Ryanair has postponed plans to cut its cabin baggage allowance until after Christmas.

The budget airline had previously announced passengers would only be able to take a single smaller piece of hand luggage, rather than the current two, into the cabin unless they paid more for priority boarding from Wednesday 1 November.

But it has today announced it will delay the change until 15 January next year, to "allow customers more time to familiarise themselves with the policy changes".

Ryanair, which came under fire this autumn after cancelling hundreds of flights, has already reduced the cost of checking in a 20kg bag to the hold from £35 to £25. It's also removed the option to pay less to check in a smaller 15kg bag. These changes will not be reversed.

How are the hand luggage rules changing?

Ryanair currently allows you to carry two items of hand luggage:

  • A larger bag – 55cm x 40cm x 20cm with a 10kg weight limit.
  • And a smaller bag – such as a handbag or laptop bag, with a max size of 35cm x 20cm x 20cm and no weight restriction.

From 15 January 2018, you will still be able to take both bags through security, but those customers without priority boarding will only be able to bring their smaller bag into the cabin. The larger bag will have to be put into the hold at the boarding gate, at no extra charge.

If you pay extra for priority boarding – typically £5 – you will still be able to take both bags into the cabin.

What does Ryanair say?

Ryanair's chief marketing officer Kenny Jacobs said: "We will delay the introduction of our new cabin bag rules until 15 January 2018, to allow our customers more time to familiarise themselves with the policy changes.

"From January, we will be restricting non-priority customers to one small carry-on bag (their wheelie bag will be placed in the hold, free of charge, at the boarding gate) which will speed up the boarding of flights and eliminate flight delays.

"We have already introduced the first phase of the new bag policy which offers our customers lower bag fees for a 33% increase in their check-in bag allowance. This will lead to fewer customers with two carry-on bags at the boarding gates, which is causing flight delays."