Friday, 22 February 2019

Another hit on budget airlines: Italian authority fines Ryanair and Wizzair over cabin bag policies

Yesterday the Italian Competition and Market Authority fined Ryanair and Wizzair over their cabin bag policies. Last year Ryanair changed its cabin baggage policy allowing handbag sized carry on bags (bags that cannot fit under the seat) on board only if consumers paid for priority boarding. Wizzair shortly followed the same policy. Following these changes, the Italian Competition Authority opened a non-compliance investigation that concluded yesterday with their decision that this practice amounted to an unfair commercial practice. The Authority reasoned that hand-luggage is an essential service and that should not be subject to additional fees.

Now they are both faced with a fine, Ryanair with 3 million EUR and Wizzair with 1 million EUR and are given 60 days to change their hand luggage policy. Given the territorial scope of the decision, and given the problems of enforcement of EU consumer law (that we discussed here and here), the question is, will EU consumers/passengers of Ryanair and Wizzair benefit from their changed policies? Let's hope they (we) will!  


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