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Thursday  was the first official day of Ryanair’s new baggage policy. The changes, according to the biggest airline in Europe, were established to reduce flight delays. This will be the second baggage policy change made in 2018.

Since January, Ryanair’s baggage policy has permitted non-priority passengers a “personal bag” (a purse, for example) onboard and a second, larger bag that could weigh up to 10 kg (22 lb) with no additional fees. That method, however, resulted in a significant amount of delays and disruptions due to the time allotted to handling and tagging said bags.

This second policy change is meant to reduce these delays by ditching the free 10 kg bag entirely. Instead, Ryanair has upped the “personal bag” size by 40% and charges passengers £8 ($10.40) to check in a 10 kg bag. That, or pay for priority boarding — which costs £6 ($7.80) and is essentially a return of the January policy: a 10 kg bag and a “personal.”

However, Ryanair believes that air-travelers may opt for the £8 checked bag. While checking your luggage almost always proves a more convenient method when flying Ryanair, the original price to check luggage was £25 for up to a 20 kg bag. The budget airline also believes that the changes won’t really affect the majority of passengers as 30% either already frequently purchased priority boarding or just brought one, personal bag anyway.

On the policy’s first day, the changes appeared to be running smoothly at Madrid Barajas Airport (MAD). “There didn’t seem to be any issues at the gate and people seemed to be informed of the new rules,” reported Lori Zaino, TPG Senior Writer, who was flying Ryanair that day out of MAD. “I didn’t see any employee putting bags in the sizers or hassling any customers, but that could be because no one in the non-priority line had a large bag.”

She also observed that about half the flight was in the priority booking line, which aligns pretty accurately with Ryanair’s projections. “Clearly people would prefer to pay the small price for priority boarding to be able to also bring their carry-on onboard,” she said.

Spain, however, is not in agreement with the new checked baggage rules. Italy isn’t really into it either — as Italy’s Antitrust authority decided that implementing a fee on carry-on luggage can mislead customers looking to purchase a ticket. Especially because luggage, when traveling, is almost always a factor. The countries have given Ryanair five days to reply; the airline said it intends to appeal the decision.

Featured image by Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images

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