Ryanair passenger cheats new free hand luggage policy with giant coat


A Ryanair passenger got around the airline’s new hand luggage policy in ingenious, if unfashionable, style.

Lee Cimino, 30, booked flights to Belfast for a weekend away, only to discover the budget airline’s new baggage policy came into force two days beforehand.

From 1 November, Ryanair reduced its free hand luggage amount from two bags to one.

Unwilling to pay £6 extra to take a second bag into the cabin or £8 to check a 10kg bag into the hold each way, Cimino took matters into his own hands by converting an old coat into a wearable suitcase.

“I love Ryanair, they’ve flown me all over,” he said in a video he made of the experience. “It’s always on time, it runs like clockwork.

“But these latest changes, they’re too much.”

The property landlord from Staffordshire said Ryanair had gone “too far” and that he was “properly annoyed”. 

In preparation for his birthday Belfast trip, Cimino took an old beige coat to his local tailor, Sew Wot? in Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent, and asked them to customise it with pockets and compartments.

The idea was to fit the entire contents of a roll-on cabin bag into the lining of the coat. Toiletry bags were sewn in, as well as several pairs of pants to provide extra storage; the conversion cost around £25-30, Cimino told The Independent.

The video shows him cramming clothes and even a pair of shoes into the coat lining.

“This is never going to work, it sticks out like a mile,” he said, trying on the bulky item.

However, he decided to try his luck anyway at Manchester airport for his 8.30am flight on Saturday 3 November, making it through the airport fairly seamlessly.

“Security wasn’t an issue, I just put it in the tray,” he told The Independent

“The worry and the nerves were something else, but I got to the gate and boarded the plane with zero issues.” 

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Cimino said that, having done it successfully once, he’d definitely try it again. “There’d be no hesitation in doing it in future or recommending other people give it a go. It’s not so much the cost even, but you don’t have to wait for your bag to be offloaded at the other end. It saves time and money.”

A Ryanair spokesperson said: “Thanks to our larger free small bag allowance (40 per cent bigger) and cheaper checked-in bag option (£8 for a 10kg bag), Ryanair customers can bring all they need without having to board the aircraft looking like the Michelin Man or Joey from Friends.”

It’s not the first time passengers have found innovative ways of shirking extra baggage fees.

In January, a man claimed he was denied boarding onto a British Airways flight for wearing too many extra layers of clothes.

Ryan Carney Williams, an artist and designer who goes by the name Ryan Hawaii, wore eight pairs of trousers and 10 shirts for his flight home from Keflavik – all the clothes that wouldn’t fit in his checked luggage.

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