The cabin baggage affair: Ryanair in rebellion and Vueling under investigation by Italian antitrust

Avatar photo

First, it was the low cost Ryanair which criticized European organizations for having approved the resolution inviting airlines not to charge for hand luggage. Today, it’s Vueling’s turn…

Ryanair’s apology

Last week, Eddie Wilson, the CEO of Ryanair, expressed in an interview with the Spanish media Information his opinion on the fact that the European Parliament wants hand luggage on the plane to be free for passengers. “I don’t think they can do it. We are allowed to set the prices of our products, it is a fundamental right under European law,” Wilson said.

“We have the freedom to set prices. There is not enough space inside the plane for everyone to carry a carry-on suitcase and another under their seat, so we limit it so that those who want to have the convenience of carrying a bag additional “In the meantime, everyone can take on board a bag that fits under the seat,” said the CEO.

“Neither the European Commission nor the Parliament can increase the space available for luggage on a plane, so not every passenger will be able to carry a suitcase. This is why there is pricing. It’s the same as in any other business, if in “In a hotel, you want to have a first class room, you pay more,” Wilson concluded.

Now it’s Vueling’s turn…

In Italy, an antitrust investigation arrives this week against the company Vueling, which, according to the authority, does not provide clear information on the fact that the price of additional hand luggage services varies depending on the purchase channel ( web or application). In addition, according to the authority, the device used by the consumer would be used as a parameter to carry out customer profiling and then differentiate the price.

The Competition and Markets Authority has therefore opened an investigation against the company Vueling Airlines SA. The procedure concerns the methods for determining the price of additional paid services for hand luggage.

Concretely, Antitrust explains in a note: “Vueling offers different methods of baggage transport; One of them is to purchase the service as an add-on, after selecting the base rate, when purchasing the ticket or even later. This pricing system means that the price of the carry-on baggage service cannot be determined in advance as it varies depending on various factors, including the purchasing channel of the service. In particular, it appears that the price of hand luggage changes depending on whether the service is purchased on the website or via the Vueling application”.

According to the Authority, the company has not provided any clear information on this difference. In fact, the consumer who intends to choose this additional service and who accesses the Vueling website does not find any information on the price differentiation and sees at the bottom of the page distinct amounts only between the price of the service purchased on the site/application and at the airport.

See also our article:

Cabin baggage: EU votes for free

Catherine Mills Avatar