ENAC Hand Luggage Ban Onboard Contested by Ryanair

No carry-ons in the passenger cabin

ENAC Hand Luggage Ban Onboard Contested by Ryanair


There are more gatherings for everyone and more places to fly. But the new Italian Civil Aviation Authority ENAC hand luggage ban which prohibits carrying luggage in the passenger cabin due to prevention measures instituted by the Ministry of Health, has given rise to negative feedback.

Passengers will have to stand in line to leave their luggage at the check-in counters, even though this could have been avoided since everyone now has their boarding card on their mobile device or is pre-printed. Once luggage is checked in, passengers will need to get in line again on arrival to fetch their hand luggage potentially bringing about more possible negative consequences. Another confusing note in this whole scenario is that ENAC pointed out that the rule only applies to flights where the central seat is not left free.

Ryanair’s negative comment

An added complication is that Ryanair (but not only Ryanair), has already sold tickets charging for the possibility of arranging for luggage in overhead bins –  now a service no longer offered.

According to the Civil Aviation Authority, the use of overhead bins will not be allowed on flights to and from Italy, with the consequence that the luggage must be placed in the hold. On board, however,  a handbag or backpack is only allowed to be placed under the seat in front.

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Eddie Wilson, CEO of Ryanair, unafraid of confrontation, bluntly commented on the recent decision taken by ENAC on the ban of carry-on baggage. “It is madness and exposes passengers to a greater risk of contagion,” he said in an interview published on corriere.it, adding: “We respect the decision, but it seems a rule designed by people not fully acquainted with air transport. Net of the inconvenience, this ban increases the chances of gathering. First of all, people are forced to queue at the check-in counters to store luggage, and this occurs in areas of the airport with spaces that do not allow to respect the social distance.”

“Boarding is less risky following a sequential order based on the position of the seat,” Wilson continued. Pending the outcome of the complaints presented by the Irish carrier to ENAC and EASA (the European Aviation Safety Agency) “we have written a letter to AICALF, the Italian Low Fares Airline Association, and also to the ministries of Health and Transport.”

In addition, Wilson stressed that common rules are lacking in Europe. “According to EASA, people can fly again if the same rules apply in all countries, I don’t understand why ENAC adopted a different direction,” concluded Wilson.

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