Ryanair in Spain under fire again over hand luggage policy

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Ryanair is once again in trouble due to alleged misconduct and stricter measures. Recent measures and incidents where the Irish budget airline imposed unjust fines on passengers have led to much indignation and accusations of abuse.

An incident that received a lot of attention recently occurred on a flight from Palma de Mallorca to Manchester. A couple who had already paid for their hand luggage and successfully brought it on the outbound flight were told on the return flight that their luggage did not meet the requirements.

“We were asked to step out of the queue and place one of our new Coolife-compliant suitcases of 9 kg and 20 cm in the metal measuring frame,” says the aggrieved David in the British newspaper Mirror. The Ryanair employee then judged that they were too large. As a result, the couple was forced to pay a fine of €140 (€70 per suitcase) to board. This was despite the fact that the same luggage was approved on the outbound flight with Ryanair. Moreover, they had bought their suitcases based on the ‘Ryanair approved’ recommendation. According to David, the staff member added, “Nineteen years in the business and I know when a suitcase is too big. I can see it from a kilometre away… Pay or don’t fly.”

To make matters worse, the couple then saw a Ryanair crew member arguing with another couple who had suitcases with an expandable middle section. As a result, these did not fit in the airline’s measuring frame. After removing some clothing from the suitcases and holding it in their arms, this duo was allowed to board the plane without paying. This incident led to much outrage among passengers, especially since the couple had no other choice but to pay to take the flight.

Claiming back paid fines

Consumer organisations like FACUA in Spain inform users that they can file claims for reimbursement of the extra amounts paid for hand luggage. Meanwhile, airlines continue to profit and charge travellers excessive amounts for carrying their hand luggage.

Also read: Spain penalises low-cost carriers for hand luggage policy

No catering on board

During the same flight, it was announced that there were no food and drink carts on board. This meant that passengers had no access to food, drinks, or even water during the flight. This led to a situation where a passenger, who needed medication, had to drink water from the sink in the toilets. This incident was confirmed by witnesses on board the flight.

New rules for electronic devices

Additionally, Ryanair has tightened the rules for carrying electronic devices. Passengers must ensure that their mobile phones, tablets, and laptops are fully charged. If these devices cannot be turned on at the security check, access to the plane may be denied. This also applies to other airlines like Jet2, TUI, British Airways, and EasyJet. The measure is intended for safety reasons but has led to extra stress and inconvenience for travellers.

Higher costs and transparency

The recent fines are part of broader concerns about rising costs and the lack of transparency at Ryanair. The Spanish consumer authority recently imposed a fine of €150 million on various airlines, including Ryanair, for charging extra fees for hand luggage and the lack of clear information about these costs. These fines and measures are intended to protect consumers but have also led to much criticism of Ryanair’s business practices.

Ryanair has stated that these measures are necessary for the safety and efficiency of flights. However, passengers and consumer organisations continue to push for fairer and more transparent practices.

Ryanair’s hand luggage policy is as follows:

“All our fares include one small personal bag that can be brought on board, such as a handbag or laptop bag (40x20x25cm), which must fit under the seat in front of you. If you need extra luggage, there are various options available.

Cabin baggage: Priority & 2 cabin bags. This allows you to bring one small personal bag (40x20x25cm) into the cabin. It must fit under the seat in front of you. Additionally, you can bring a 10kg bag/suitcase (55x40x20cm) on board. This must be stored in the overhead bin above your head. With this option, you can board first via the Priority Boarding queue at the gate.”

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