Friday 22 March 2019

Ryanair hit with €3m fine over hand luggage policy

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John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Ryanair has been hit with a €3m fine by the Italian competition authority in relation to its hand luggage policy, while Wizz Air was fined €1m for its policies.

Since January last year Ryanair customers have only been able to take a small, personal bag on board for free. They’ve had to pay extra for priority boarding in order to take two items into the cabin – a small carry-on case, and a personal bag.

Passengers without priority boarding initially had their larger carry-on case stowed in the aircraft hold free of charge. However, Ryanair later changed its policy, charging non-priority passengers for any small carry-on case that had to be placed in the hold. However, it also increased the size of the personal bag that passengers could take on board for free.

Last autumn, the Italian regulator requested the two low-cost airlines to suspend their new baggage policies.

The regulator subsequently opened investigations as Ryanair did not apply the required suspension and because Wizz Air passengers signalled it had not followed the request.

The airlines could have been fined up to €5m each.

“The request for supplementary pay for an essential element of air transport, such as hand baggage, provides a false representation of the real ticket price ... misleading the consumer,” the watchdog said last autumn.

With additional reporting from Reuters

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