The UK Governments latest piece of airline travel advice, which recommends that passengers use hold luggage instead of carry-on bags, has come under criticism with one airline calling it “rubbish”.
The advice from the Department of Transport (DoT) says passengers should minimise carry-on bags and instead check luggage in to be placed in the hold in order to help minimise the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Budget airline Ryanair (FR/RYR) has dismissed this advice though saving checked-in bags are handled by multiple people which increases the risk of virus transmission.
Ryanair says that passengers should minimise checked-in luggage in favour of one or two carry-on bags which eliminates the risk of physical contact with other people.
A spokesperson for the budget airline said: “In attempting to minimise physical contact during the travel process, particularly on short-haul flights, Ryanair recommends passengers to minimise checked-in bags and, where possible, confine themselves to one or two carry-on bags (1 large, 1 small for customers with Priority boarding) which minimises physical contact with other persons.
“The UK DOT should stop issuing rubbish advice to passengers about baggage and instead focus their efforts on scrapping the UK’s useless visitor quarantine which the UK Home Office now admit cannot be implemented, supervised or policed effectively.
“Ryanair is going back flying with 1,000 daily flights from 1 July. Recent bookings show how UK customers are largely ignoring this useless visitor quarantine as they book in their thousands to holiday destinations in July and August.”
The DoT safety advice says “You are strongly encouraged to check-in baggage to the aircraft hold and minimise any hand baggage. This will speed up boarding and disembarking and minimise the risk of transmission.” but Ryanair says it sets a maximum cabin bag limit which ensures the boarding process is unaffected.
Ryanair’s Cabin Bag policy may prevent some being able to take the airlines advice though as only passengers who have paid for priority booking are able to take a large bag onboard.
Ryanairs Cabin Bag Policy
Only priority boarding passengers will be permitted to take one small bag (40cm x 20cm x 25cm), plus a larger cabin bag (55 x 40 x 20cm) with a maximum weight allowance of 10kg into the cabin free of charge.
Non-priority customers can only bring one small bag (40cm x 20cm x 25cm), that must fit into the sizer. If non-priority customers want to bring a second bigger bag, they can purchase a lower cost 10kg check-in bag at the time of booking online. It must be checked-in at the airport bag drop desk, prior to reaching airport security.