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easyJet and Ryanair amongst airlines fined over extra charges

Ryanair Boeing 737-800 at Bristol Airport (Image: UK Aviation Media)

Ryanair Boeing 737-800 at Bristol Airport (Image: UK Aviation Media)

Budget airlines easyJet and Ryanair are amongst the airlines that have been fined almost €150 million by the Spanish Government over charges for passengers for extras such as carry-on luggage and reserving seats.

The move is the biggest sanction against the industry ever issued by the Spanish authorities and sees the carriers facing ban for adding the additional charges in the future.

An investigation into additional charges was launched last year by Spain’s general directorate (GD) of consumer affairs to look into the charges where airlines can add extra simply for booking for seats next to each other in what was seen as abusive practices.

An easyJet Airbus (Image: UK Aviation Media)

Other factors looked at by the GD included the lack of transparency during the booking process and airlines blocking the ability to pay in cash at airports.

Ryanair was also singled out for its €20 charge simply to print out a paper ticket at the airport.

The Asociación de Líneas Aéreas (ALA), which represents the majority of airlines carrying passengers from Spain released a statement saying: “Sanctioning this practice limits the option to pay only for essential services and would force all passengers to contract the cabin baggage transport service, even if they do not need it.

“The consumer will be the main victim of this interference by the ministry of social rights, consumer affairs and Agenda 2030 in the European single market and the freedom of tariffs protected by European law.” adding that the decision was still subject to appeals.

Spanish airlines Volotea and Vueling were also fined as a result of the findings.

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