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Last Updated: Thursday, 16 March 2006, 01:31 GMT
Ryanair begins baggage charging
Passengers checking in at Luton airport
Those carrying only hand luggage will not face the charge
Budget airline Ryanair is to begin charging passengers for checking in baggage before flights.

The Dublin-based carrier will charge people up to 5 for each piece of luggage that goes in the aircraft hold.

Ryanair said it was introducing the charge in an effort to reduce queues and airport handling costs.

It said passengers carrying only hand luggage would avoid the extra fee and be able to check in online - reducing their overall ticket price by 9%.

Reducing costs

People flying with the airline will now be charged an extra 2.50 for each bag they plan to check in at the airport.

But if left to the day of travel, the cost doubles to 5.

Earlier this year the no-frills airline said it hoped to encourage more people to travel on its flights with just hand luggage.

"We have to be more creative as to how we tackle costs," Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary said in January.

Reducing airport and handling costs would also save Ryanair more than 20m over the current financial year, the company said.

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