Wizz Air follows Ryanair by charging passengers for carry-on luggage suitcases

In a copycat of the no-frills Irish airline, travellers who want to take their hand luggage with them will now have to pay for priority boarding.

The budget airline has blamed the decision on lack of space in the cabin and a desire to improving boarding times.

Priority boarding on Wizz Air costs between €5 (£4.40) and €12 (£10.58) if bought in advance, or €25 (£22) at the airport.

If passengers choose not to buy Wizz Priority, their bags will be placed into the cargo hold compartment of the aircraft and can be collected at the baggage belt in the arrival airport.

Passengers will still be able to take a bag measuring 40 x 30 x 18 to store under the seat in front during their flight.

But bags with a maximum of 55 X 40 X 23cm and weighing no more than 10kg will have to go in the hold.

A spokesperson told the Independent: “The aim of this measure is to minimise hand luggage related delays and increase customer satisfaction.
“The company’s strategy is to ensure we keep the lowest fares possible for customers while providing them with options to customise their travel and pay only for the services required.

"This allows maximum flexibility for our passengers while offering them genuinely low ticket pricing.”

Ryanair was the first to bring in the policy of charging for larger cabin luggage by making passengers by priority boarding if they wanted to hold onto their bags, with the rules coming into effect last January.

The airline's Kenny Jacobs said: "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."

Passengers who decide against paying for priority boarding will have their bags removed from them during the boarding process.

A Ryanair spokesperson told Sun Online Travel: “Ryanair does not charge passengers for cabin luggage, Ryanair’s bag policy is clear and customers can still bring two bags them.

"Ryanair’s policy states that only customers with priority boarding may bring their larger / wheelie bag on board with them. All other (non-priority) passengers must check their bag in at the gate where it is placed in the hold, free of charge."

But travellers might want to think twice about parting with their hand luggage, following the experience of Dr Tamasine Hedderly from Burgess Hill, West Sussex, who was forced to put her bag in the hold on a recent easyJet flight.

But after landing in Rome, her luggage had gone missing and it took two weeks to show up – then when it did, it had been ripped to shreds.

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