Could hand luggage fees be eliminated by airlines?

a person holding a luggage

As the EU works to streamline ticket pricing for air travel, hand luggage fees may soon become a thing of the past.

The Committee on Petitions of the European Parliament has unanimously approved a resolution urging airlines to ensure that travellers may check one piece of cabin baggage free of charge.

It exhorts nations to uphold a 2014 decision on hand luggage by the European Court of Justice.
In October, the European Parliament will hold a formal vote on whether to accept the resolution.
Two significant issues are being addressed by the EU: airline hand luggage policies that are inconsistent and confusing for customers. Additionally, misleading advertising may result in unintended luggage charges while purchasing your ticket.

woman in yellow coat sitting on a suitcase
Photo by Mikhail Nilov on

The European Court of Justice concluded in 2014 that cabin luggage that satisfies “reasonable” size and weight restrictions is a necessary component of air travel. The court effectively ruled that there should be no additional fees for passengers, but the ruling was never put into action.
The new resolution suggests enforcing this regulation in order to do away with additional fees for carry-on luggage. Additionally, it aims to make it clear to passengers what constitutes “reasonable” size and weight.

varying airlines have dramatically varying requirements for size and weight. This increases the likelihood that customers would be charged additional costs at the boarding gate and is especially problematic for travelers who have connecting flights on multiple carriers with varied standards.

a person holding folded clothes in a luggage
Photo by Timur Weber on

The EU is also advising airlines to advise passengers of any additional fees up front, such as those for seat selection and flight times.
A bigger initiative to streamline ticketing and costs for air travel across the EU includes the eventual elimination of cabin bag fees.

Several low-cost airlines are the subject of an inquiry by Spain’s Ministry of Consumer Affairs regarding hand baggage charges. It claimed that by isolating these taxes from ticket costs, carriers could provide cheap fares without taking into account the whole cost borne by customers.

As a result, consumers may be deceived into feeling they are getting a better price than they are. There are also fears that search engines may provide airlines advertising these super-low tickets an unfair edge.

“Low-cost airlines do business with the price of tickets by hiding the extra for carrying cabin baggage until the end of the purchase,” stated Spanish MEP Jordi Cañas.
“While Europe has already spoken out on the issue, member states continue to allow airlines to manipulate prices and deceive passengers.” This has to end.”

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