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Carry-on baggage charge will be scrapped

In 2014, the Court of Justice of the European Union declared that hand luggage is included in the cost of the flight price as it is considered indispensable for the traveller, despite the airlines continuing to do what they want.

To shed some light on this issue, the International Air Transport Association issued a recommendation for standard dimensions and weights for hand luggage. The optimum size was set at 55 x 35 x 20 cm, including wheels, handles and pockets, and the maximum weight at no more than 10 kg. Still, these are not mandatory measurements, so each airline can set its limits.

Yes, we know that this issue causes a lot of confusion, and we want you to know what you can do.


Can I claim the charge for my suitcase?

Article 97 of Law 48/1960 on Air Navigation states that the carriage of hand luggage must be free of charge, as it is considered essential for the traveler. Therefore, you can complain if the company has charged you for it.  

However, the same law also states that these items may be denied boarding due to security measures linked to the size and weight of the object, depending on the characteristics of the ship. It is on this point that airlines, especially low-cost airlines, are clinging to and setting insufficient limits.

As you can see, this is a very ambiguous law. You are free to make your claim, and you may win it, but no one can be 100% sure.

The only sure case in which you will get your money back is when the suitcase matches the size allowed on the ticket, and you have still been charged the supplement.

How to claim the extra charge for hand luggage

If you finally decide to claim the extra amount you have been charged for your carry-on baggage, there are several options:

Option 1. Complain to the airline company through their website or by e-mail, attaching all the information regarding the flight: boarding pass, tickets and reservation number. If you have not received a reply within one month or if you have received a negative answer, you can complain to the State Aviation Safety Agency.

Option 2. Complain to the Directorate General for Consumer Affairs of your Autonomous Community.

Option 3. Complain to the European Consumer Center in Spain.

Option 4. If none of the above works, you can go to court. It's free of charge as it's a claim for less than 2,000 euros.

We hope you don't have to resort to this last option, but if there is no other way, we wish you the best of luck!

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