Ancillary costs: seven low cost companies targeted by an administrative investigation in Spain

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THE Madrid government opened a administrative inquiry against seven low cost airlinessuspected of irregularities in their policy of invoicing of cabin baggage and seat selection.

This investigation, carried out by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, follows a complaint from the consumer association Facua, which had seized the administration in 2021 to denounce practices which, according to it, violate consumer rights. It seeks to establish whether charging extra for services generally considered to benecessary and indispensable for passengers» takes over processes “abusive” And “disloyal“, according to the ministry, for whom, such a policy can indeed make it possible to”obtain privileged positions in online flight comparators“, with “prices well below what the consumer ends up paying in the final transaction“.

If the Ministry of Consumer Affairs has not revealed the names of the seven low cost companies targeted by its investigation, the Facua association denounces Vueling, Wizzair and Ryanair in a press release. “The air navigation law establishes that the carrier is ‘obligated to transport free of charge in the cabin, as hand luggage, the objects and parcels that the traveler takes with him“recalls the association.

In Spain, the companies targeted by the investigation incur a fine of up tofour to six times the illicit profit obtainedthrough these practices. In 2019, this practice had led the Italian competition authority to impose fines of three million euros on Ryanair and one million euros on Wizzair, but these fines were finally canceled by administrative justice.

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