Man Sews Carry-on Coat as Loophole to New Ryanair Bag Policy
In what might be the most round-about way to execute a loophole of all time, airline passenger Lee Cimino has cracked the code to beating Ryanair's newest baggage policy.
The policy made its debut on Thursday, Nov. 1, and introduced a £8 ($10.40) fee to check a 10kg (22 lbs) bag (which passengers used to be able to carryon for free), or flyers can now pay £6 ($7.80) for priority boarding. To "make up" for the new fee, the budget airliner increased the permissible size of their (still free) "personal bag" by 40%. However, not everyone is pleased.
“I love Ryanair, they’ve flown me all over,” says Lee Cimino in a video he took documenting his loophole. “It’s always on time. It runs like clockwork." Yet, after discovering that his birthday trip to Belfast was scheduled two days after the new baggage policy was officially up-and-running, Cimino felt as if Ryanair had taken it "too far." So, as a means of avoiding extra fees (and maybe sticking it to the man a bit, as well,) Cimino invented his own, "foolproof" solution to the problem.
Using an old beige trenchcoat dug up from his closet and the sewing skills of local tailor "Sew Wot?", Cimino created a custom coat that does the same job as a 10kg piece of luggage. Decked out with sewn-in toiletry bags, extra pants and a plethora of unique compartments and pockets for optimal storage, the converted coat cost Cimino somewhere between £25-30 ($33-51). More expensive than the new checked bag policy, but at least he'll only have to pay for it one time.
When the big day rolled around, Cimino and his custom carryon jacket arrived at Manchester Airport (MAN) for his 8:30am flight to Belfast (BFS). He had no qualms getting through security. And, despite the bulkiness of the coat ("It sticks out like a mile," states Cimino in the video) -- he boarded the plane without any questions. “The worry and the nerves were something else, but I got to the gate and boarded the plane with zero issues,” said Cimino to The Independent. When there's a will, there's a way.
In response to the video, Ryanair released a statement that said: "Thanks to our larger free small bag allowance (40 percent bigger) and cheaper checked-in bag option (£8 for a 10kg bag), Ryanair customers can bring all they need without having to board the aircraft looking like the Michelin Man or Joey from Friends."