From today you have to pay extra for your Ryanair hand luggage

Ryanair passengers now need to pay extra if they want to take a suitcase in the cabin (Source: Getty)

Ryanair's controversial new hand luggage rules take effect today, with customers having to pay extra if they want to take a small carry-on bag on board.

For many airlines, two pieces of hand luggage are free of charge and already included in the price.

But Ryanair passengers must pay £6 to add a 10kg cabin bag to their carry-on, with tickets otherwise limiting them to one item of hand luggage that will fit under the seat in front of them. This rises to an £8 fee if people add the extra baggage to their ticket after booking.

Non-priority passengers cannot bring extra hand baggage on board their flight, but must pay £8 to store hand luggage in the hold, or £10 if they choose to do so after booking.

Ryanair claims the new policy is necessary in order to curb flight and boarding delays.

In September, Italy's competition watchdog launched an inquiry into the low cost carrier's new hand luggage charges, saying that the practice of adding costs for hand luggage later made an accurate price comparison of tickets impossible.

The changes come after 35,000 Ryanair passengers suffered cancelled flights in a single day in September after strikes.

At the company's AGM last month, nearly 30 per cent of investors revolted against the re-election of chairman David Bonderman.