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Ryanair Baggage Row

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Once again Ryanair is in the media spotlight, this time it is due to a dispute with airport authorities in Spain following its fall out with Alicante airport.

A senior AENA figure said: “Ryanair must obey the rules. When we told them, they said they would comply with Irish law rather than Spanish. We said this was not acceptable. They must follow the rules at Spanish airports.”

Ryanair has threatened to cut flights at Alicante after the airport is becoming stricter on all airlines to use air bridges when boarding passengers, and due to the airports persistent Ryanair is now in the thick of it from Spanish airport authority AENA for failing to comply with carry-on bag rules. In general passengers in Spain are allowed to carry separate bags of duty-free shopping on flights, this is in addition to the one cabin bag permitted. However Ryanair employs a single bag policy which they claim makes boarding quicker, they also charge for additional baggage items.

A senior AENA figure said: “Ryanair must obey the rules. When we told them, they said they would comply with Irish law rather than Spanish. We said this was not acceptable. They must follow the rules at Spanish airports.”

The knock on effect that the shopping-bag rule is having is impacting retail sales in duty free shopping at airports, this is because budget carriers are then charging extra for those extra bags and deterring travellers from buying. Airports association ACI Europe wants the shopping-bag rules extended across Europe, but this could take some time to implement as budget carriers clearly have a revenue stream here.

AENA said: “The airlines ask us to reduce landing charges, but we need to grow commercial revenues to do this and that is made difficult by restricting passengers to one bag.”

The interesting battle continues and will be a power play from both budget carriers and airport operators across Europe.

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