Boeing 737 landing.

Boeing 737 landing.

Ryanair announced they want to be rid of checked bags. Reading the blogosphere about this (mostly the comments), it seems fliers are upset they wouldn’t be able to check bags and will probably somehow get charged more.

But is this really thatcrazy? I think this concept will save Ryanair money which will in turn should save passengers money. Here are some reasons I think it might be a good idea:

#1: No need for ticket counters. If you can check in at home (and be charged for it no doubt) and you can’t check in bags, why do you need a counter? Maybe one or two customer service people (that you can pay to talk to) at the airport, but this means no counter rental, staff, equipment, etc.
#2: No bag carrousel needed. If there are no checked bags, there is no need to have the carrousel. Not only does this save money but saves you a lot of time not having to wait for your bag.
#3: No baggage personnel. Ryanair doesn’t have to pay people to take bags on/off the flight, drive them to the airport, etc.
#4: No vehicles needed to transport luggage and no gas, insurance, upkeep on those vehicles.
#5: Don’t have to pay for lost luggage. People can’t lose it if they don’t check it. The airline would have no need for customer service representatives for lost baggage, and they don’t have to pay to hunt it down, ship it, or return it.
#6: Reduces the need for fuel. With the plane weighing less it would take less fuel to get from point A to B.
#7: It works. Take a look at Horizon Air, they give you the option for “Ala Cart Service” where passengers can put bags on a cart before entering the plane, they put the bags in the cargo hold, and have them on a cart for you when you get off. It might be more difficult with a larger plane, but the concept can work.

Yes, there are some downsides to this, and they will lose checked baggage fees, but I think overall they will walk away with more money in the pocket and able to provide even cheaper fares.

Although many fliers complain when changes like this occur, their memory seems to be erased when they can see how much money they can save on an airline ticket. Right or wrong, good idea or bad, I am interested to see how this works out.

What do you think? Is this a good idea? Will it work? Will Ryanair pass on their savings?

Image: jordi757

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF & FOUNDER - SEATTLE, WA. David has written, consulted, and presented on multiple topics relating to airlines and travel since 2008. He has been quoted and written for a number of news organizations, including BBC, CNN, NBC News, Bloomberg, and others. He is passionate about sharing the complexities, the benefits, and the fun stuff of the airline business. Email me: [email protected]

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6 Comments

Well what about the customers who want to take more than a carry on? Alot of people use Ryanair for vacations. I guess they’ll have to switch to other airlines. Thankfully in Europe there are usually alternatives.

Ryanair won’t pass on anything. They sell many ticket for less than 1 EUR or 1 GBP and load it up with charges including a EUR5 check in charge (if you do it at home!)

Ryanair is not in the customer service business. If you ask Michael O’Leary he’ll probably tell you the same!

Dorothy

Ryanair is very strict now about only one carryon bag and really enforce the size limits. Most of the Ryanair folks are going for fairly short trips and probably could bring all they need in one bag. The problem arises when they are returning home. I know that the folks in Ireland shop a lot in Europe as the price of clothes, etc., there is so much less than in Ireland. I do see how Ryanair could use Horizon Air’s model for checking in bags, though, as long as they can figure out how to charge for it!! Seems like Michael O’Leary is in the business of getting his name in the paper every day over here.

I was reviewing the fees chart on CNN today (http://www.cnn.com/2009/TRAVEL/06/24/airline.fees/index.html) and had to think, wait a minute, I understand needing to make money, but when people travel they usually need clothes, toiletries, etc., why charge for that if it’s an acceptable amount of stuff (one checked bag). Why not charge for people who are overweight? Hey, flying is all about weight and balance. Weight is so important in the flying equation that the airlines have dedicated groups working all day just to keep these airplanes underweight. If people bring excessive amounts of luggage to carry on and/or are obese, they should be charged more. Those of us who are responsible and bring just what we need and are not overweight should not be charged. I know some will be shocked by this view of obese people, but the airline business is the only business that could get away with charging for obese people because weight plays a huge role in the business. More weight = more fuel, there is no argument that refutes that. It takes more fuel to get the obese person from point A to point B than it does a non-obese person. At this time, those of who are responsible, non-obese people are helping to pay for the irresponsible people who bring everything in their homes on their trip and/or are overweight.

Kevin, to be fair, taxis, buses, and trains all get better fuel economy when the passengers are lighter. It always takes more energy to move additional weight.

According to the Independant, Irish transport Minister, Noel Dempsey, shot down Ryanair proposals to force passengers to carry their bags all the way to the tarmac beside an aircraft.
Mr Dempsey insisted security measures for cabin and hold baggage were in place as part of the overall aviation security regime in the State

http://www.independent.ie/travel/travel-advice/ryanairs-carry-own-bag-plan-blocked-1815714.html

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