Italian watchdog investigates Ryanair luggage charges

ROME – Antitrust, Italy's competition authority, has opened an inquiry into Ryanair’s new policy of charging passengers to take hand luggage onto the plane.

 According to the watchdog, hand luggage is “an essential element of transport” and should therefore be included in the price of a ticket.

 Ryanair’s policy, taking effect on Nov. 1, will see customers charged to take a 10kg bag on the plane, a cost of €9 if purchased during the initial flight booking.

 An unfair commercial practice charge has been levelled at the airline by Antitrust, who claim that the extra cost could be used to “distort the ticket price” and would not allow a true comparison with other airlines.  

 Antitrust had received multiple complaints from Italian consumer associations, including Codacons, who called on Ryanair to reimburse all customers overcharged by the new policy, if their unfair commercial practice were to be confirmed.