LONDON (Reuters) – British airline EasyJet is to reduce its onboard luggage allowance from Feb. 10 next year, a move which will incentivise more people to pay to select their seat or check a bag into the hold.

Under the new rules, all passengers can bring a small bag for free, but only those who pay for a seat in the front of the plane or extra leg room can also bring a larger bag to go in the overhead locker.

EasyJet is only flying 20% of its capacity this winter due to travel restrictions related to the pandemic, and has said it continues to review options for additional funding after posting a 1.3 billion pound annual loss.

The airline said the new luggage rules, which bring its approach more into line with larger rival Ryanair, would be positive for customers.

“Our new policy will improve boarding and punctuality for everyone, as well as give our customers certainty of what they will have with them onboard,” easyJet’s chief commercial and customer officer Robert Carey said in a statement on Tuesday.

Previously, all easyJet passengers were allowed to bring a large bag for the overhead locker, although some of these were placed in the hold when the lockers became full.

Pre-COVID, easyJet’s ancillary revenues, which include sales from checked baggage and allocated seating, accounted for about a fifth of the airline’s total 2019 annual revenues of 6.4 billion pounds.

(Reporting by Sarah Young. Editing by Jane Merriman)

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