Low-cost carrier Ryanair’s new policy on luggage comes with a premium for its passengers departing Israel.
The Irish airline announced this week that passengers not wishing to pay extra for priority boarding will have their wheelie-bags and other large hand baggage stowed for free in the hold, rather than the cabin.
But in Israel, passengers without priority boarding are being asked to pay €40 (£35) extra to check in their large bags and €50 if they want to keep them until just before boarding.
A Ryanair spokesman told Yediot Ahronot that Israel has been singled out for the special fee due to the additional security procedures prevailing there.
But the Israel Airports Authority said it was seeking clarification from Ryanair, saying that there have been no changes in security procedures over the past week.
Ryanair flies routes to Ovda, near Eilat, and Tel Aviv Ben Gurion Airport from several European countries. It does not operate direct flights between Israel and the UK.
The new baggage rules have infuriated unsuspecting Israeli passengers, with reports of passengers arriving at the airport without prior knowledge of them.
In a statment, Ryanair said: “Customers have the option of purchasing priority boarding, costing €5 at the time of booking or added later for €6 (available on the app up to 30 minutes before their scheduled flight departure time) in order to bring a larger cabin bag on board, or can purchase a checked-in bag, which have been reduced in price to €25 and increased in size to 20kg. Customers can also check-in their bag at the airport for €40. Those who don’t purchase priority boarding or check-in their bag will be subject to a €50 gate bag fee for their larger cabin bag.
“All customers travelling to/from Israel have been informed of these changes by email and on the Ryanair.com website.”