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Ryanair hand luggage rules change – but which airlines offer free baggage in the cabin?

Ryanair hand luggage rules change – but which airlines offer free baggage in the cabin?

  • International
  • RYANAIR has recently changed their policy when it comes to free hand luggage being allowed into the cabin. But which airlines still offer a free suitcase onboard?
  • www.express.co.uk
  • expressletters@express.co.uk

Ryanair has announced the changes to their baggage restrictions this week, as they end free hand luggage being allowed into the cabin. Passengers must now pay for Priority Boarding or have them put into the hold free of charge, with only a small bag being allowed in the overhead lockers. It has been met with outrage, with some even asking Spain to boycott the airline. But which airlines still offer free hand luggage within the hold? Express.co.uk investigate what the rules are when considering the most basic ticket price for economy travellers.

British Airways

Passengers are still allowed two pieces of luggage for free into the cabin, including a suitcase and a smaller bag. The website states: “The main piece of cabin luggage must be no larger than 56cm x 45cm x 25cm including handles, wheels and pockets.

“Each passenger is also allowed a smaller handbag/laptop bag and from August 18, 2015, the maximum size of these bags was reduced to 40cm x 30cm x 15cm”


Passengers with EasyJet are allowed a cabin-sized suitcase onboard, but this must also include a smaller handbag as only one bag is allowed. Only Flex passengers or those with small children can escape this rule.

“All customers can take ONE cabin bag on board. There’s no weight limit but we do ask that you are able to lift it into the overhead locker, [sized at] 56x45x25cm.

“You can bring an ADDITIONAL under seat bag if you’re an easyJet Plus cardholder, FLEXI fare, Up Front or Extra Legroom customer, or if you’re travelling with an infant (under 2) on your lap.”

Virgin Atlantic

The airline allows a standard cabin-sized bag onboard for economy travellers as well as a handbag or backpack. It states that the maximum size is 23 x 36 x 56cm weighing 10kg as well as a “handbag, small backpack/rucksack, pocketbook or purse”.


Basic fare passengers are allowed both a small bag as well as a cabin-sized suitcase, but both must weight under 10kg. The website reads: “You can always bring one carry-on bag in the cabin free of charge (55x40x23 cm).

“You can also bring one small personal item on board. This could be a little handbag or a slim laptop case that fits comfortably under the seat in front of you (25x33x20 cm).”

WOW air

The Iceland airline is one of the few airlines where passengers must pay for their suitcase to be allowed onboard.  Passengers are only allowed a free small item of luggage onboard. It states that “Included in the WOW airfare is one small personal item up to a maximum of 42x32x25cm (10kg/22 lbs) including handles and wheels, such as a small bag/backpack, laptop or a camera bag. The item must fit under the seat in front of you.

“WOW air guests can purchase allowance for one carry-on bag, up to a maximum of 56x45x25cm/ 22x18x10in including handles and wheels, and no more than 12 kg/26 lbs.”

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