Ryanair has learned the hard way that you really can have too much of a good thing.
The budget airline said today that customers can no longer take two bags into the cabins of its planes, because constant flouting of cabin bag rules is causing delays on busy flights.
As part of its "Always Getting Better" campaign, the budget airline previously announced that passengers would be able to bring two carry-on bags with them on holiday, avoiding the £35 luggage charge. But it has now said it will alter the policy as of 1 November this year because flights have been getting overloaded during the busy summer months.
In a statement this morning the company said: "As too many customers are availing of Ryanair's improved two free carry-on bags service, and with high load factors (97 per cent in August) there is not enough overhead cabin space for this volume of carry-on bags, which is causing boarding/flight delays."
Instead, only priority boarding customers will be allowed two bags in the cabin, while everyone else will be allowed one carry-on and one which will be stowed for free in the hold.
Ryanair has also promised to cut the standard luggage charge to £25.
Chief executive Kenny Jacobs said the price change was set to cost the company €50m a year.
"We hope that by restricting non-priority customers to one small carry-on bag [...] this will speed up the boarding of flights and eliminate flight delays being caused by not having sufficient overhead cabin space on busy flights to accommodate over 360 carry-on bags," he said.
Neil Wilson, senior analyst at ETX Capital, said the €50m had some investors worried: "It hopes to claw this back by encouraging more people to check in bag but investors aren’t buying it. Worries about a turbulent second half, terror attacks in Europe and falling average fares have already got the market worried, although traffic growth in August was strong."
Shares in Ryanair fell by as much as one per cent this morning and were down 0.77 per cent at time of writing.
The number of passengers flying with the airline increased more than nine per cent on last year to 8.2m.
The load factor was 96.3 per cent, up 1.4 points on last August, as appetite for holidays continued to the end of summer.
Shares popped one per cent but later sank by the same amount.