A row over a new baggage fee policy instituted by Ryanair which was decried as discriminatory against travelers flying in and out of Israel was ended on Thursday with a statement by the airline rescinding the fee.
The €50 fee was introduced last Monday, only for passengers on flights to and from Israel, for stowing their large cabin-bags in the hold. Elsewhere, passengers had the option of either paying a €5 fee to take a small carry-on and a second, larger bag onto the plane with them, or have the second one stowed in the hold at no charge.
The airline said the policy for Israel was necessitated by the special security procedures at Ben Gurion and Ovda airports, where Ryanair conducts operations. But the Israel Airports Authority said there had been no change in security policy which would explain Ryanair singling out Israel, according to Globes.
In the past few days, Ryanair was reportedly barraged with complaints and unfavorable publicity over the issue. Many passengers were said to be irate upon arriving for their flight, unaware of the fee they would have to pay.
In reply to a query from Hamodia, the airline said there was no reason for the passengers to be caught unawares, since notice of the new fee had been sent to customers via email and posted on the company’s website, and they could have taken advantage of priority boarding to avoid the larger fee. Evidently, the word did not reach everybody.
On Thursday, Ryanair issued the following statement, which explicitly gives Israel passengers the option of free storage in the hold: “From 20th January 2018, all customers on Ryanair flights to/from Israeli airports will be permitted to bring two free carry-on bags (one wheelie and one small) to the gate, subject to airport security permitting them to do so.
“Priority customers will be allowed to bring their two bags (one wheelie and one small) on board. Non-priority customers can bring their smaller bag on board and place their wheelie bag in the hold, free of charge, at the boarding gate.
“Any customers with a bag that is not permitted through airport security who are sent back to check-in will be required to pay the airport check-in bag fee. Ryanair continues to work with airport security to encourage them to permit all carry-on bags through airport security, as these security turn backs continue to be a problem for Ryanair and its customers.”