Ryanair passengers can save money by shipping their luggage to their destination with courier companies according to a new consumer study.

Watchdog Which! has published findings of its survey into the cost of luggage on budget airlines, including Ryanair.

The Daily Mail reports that Which! found that families can make significant savings by sending their summer luggage to their destination by courier.

The survey found that Ryanair’s $55 charge to send a suitcase from London to Malaga in Spain is so expensive that courier firm SendmyBag is almost $10 cheaper.

The researchers also found that golfers can save a small fortune by sending their clubs with couriers rather than using airlines.

The report states that airline baggage fees from the likes of Ryanair are now so high that it can be cheaper for holidaymakers to use a specialist courier.

It says Ryanair charges $55 to put a standard 20kg suitcase into the aircraft hold on a one-way flight to Malaga, $10 more than courier firm SendmyBag charge for the same weight.

A family of four could save $80 on their return flight costs by sending their luggage by a courier to their holiday destination and back.

Transport of golf clubs on a similar journey using budget airlines could cost over a thousand dollars for four golfers but less than half that with courier firms.

The researchers do point out that couriers require baggage several days in advance of travel.

The Which? survey said Michael O’Leary’s Ryanair is not alone in imposing punishing fees for carrying large items of holiday luggage.

It found that four of the five luggage couriers it checked were cheaper to transport a 30kg golf bag from England to Spain than Jet2, Monarch, or Thomson Airways.

A Which? spokesman said: “It’s surprising that it can work out hundreds of pounds cheaper to get sports gear chauffeured to your destination rather than putting it in the hold.

“It’s worth checking out the prices of couriers before booking your plane tickets but it will require a bit more forward planning as most couriers need to pick up bags a few days before departure.”

The report says it is estimated that airlines around the world make approximately $36 billion every single year from ‘upsells’ and additional fees such for extra luggage allowance.

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