Business

Airlines' luggage surcharges are legal, says European court

Luggage at airport
Image caption Airlines face extra costs from processing and storing checked-in baggage, the court ruled

Airlines are within their rights to charge a supplement to customers checking-in their luggage, a court has ruled.

The European Court of Justice ruled that airlines faced extra costs storing and processing checked-in luggage.

But it added that hand baggage was necessary for passengers and should not face a price supplement.

The decision is a boost to low-cost carriers that have made optional charges key to their business models.

The court upheld a challenge by Spanish budget carrier Vueling Airlines against a Spanish law that prohibits airlines from making people pay for putting their suitcases in the aircraft's hold.

The airline was given a 3,000 euro (£2,362) penalty by authorities in Spain for adding 40 euros to the basic price of four tickets bought by one passenger for return tickets between La Coruna in Spain to Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

A Spanish court referred the case to Luxembourg to see if it complied with EU law on pricing freedom.

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