21 May, 2024 @ 10:59
1 min read

Lawyer takes Vueling to court in Spain and wins after airline charged him €60 for hand luggage in what judge branded an ‘abusive practice’

Lawyer takes Vueling to court in Spain and wins after airline charged him €60 for hand luggage in what judge branded an ‘abusive practice’

AN IBIZA man has won a battle with low-cost air carrier Vueling over an illegal hand luggage charge.

The lawyer filed a complaint after he was forced to pay €60 for hand luggage as part of his basic fare.

A Palma court described the charge as an ‘abusive practice and contrary to consumer rights’.

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CARRY-ON LUGGAGE(Pixabay image)

The claimant successfully argued that the payment was included in the basic ticket price and a Palma court awarded him a refund, plus interest and costs.

Ignacio Cardona travelled with Vueling last November from Ibiza to Valencia and was charged for his hand luggage on his return trip, two days later.

Cardona said his fare included the hand luggage as laid down by the company’s regulations.

The Palma court ruled that the airline is in a ‘situation of default’ and after being summoned to appear, it ‘did not do so to respond to the claim’.

The judgment pointed out two laws, namely one that allows carriers to set charges for air services but does not expressly address the issue of prices in relation to baggage.

Another piece of legislation obliges airlines to transport the passenger’s carry-on baggage at no additional cost on top of the price of the ticket.

The Palma ruling quotes another judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU).

It states that unchecked baggage ‘must be considered, in principle, an indispensable element of the carriage of passengers and that its carriage may therefore not be subject to a price surcharge, provided that such baggage meets reasonable requirements relating to its weight and dimensions and complies with the applicable safety requirements’.

The Palma court ordered a refund for Cardona’s hand luggage fee as it ‘complied with the dimensions and weight allowed by the airline itself’.

It further highlighted that the €60 charge is ‘contrary to accepted practices in air transport’.

The court says that while the regulations ‘allow some fare freedom’ for services, ‘carry-on baggage should not be considered an additional or optional service when it meets the specifications stipulated by the airline itself and the legislation.’

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