay an extra fee. The airline previously said: "Each airline and its regulatory/safety authority (in Ryanair's case the Irish Aviation Authority) is required under EU law to control cabin baggage for safety and security reasons."

The attendant shared an additional sneaky TikTok hack for avoiding extra baggage charges. "This is one I keep seeing on TikTok and it consists of placing the additional clothes inside a pillowcase and carrying that with you on the plane. It's genius. As a crew, I would never suspect anything," he explained.

However, Miguel said he wouldn't do it as he thinks "it's easier to carry a duty-free bag than a pillowcase around the airport".