Spain to investigate low-cost airlines over hand baggage costs

An investigation has been launched by Spain's Ministry of Consumer Affairs into low-cost airlines regarding their fees for hand luggage and other charges that result in consumers paying more than the initially advertised price. 


The airlines could face fines of up to one million euros ($1.09 million) regardless of their profit from such fees. If the profit exceeds one million euros, the fine could be up to eight times the amount. The ministry did not mention any specific airlines. 

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Ryanair, easyJet, and Vueling, among others, charge passengers for hand luggage, such as trolley bags larger than a certain size, and an additional fee for preferred seating. The ministry stated that these fees are separated from the ticket price and advertised as highly competitive prices. However, in most cases, consumers end up paying more. 

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The ministry claimed that search engines can also give an unfair advantage to airlines that exclude fees in their ticket prices compared to their competitors' pricier tickets. In 2019, Ryanair was found guilty of "abusive" fees for hand luggage by a Spanish court. Ryanair continued the policy, stating that airlines have commercial freedom in determining the size of their cabin baggage.

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