31 May, 2024 @ 11:05
1 min read

Spain fines Ryanair, EasyJet and two other airlines a ‘historic’ €150million for ‘abusive’ hand luggage charges 

Spain fines Ryanair, EasyJet and two other airlines a ‘historic’ €150million for ‘abusive’ hand luggage charges

BUDGET carrier Ryanair tops a list of four airlines that have been fined a total of €150 million by Spain’s Ministry of Consumer Affairs for charging extra for hand luggage and seating.

The Facua consumer group applauded the decision after years of litigation which also sees sanctions handed out to Vueling, EasyJet and Volotea.

It is the largest-ever penalty for practices against customers to be imposed by the Ministry.

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RYANAIR-BIGGEST FINE(Cordon Press image)

Although a breakdown of the penalties has not been disclosed, Ryanair is said to have received the largest fine, according to Facua.

The government department started a probe in June 2023 to investigate whether airline practices were abusive or unfair and whether they contravened regulations.

The carriers have leave to appeal the fines.

A ministry spokesperson confirmed that the investigation came as a result of complaints from consumer organisations.

Four practices came under the spotlight:- charging a supplement for reserving adjoining seats to accompany children and dependents; a lack of transparency in pre-contractual information on the final price to be paid: charging a surcharge for carry-on luggage; and not allowing cash payments at the airport to cover extra services.

The most-sanctioned practice concerned hand luggage with the Ministry describing charges as ‘abusive’.

It said that based on current law, airlines have the right to determine the measurements and weights of carry-on baggage that can be carried on board, but they cannot charge extra for it.

The Association of Airlines (ALA), with members that account for 85% of air traffic in Spain, says the ‘fines are disproportionate and will harm consumers by eliminating the option for passengers to pay for exactly what they need’.

An ALA statement said: “This ruling means that almost 50 million passengers who do not take cabin luggage on board and only travel with hand luggage under the seat, will not benefit from paying only for essential services, as they will be forced to pay more for something they do not want.”

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