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No limit to easyJet's hand baggage

Freeing up the airtcraft hold allows more room for the airline to make more money on freight.
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Biz Traveller

LONDON, England (CNN) -- If you have ever worried about checking in a heavy business trip suitcase in your hand baggage allowance, help is now at hand.

From July 12 all passengers on no-frills airline easyJet will not be restricted by weight on the hand luggage they bring on to the plane.

This follows Ryanair's announcement earlier this month that it is also raising the weight limit for its hand luggage from 7kg (15lb) to 10kg (22lb).

"Our new hand baggage arrangement will give passengers the freedom to carry more than they could on British Airways Club Class," said easyJet Chief Executive Ray Webster in a statement.

EasyJet says this new allowance could be particularly attractive to business passengers.

The only stipulation on easyJet flights is that passengers must be able to lift their bag into the overhead lockers safely and without assistance.

The UK-based budget carrier is also allowing passengers to take on a second small piece of luggage such as a handbag, laptop or camera bag.

However, there is still a restriction on the dimension of carry-on bags, in order to comply with the safety regulations of the UK Civil Aviation Authority. This is also reflected in the limited space in the overhead storage bins.

Hand luggage must be no bigger than 55x40x20 cm, (22x16x8in). These dimensions are still bigger than the current size used in Club Class for some carriers.

Light travel

In another move, Ryanair says it plans to ban heavy luggage on its flights.

It will persuade passengers to travel light by taking only hand baggage. This will be "encouraged" through a system of penalties.

Michael O'Leary, Ryanair's chief executive, told The Times newspaper that over the next three years luggage allowances would be tightened to persuade fliers to pack more carefully.

The airline has already reduced the allowance for checked in baggage from 20kg to 15kg and more than doubled its charges for excess. Within 18 months, it plans to impose charges for baggage stowed in the aircraft hold.

As an incentive, passengers who take only hand luggage could receive a refund on the cost of their ticket.

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