Italy tells Ryanair, Wizz Air to suspend bag charge

1 min

Milan (AFP)

Italy's competition watchdog told low-cost airlines Ryanair and Wizz Air Wednesday to suspend planned charges for carry-on bags that are to take effect on November 1.

"Asking more for an essential element of the air transport contract, carry-on baggage, is a fallacious representation of the ticket's true price and harms cost comparison among carriers, which misleads consumers," the Antitrust Authority said in a statement.

The watchdog added it had therefore decided "as a conservation measure, the suspension of the new carry-on policies by low-cost carriers Ryanair and Wizz Air".

Both companies had decided to allow only a small bag that could fit underneath a plane seat for free, causing angry consumer associations to take up the matter before the Antitrust Authority.

A Spanish consumer association, Facua, made a similar protest in late August with Spanish authorities.

Ryanair announced its decision on August 24, saying it sought to reduce boarding delays.

The move could allow carriers to rotate aircraft more often or raise additional revenue, or save on fuel costs, all of which are significant factors in a low-cost airline's business model.