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Ryanair to cut baggage handlers?

12 May 2009 by Mark Caswell

Ryanair’s latest cost-saving idea is to ask passengers to carry their own checked luggage through security and to the steps of the plane, according to a report by Reuters.

The report says that the budget carrier is considering the move to cut out the need for baggage handlers, and quotes CEO Michael O’Leary as saying:

“We would say to passengers … take your own bag down through airport security, leave it at the bottom of the steps, we put it in the hold and on arrival we deliver it to the aircraft steps and you take it with you.”

Whether such a move would be allowed by airport authorities is another question, and businesstraveller.com wonders if the carrier would employ Ryanair-branded porters to help those unable to carry their baggage themselves (at a charge of course). On the plus side, it would place control over checked luggage actually reaching its destination into the hands of the passenger.

It’s the latest in a long line of cost-cutting measures either implemented or mooted by the low-cost airline, from the removal of check-in desks (see online news March 10, 2009), to charging for in-flight toilets. The carrier has however decided not to go ahead with its controversial “fat tax”, saying that it would not be possible to collect the charge “without disrupting its 25-minute turnarounds and its online check-in process”.

For more information visit ryanair.com.

Report by Mark Caswell

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