Ryanair passengers told 'pay fine or don't fly' as bag deemed too big at gate

Image of bag in the Ryanair measuring container
-Credit: (Image: David Chambers)

A Cheshire couple were left incensed after being hit with a €140 (£119.31) luggage fine on their flight, despite having purchased 'Ryanair approved' bags.

David C and his partner experienced an unwelcome end to their tranquil holiday in Majorca when they faced a hefty luggage charge at Palma Majorca Airport, Spain, on their way back to Manchester Airport.

The pair, who had a relaxing break in Majorca, encountered what they described as uncooperative and surly Ryanair staff at the boarding gate in Palma Airport, the Mirror reports.

"We were asked to step out of the line and place one of our new Coolife, compliant, 9kg, 20cm bags into the metal measuring frame," David recounted. They were then informed by the gate agent that their bags exceeded the size limit.

The Cheshire-based couple were dismayed to be charged €70.00 (£59.65) for each bag, with the staff member insisting on payment as they "probably want to be on the flight".

David relayed the staff member's words: "Nineteen years in the business and I know when a bag is oversized. I can see it from a mile away... Pay or don't fly."

Having previously passed through Manchester Airport without any issues regarding their luggage, David described the ordeal as "stressful and totally unnecessary."

He added: "We had no choice as the flight was closing at this stage but to hand them a debit card and pay €140.00. I have never felt so intimidated. It spoilt our day."

To add insult to injury, the couple witnessed a Ryanair crew member in a heated exchange with another pair over luggage that wouldn't fit into the airline's bag checker due to an extendable section. After removing some items and carrying them, the other couple managed to board the plane without further issues.

Once airborne, passengers were informed there were no trolleys on board, meaning no service of food, drinks, or even water was available throughout the flight. David recounted how one passenger, suffering from a headache, resorted to drinking water from the toilet sink.

"I'll do everything I can to avoid Ryanair in the future," declared David.

In response, a Ryanair spokesperson explained: "These passengers booked a priority fare for this flight from Palma to Manchester (24 May), which allowed each of them to carry a small personal bag and a 10kg cabin bag onboard. As their cabin bags exceeded the permitted size, they were correctly charged a standard gate baggage fee of €69.99 by the third-party gate agent at Palma Airport to place their oversized bags in the hold."

David remains sceptical about the consistency of the airline's policies across different airports. "Their attitude suggests that we need them more than they need us... Unsuspecting customers should be forewarned and book elsewhere, if they can," he advised.

Ryanair's cabin luggage policy states: "All our fares include one small personal bag which can be brought on board, such as a handbag or laptop bag (40x20x25cm), which must fit under the seat in front of you.

"If you need additional baggage allowance, there are various options available to you.

"Priority and 2 Cabin Bags allows you to carry a small personal bag (40x20x25cm), which must fit under the seat in front of you and a 10kg bag (55x40x20cm) onboard, to be stored in the overhead locker. It also allows you to board the plane first using the Priority Boarding queue at the gate."

David purchased his luggage from Amazon; it was a COOLIFE Cabin Suitcase measuring 55X40X20cm. The bag was promoted as 'Ryanair approved,' backed by numerous customer reviews that claimed to have used the bag on Ryanair flights without issue.

COOLIFE has not yet responded.

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