What will happen to hand luggage after the fine against Ryanair, Vueling, Volotea and Easyjet: will they continue to charge for hand luggage? What does the law say?

Vueling registration location at Barcelona-El Prat Josep Tarradellas Airport. (David Zorrachino/Europa Press)

The Ministry of Consumer Affairs this Friday introduced fine of more than 150 million euros to low cost airlines Ryanair, Vueling, EasyJet and Volotea to charge passengers for hand luggage. This is a historic fine for our country’s airlines. The alarm was raised by complaints received from various consumer associations such as Facua. However Airline Association (ALA) sharply criticized the sanctions imposed by the department of Pablo Bustindui, which accounts for 85% of air traffic in Spain.

The president of the association, Javier Gandara, responded yesterday that for now “there will be no changes to the commercial policies of the affected airlines“because at the moment IThe decision is not firm. However, following the fine, airlines have launched a counter-attack and the association has already warned that it will harm Spanish consumers, who will see ticket prices rise and cause delays due to the need to check some bags in the hold. due to lack of cabin capacity.

Consumer and User Organization (OCU) And FACUA-Consumers in action stated that the additional charge for carrying hand luggage in the cabin violates the Air Navigation Act 1960. Article 97 of this law establishes that the carrier is obliged to carry luggage within the cost of the ticket in accordance with weight and volume restrictions. established by regulations.

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For their part, airlines are supported by the Regulations CE 1008/2008 dated September 24, which in its article 22 gives them the right to “freely” set tariffs and freight rates for intra-community air transportation. This rule requires airlines clearly and unambiguously communicate the price of additional additives at the beginning of the booking process, but does not specifically apply to the baggage service.

Given this situation, ALA defends the legality of charging for carry-on luggage. As stated, they will file appeals against the administration to avoid a million-dollar fine, and, if necessary, do not rule out resorting to judicial methods.

airlinesHaving exhausted the administrative route, they are thinking about moving on to defense National audience to protect your freedom to create tariff policy in case of an unfavorable decision. This decision will depend on the adoption precautionary measures the judge hearing the case.

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Each company has until mid-June to appeal the decision of the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, headed by Pablo Bustinduy, who, in turn, will have three months to render a verdict. If the fine is approved, airlines could initiate legal action to require precautions to be taken to maintain the current situation, further prolonging the uncertainty surrounding the possibility of free carry-on baggage.

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