The Commercial Court number 3 of Pontevedra, based in Vigo, endorses Ryanair’s cabin baggage policy in a ruling. The magistrate, in accordance with the jurisprudence of the CJEU and the TS, rejects the lawsuit filed by two passengers who were charged by the airline for exceeding the contracted volume limit.

In the resolution, it has dismissed the lawsuit filed by two passengers to whom the airline charged 91.98 euros for transporting packages larger than the contracted size in September 2021 on a flight between Ponta Delgada and Porto. The plaintiffs, as stated in the ruling, paid for an additional service to the standard rate (which only allows a handbag of certain dimensions) to be able to transport two items in the cabin: a handbag and a suitcase weighing up to 10 kilos. 55x40x20cm. However, Ryanair customers, according to the ruling, carried packages that exceeded the volume they had contracted, so they were required by the airline’s staff when boarding to pay 91.98 euros.

“There is no evidence that passengers have been required to pay a supplement for not checking in their hand luggage, understanding as such that which does not exceed the dimensions indicated by the airline,” explains the judge, while stressing that the company “It does not impose on passengers the obligation to check in all their luggage, but rather allows travel with hand luggage in the cabin at no additional cost.”

At the time of issuing the sentence, the magistrate has taken into account the jurisprudential doctrine emanating from the sentence of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) of September 18, 2014, in which it ensures that cabin luggage “does not may be subject to a price supplement, as long as it meets the reasonable requirements regarding its weight and dimensions and complies with the applicable safety requirements. In addition, the magistrate of the Commercial Court number 3 of Pontevedra, highlights that the ruling of the Supreme Court of July 7, 2021 also considered that the additional charges established in Ryanair’s conditions for checked baggage are “a clause that is protected by the freedom to fix the price of passenger transport and the conditions enjoyed by the air carrier”. Therefore, the high court ruled that this clause “does not infringe the consumer protection regulations.”

“The requirement of this billing supplement for baggage, at the time of boarding, responds to logical and objective reasons that can be assessed based on its size, weight and dimension. The plaintiff has not accredited that their hand luggage met the dimensions required by the company”, emphasizes the magistrate of the Commercial Court number 3 of Pontevedra, who emphasizes that “the airlines cannot be required, since it would exceed what reasonable, that passengers do not limit hand luggage, since it is the dimensions of the aircraft cabin and its maximum load that entail the need to set a limit.

In addition, the judge indicates that “there can be no abusiveness”, from the perspective that the service and the rate “is not imposed, but freely accepted”. Thus, it indicates that the service is “real and added (not limiting) to the traveler’s right to transport a piece of luggage free of charge as hand luggage”, while affirming that this added service “operates as compensation (reciprocity) for the reduction in prices of the rates applied by companies, fundamentally those called low cost or low cost”, so that the user “can travel at a much lower price than normal under other conditions and with the right to carry hand luggage within the limits of what is reasonable (and essential) or opt for additional services , among which is included the one in question, the billing of suitcases, preferential class…. etc.”. For all these reasons, the magistrate has decreed that the estimation of the demand that the two travelers presented in Vigo is not appropriate because it is their city of residence. There is no appeal against the ruling.

Judgment of July 26, 2022