How many times, when buying a flight ticket, you ended up paying more than you expected because of additional hand luggage and seat allocation fees? It can be difficult to compare the prices offered by different airlines given the variety of adds-on policies.
Things may change in the future, however. The European Parliament voted this week a resolution calling for uniform standards for carry-on baggage.
Airlines operating in Europe currently have different rules and pricing structures for hand luggage, which can lead to “confusion, inconvenience, less comfortable travel experiences, delays and sometimes disputes between passengers and airline staff”, says the resolution put forward by Spanish MEP Dolors Montserrat, chair of the parliament petitions committee.
In addition, there can be unclarity – and extra costs – when passengers use different airlines for the same trip or need to change their plans at the last minute.
The Court of Justice of the European Union already said that hand baggage must be considered a ‘necessary aspect’ of the journey. Airlines should not charge a supplement for it on condition that it “meets reasonable requirements in terms of its weight and dimensions, and complies with applicable security requirements,” the EU top Court ruled in 2014.
The ball is now in the Commission’s court. The Commission has launched a consultation to review the Air Services Regulation and soon could propose changes to the existing policy.
MEPs noted that travelling with small pets in the cabin causes similar inconveniences. New legislation should also address other hidden costs, such as fees for seat allocation, the European Parliament argued.
The Parliament recommendation was adopted following a petition from Deepak Rajani, a German citizen who found the “extraordinary complexity” of airline standards “discretionary and disproportionate,” and called for a uniform standard across the EU.
Claudia Delpero, Europe Street News © all rights reserved
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