Ryanair, easyJet, Volotea and Vueling slapped with £150m fines over hand luggage charges

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun10,2024

Ryanair, easyJet, Volotea and Vueling have received massive £150million fines from national authorities that found they exhibited “abusive practices towards passengers”.

Spain’s Ministry of Consumer Affairs has stung the budget airlines with massive fees after finding they charged passengers unfairly for multiple services.

The airlines were taken to task for charging hand luggage fees, seat allocations, a lack of ticketing transparency and more, with the move having been warmly welcomed by consumer associations.

The fines – thought to be the largest ever imposed for malpractice to the detriment of Spanish consumers – were incurred after the agency received numerous complaints from said associations.

But the ruling has not been universally supported, with other authorities warning it could have negative implications for consumers.

The sanctions cover several distinct practices from the named airlines, primarily focussing on charges.

They include:

– Charging for hand luggage

– Charging for choosing a seat when travelling with dependants

– Lack of transparency in contractual information

– Ban on cash payment when buying tickets at the airport

Ryanair received the largest penalty, six years after it started charging for hand luggage in 2018, with Vueling, EasyJet and Volotea following.

While the fines only related to these practices being conducted in Spain, consumer organisations hope that other European agencies will follow suit with similar decisions.

The Organisation of Consumers and Users (OCU) said it hoped they would “serve as an example for other European authorities” that “carry out the same abusive practices”.

Other organisations have railed against the decision, namely Spain’s Association of Airlines (ALA), which said it could damage customer experiences.

The association – which represents 85 percent of the country’s air traffic – said the decision would prevent passengers from purchasing “exactly what they need”.

‌It argued that nearly 50 million passengers who don’t take cabin luggage on board and play it under their seats would not benefit from paying only for essential services.

The association added that this would force them “to contract services they do not use”.

Express.co.uk has contacted Ryanair, easyJet, Volotea and Vueling for comment.

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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