Ryanair boss tells passengers to 'ignore new baggage rules' after Gov advise checking hand luggage to reduce coronavirus

RYANAIR boss Michael O'Leary has urged passengers to ignore the new government guidelines on checking hand luggage into the hold – and to do the exact opposite.

New guidelines issued yesterday on travelling warns holidaymakers to reduce hand luggage in cabins to prevent the spread of coronavirus, by checking as much into the hold as possible.

Mr O'Leary says he is advising against this, and instead wants to keep as many bags out of the hold as possible.

He told the Independent: "We’re recommending passengers do exactly the opposite: maximise carry-on bags and minimise checked-in bags."

He added: "Our logic has always been that checked-in bags are handled by eight pairs of hands, from the check-in desk to the boarding gate, all the way through to the arrival airport as well – whereas a carry-on bag the passenger keeps with them at all times."

Mr O'Leary says he is warning against the government rules despite the airline making "more money out of checked-bags".

Passengers would likely have to foot the bill if they wanted to check luggage in, as the new guidelines advise it, not enforce it.

At the moment only essential travel is allowed but Brits are still hopeful for a summer holiday in the coming months amid speculation that the guidelines could be lowered in the next few weeks.

Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, said yesterday: "[The] guidance is a positive next step towards ensuring a safer and more sustainable aviation sector.

"The Government’s advice currently remains to avoid all non-essential travel, but we are taking the necessary steps to ensure a framework is in place for the aviation industry to bounce back when it is safe for restrictions on travel to be lifted."

Tim Hawkins, Chief Strategy Officer at MAG, added: "This new guidance provides the basis for the restart and recovery of the UK aviation industry – it offers clear information for us, our passengers and our airlines on the steps needed to create a safe travel experience."

Mr O'Leary has also dismissed the current 14-day quarantine restriction which was enforced this week.

Ryanair, along with easyJet and British Airways, have today launched legal action over the Government's 14-day travel quarantine rules.

The airlines confirmed this morning that they have officially taken action in the courts to try and get the decision reversed.

They say that their argument is based on the fact that the quarantine rules are stricter for tourists than for people in the country who actually have Covid-19 – and tourism leaders fear it could further devastate the travel industry.

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