Ryanair passenger Tania Alston, 51, and her daughter Malaika spent 14 hours in Alicante Airport in Spain.
Ms Alston claims the pair were stopped at the departure gate because her 12-year-old’s bag was too big.
Malaika’s bag was measured by staff, who said it was 0.7 inches (2cm) too deep according to hand luggage restrictions.
Ms Alston claims her own bag was bigger than her daughters but she wasn’t initially pulled up by staff.
The pair were given the option of paying £50 to put Malaika’s bag in the hold.
But Ms Alston said she couldn’t afford the fee as her pay day was the next day.
She tried to fit her daughter’s belongings into her own suitcase, but claims a staff member intervened and told her at this point her own bag was too big also.
Ms Alston was now faced with a £100 fee to stow both bags in the hold.
She said she tried to reason with staff, asking if she could collect the bags at Manchester Airport (their destination) when she could afford the fee, but they refused.
The pair ended up missing their 9.10pm flight on August 10, and instead spent 14 hours in the airport.
They slept on clothes from their bags, spread out on the floor.
Ms Alston paid £385 for Jet2 flights the next day when she had been paid.
Ms Alston said: “It was horrendous. We tried to be positive, but there were no spare seats in the airport and the floor we slept on was rock hard and freezing cold.
“It made no sense. We’ve used these bags as carry-on for the last four years. I didn’t have the money in my account because I was getting paid the following morning.
“It wasn’t just the fact they wouldn’t work with me, it was that there was no compassion. It was terrible and really traumatic for my daughter.”
The pair had flown out to Alicante with Vueling, which has the same luggage restrictions as Ryanair.
A spokesperson for Ryanair said all customers have to agree to adhere to its terms and conditions.
They said: “This customer’s bag exceeded our maximum cabin bag dimensions and they were given the option of checking the bag in to the hold upon the payment of our gate bag fee, but refused to do so and did not board the aircraft.
“We have repeatedly urged our customers to comply with our cabin bag rules, which are being continuously flouted, resulting in boarding delays during this peak summer season.”
Express.co.uk has contacted Ryanair for further comment.
Earlier this summer Ryanair warned passengers it would be taking a much stricter approach to hand luggage allowances on holiday flights after customers continued to flout the rules.