The scare stories about the low budget airline’s plans to charge for use of the toilets has not yet come to pass, but its boss Michael O’Leary is determined to remove heavy baggage entirely. By adding more tax on larger items he is attempting to wear passengers down to the point where they leave all those extra shirts and shorts and shoes at home. Ryanair’s tax on larger luggage has gone up by €20 for the summer period
O’Leary says that Ryanair has no plans to follow Wizz Air’s example by charging for extra cabin baggage (the first one is free). But he envisions a time when all airlines will charge for carry-on bags. He told the Daily Telegraph: “At some time in the future I think it’s likely that airlines will charge for carry-on bags but I can’t get my head round how you would do it. I think it’s unlikely that we will do it – until I can see what’s in it for us.” It may be a way of making extra revenue but it would slow down airlines who like to make a fast turn-around.
He says they can never be completely rid of bags “but I would be surprised if we cannot reduce the number of passengers with heavy luggage from 19% to 10%”.
Some people may mock O’Leary – he’s either eccentric or charismatic depending on who you ask – but the passengers just keep coming. For 2012, Ryanair reported passenger traffic had risen to 75.8m, 5 % up on the previous year. Profits rose by 25% to €503m.
O’Leary did not mention if he would tax passengers who attempt to avoid the extra baggage tax by wearing several sets of clothing at the same time.