Ryanair fined €3million over ‘misleading’ cabin baggage rules, with Wizz Air also penalised
- The low-cost airline was slapped with the penalty by Italy’s antitrust authority
- Wizz Air was also hit with a fine, worth €1million (£870,000)
- The anti-trust agency had warned the airlines to suspend their policies
Ryanair has been hit with a €3million (£2.6million) fine over its cabin baggage policy.
The low-cost airline was slapped with the penalty by Italy’s antitrust authority in relation to its new cabin baggage rules, introduced late last year.
Wizz Air was also hit with a fine, worth €1million (£870,000).
Ryanair has been hit with a €3million (£2.6million) fine over its cabin baggage policy
Both airlines allow passengers to bring small bags into the cabin free of charge, but only if they can be stowed under the seat in front of them.
Larger bags of up to 10kg require a luggage fee, or a fee-paying priority boarding pass.
Last August, when Ryanair announced its new cabin bag policy, the Italian anti-trust agency warned the airline and Wizz Air to suspend their policies, claiming that they misled customers.
The Italian regulator described hand luggage as an ‘essential’ item for passengers, adding that its price should be included in the cost of a plane ticket. It also added that the new Ryanair policy could result in unfair commercial practice, as it distorts the final price of the ticket.
Wizz Air has been hit with a fine worth €1million (£870,000)
However, Ryanair rejected the warning and brought the new policy into effect in November.
The Italian regulator said that most passengers expected to travel with a larger carry-on bag, and that by imposing an extra payment of between €5 (£4.36) and €25 (£21), the airlines were raising ticket prices in a ‘non-transparent’ manner.
Ryanair said at the time that ‘for safety reasons, most short-haul aircraft cannot accommodate two carry-on bags for each customer’.
Regarding the fine, Ryanair said: ‘We will immediately appeal this decision. There is no basis for a competition authority to issue a decision that relates to air safety, customer convenience or punctuality. Our baggage policy is transparent and beneficial to consumers.’
Wizz Air said: ‘Wizz Air’s baggage policy fully complies with the law, we will therefore be requesting a judicial review of the Italian Competition Authority’s ruling immediately.
‘Our transparent baggage policy guarantees every passenger can take one piece of hand luggage on board for free, whilst also providing over 50 different paid-for options ensuring that passengers only need to pay for the additional services they require.’
Meanwhile, it was announced earlier this month that the airline’s chief, Michael O’Leary, had committed himself to Ryanair for another five years.
It was revealed that, under a new group structure, Mr O’Leary will oversee the company’s four airline subsidiaries.