RYANAIR’S policy of charging a fee for hand luggage is ‘abusive’ and can no longer be applied in Spain, a court ruled today.
The decision came after a passenger took the Irish carrier to court over its new policy, introduced last year, which charges travellers an additional fee for bringing more than one personal item into the cabin.
The complainant in the case was flying from Madrid to Brussels when airline staff forced her to pay €20 to bring her 10kg luggage on board.
The budget airline must now refund her that amount plus interest.
A further €10 for the suffering she experiences was denied, court documents revealed.
However the Dublin-based carrier has claimed the ruling will not affect its policy.
“This ruling will not affect Ryanair’s baggage policy, as it misquoted the [European Court of Justice] and misinterpreted the airlines’ commercial freedom to determine the size of their cabin baggage,” it said in a statement.
When asked if it was planning to ignore the Spanish ruling or appeal it in the European Court of Justice, Ryanair declined to comment.
The judge ruled that the hand luggage could be easily be taken into the cabin, pointing to a Spanish regulation that allows passengers to take hand luggage on board at no additional cost.
The judge went on to label the fee as abusive, saying it ‘curtailed the rights that the passenger has recognised by law’, and declared it invalid in Spain.
The court said in a statement that its ruling cannot be appealed.