Brace, brace. The latest changes to Ryanair's baggage policies take effect today, meaning passengers who want to take anything more than a small bag on board must pay for the privilege. Only those paying 6/6 for priority boarding will be able to take a small suitcase of up to 10kg in the cabin. That option is cheaper than the 8/8 charge to check in a 10kg bag. Ryanair says the changes - the second this year - are intended to reduce flight delays.

The problem faced by the Irish carrier - along with many other airlines - is the lack of overhead locker space on the Boeing 737 and the Airbus A320 aircraft used for short-haul routes.Gerald Khoo, an analyst at Liberum, says Ryanair planes have room for about 90 "wheelie" suitcases, considerably fewer than the 189 passengers it can hold. As the airline's flights are on average 95% full, there clearly isn't enough space for everyone's luggage. "They are effectively rationing scarce capacity and saying if you want that space in the cabin, then you have to pay for it," Mr Khoo says.

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