Ryanair could be breaking the law with their new cabin baggage policy

Ryanair’s new hand luggage rules could be a step past what is legally allowed, as a consumer accuses them of breaking the law with their hard and unreasonable rules. The airline has declared that, as of November 2018, they will no longer allow any free suitcases to be brought with passengers into the cabin if they’re travelling with a basic airfare ticket.


Only passengers who purchase Priority Boarding tickets will be able to take hand luggage onboard the aircraft to store with them inside the plane as they fly to their destination. As any flier knows, whether they fly frequently or not, every airline allows free hand luggage to a certain specification and size in the cabin with passengers. Typically, this is one small cabin-sized case, and a personal item (such as a handbag, camera, or briefcase).

FACUA-Consumers in Action (a Spanish non-governmental and non-profit organisation) has now filed a complaint regarding the change in regulation and considers the move “abusive,” according to a statement from their organisation.

FACUA-Consumers in Action filed a complaint with the State Aviation Safety Agency and the Spanish Agency for Consumer Affairs, Food Safety and Nutrition, and have stated that they consider Ryaniar’s new regulation to be “abusive practice” and warning that it causes “serious harm to consumers, violates their rights and violates the basic conditions of the air transport contract.”

They added that, according to Spain’s Air Navigation Law, “The transporter will be obliged to transport for free in the cabin, as hand luggage, the objects and packages that the traveller carries with him.”

If that statement holds true, and Spain’s Air Navigation Law does indeed read as such, Ryanair could truly be breaking a law with their new rules – in Spain, at least. We’re not sure what that would mean for other countries that Ryanair flights run from and to, but for Spain, they could very well be violating a series piece of legislation. Hopefully, once this has been dealt with by both the State Aviation Safety Agency and the Spanish Agency for Consumer Affairs, Food Safety and Nutrition, Ryanair will be willing to look into their practices and see if they would be breaking aviation laws in other countries that their planes run in.

This new practice could cause some serious backlash for Ryanair. Consumers are more likely to fly with a company that offers free cabin baggage because it cuts the large costs that come with putting baggage in the hold. Younger flyers, especially, will seek cheaper flights elsewhere, rather than be subject to luggage fees for their suitcases when they’re travelling lightly.

According to Spanish aviation law, the only exception regarding luggage in the cabin should be for safety reasons, which are linked to the weight or size of the object in relation to the characteristics of the aircraft.

Ryanair has rejected these claims, stating that they have no basis. Passengers who have already booked flights after 1st November must either pay for their suitcase or cancel for a full refund.

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