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Legal battle could see airlines drop luggage fees

Up to 20 airlines are set to face legal challenges over charging passengers for taking their luggage on board, including easyJet, Ryanair and Jet2.

The Malaga public prosecution office is preparing a case against airlines that fly to and from the city and impose fees for passengers carrying luggage. The case refers to the 1960 Air Navigation Law which states that airlines are obliged to carry passengers’ luggage alongside the passengers as part of the overall price of the ticket.

An English language newspaper, Sur, claims that the Spanish office is compiling a list of all the airlines which might breach the law and impose fees to check-in luggage, as well as those who charge passengers to issue a boarding pass. This ground-breaking case is thought to affect between 15 and 20 airlines. The cost of checking in luggage and requesting boarding passes has dramatically increased in the last few years. Budget airline Ryanair is one of many airlines which have pushed up prices recently. Recently, the carrier increases the fee for checking in luggage to £40 per person, per flight for the duration of the summer season.

Outside of peak seasons, the low-fare airline typically charges between £15 and £30 per person, per flight. easyJet is another ‘high-fees-low-fares’ airline with baggage charges of up to £31 per person for a return flight. Flybe charges between £10 and £31 based on the size of the item and Jet2.com charges up to £30.

A study by IdeaWorksCompany, the aviation consultancy firm, found that easyJet and Ryanair are amongst the 10 highest earning airlines along with six US carriers. This comes at a time when other budget airlines are introducing charges for bringing on hand luggage.

Wizz Air is the latest low fares carrier to increase the costs of travelling for passengers, with a proposed €10 charge to take hand luggage on board. From 1st August, the Hungarian carrier will begin a trial run of the charges on its route between Luton and Katowice in Poland. Wherever you may be heading this summer, it could be a good idea to take out travel insurance before you leave.

Date Created: 07 August 2012

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