In a significant step towards defending passengers' rights, the European Parliament's Committee on Petitions has unanimously approved a resolution requiring airlines to ensure that passengers can carry their cabin luggage free of charge.
Jordi Cañas, MEP of Ciudadanos, calls on the European Commission and the Member States to develop a judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) that considers hand luggage as an "indispensable element" of the passenger and, therefore, not subject to additional costs.
One of the key aspects of this resolution is the harmonisation of the measurements and weight of hand luggage, with the aim that all airlines operating in the EU use the same standards. This would eliminate the confusion and hidden costs for passengers they often face when flying with different airlines.
Cañas emphasizes the behavior of the airlines, "low-cost companies are doing business with the price of tickets hiding until the end of the purchase the supplement for carrying cabin luggage."
Despite the CJEU ruling, there are still airlines that charge for hand luggage, imposing fines on passengers who refuse to pay additional costs at the boarding gate. The resolution urges countries to ensure compliance with the European court's decision and to ensure that airlines provide transparent information on flight prices and schedules. It seeks to end the illegal and abusive practice of fining passengers for carrying carry-on luggage.
In addition, the resolution calls on the European Commission to develop EU-wide legislation to regulate the harmonisation of measures and the weight of hand luggage, an aspect that is not detailed in the CJEU ruling. The lack of uniformity in these standards implies hidden additional costs for passengers and hinders their ability to make informed decisions when choosing an airline. This is especially relevant on connecting flights and when a passenger must fly on different airlines on the same day.
The resolution approved unanimously in the Committee on Petitions of the European Parliament will be voted in plenary in Strasbourg next October. This step marks a significant step towards protecting passengers' rights and eliminating abusive practices by airlines in the European Union.