Thursday, 6 February 2014

Airline baggage fees: AG Opinion in case C-487/12

AG Yves Bot delivered on 23 Jan. 2014 his Opinion on the case C-487/12 Vueling Airlines SA v Instituto Galego de Consumo de la Xunta de Galicia concerning additional fees imposed by air carriers on checked und unchecked luggage.

The case was brought before the CJEU by request for a preliminary ruling as to the compatibility of Spanish law provisions that prohibit any additional charge for carrying passenger luggage.

The AG finds that extra charges for checked baggage are allowed according to Art. 22 (1) of Regulation 1008/2008, which lays down the pricing freedom for air carriers. However, additional fees for hand-luggage are not allowed, because they are not included in the services provided by air carriers to their passengers, given that passengers keep them in their custody and air carriers bear no extra cost for checking, tracing and storing them. In any case, according to the AG, the passengers’ ability to place their personal belongings they consider most precious and indispensable under their own care forms part of their personal dignity and any charge for carry-on baggage is, even notionally, unacceptable.

The full text of the Opinion can be found here.

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