Serious fines are given to Wizz Air and Ryanair in Italy for their hand luggage rules
Wednesday, March 6, 2019
The Competition and Market Authority in Italy has communicated its decision on the new baggage policy and has sanctioned the two low-cost airlines. Companies now have 60 days to communicate the new provisions.
Illegal and deceptive practices by Ryanair and Wizzair
Hand luggage is an essential right of the contract of carriage and cannot be separated from the ticket price. This is what the Italian institution determined in response to the policies implemented by Ryanair and Wizz Air since 1 November 2018. Therefore, the Authority has concluded the investigations initiated last October and decided to sanction both airlines with a fine of 3 and 1 million euros, respectively.
The new policy, of which we have spoken in detail, immediately attracted the attention and criticism of various associations defending consumer rights. Now, it has finally been declared illegal and misleading because "the price to be paid at the end of the booking process will almost always be higher than the tariff presented at the beginning of the process ... as well as the alteration of the comparison process with the prices of other carriers that instead include hand luggage”.
Ryanair and Wizzair previously disobeyed the Italian authority
After the announcement of their new baggage policies last August, both airlines were notified by the Italian institution which asked them to stop this type of practices because it considered them an unfair way to increase ticket prices. Ryanair argued that the policy was sufficiently transparent and that it helped to make boarding more efficient. Wizzair also decided to go ahead with the policy.
Should Ryanair and Wizzair reverse their hand luggage policy throughout Europe?
Possibly yes. It is more difficult for passengers to understand that hand luggage policy can change according to their routes. This can mean a considerable loss of revenue for the airlines.
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