Madrid court acknowledges right to hand luggage without any extra cost
In a judgment by Madrid Commercial Court no 13, the judge upheld the claim by a passenger who was forced to pay for hand luggage that she had not checked in. The airline company charged her when boarding the aircraft what it called a supplement for the passenger’s cabin suitcase.
The company's argument was that the price paid by the passenger did not include the right to take hand luggage on board in addition to her small handbag. The judge ruled that the ticket price includes carriage free of charge in the cabin, as hand luggage, of any objects or packages that the traveler is carrying, including articles acquired in airport shops, as allowed in article 95 of the Air Navigation Law (LNA).
The judge upheld the passenger’s claim and ordered “the defendant airline company to refund to the claimant a sum of 20 euros relating to the supplement they made her pay when she was boarding simply because she was carrying hand luggage, despite the suitcase concerned being of a size and weight perfectly able to be carried in the cabin”. And it specified that “against the arguments submitted by the defendant, that change to the commercial policy (of the company) regarding the amounts chargeable for hand luggage, is not protected by Regulation 1008/2008 and the case law interpreting it, and must be treated as “unfair” by curtailing the rights that the law acknowledges for the passenger (article 97, Air Navigation Law), thereby creating a serious imbalance between the obligations of the contracting parties to the detriment of the consumer, and accordingly must be held null and void and expelled from the contract, according to articles 82.1 and 4, 86.7, 87 and 89.5 of the Law on Contract Terms LCGC”.
This is therefore a new judgment finding in favor of airline passengers’ rights.