Ryanair has requested a meeting with representatives of the Federal Minister of Economic Affairs, Kris Peeters, to explain that its new regulations on luggage are fully compliant with Belgian and European laws, the airline said on Wednesday. On Tuesday, the Belgian minister had written to the head of the low-cost Irish carrier to complain about the new policy, which enters into effect in November.
Under the new rules, Ryanair no longer authorizes 10-kg hand luggage in the cabin. Passengers will have to pay eight euros to register this type of luggage, which will be transported in the hold of the aircraft.
On Tuesday, Peeters called on the airline to cancel the new regulation. In a letter to CEO Michael O’Leary, he informed him that Belgium’s Economic Inspection service was opening an investigation into the issue.
“Ryanair cannot unilaterally increase the price of an already booked flight, otherwise that’s a breach of contract,” the Deputy Prime Minister said. “I urge Ryanair to stop imposing a surtax on travelers who reserved before the 1st of September.”
However, Ryanair said on Wednesday that the modifications had not been presented unilaterally but more in agreement with clients who reserved before the 1st of September. All such clients were informed in writing of the modifications and offered the possibility of full reimbursement and a flight cancellation if they did not accept them, it added.
The company said it had already noted that, since the start of this month, more than half of its customers who had reserved one checked-in luggage had switched from the usual 25-euro (20-kg) luggage to the new eight-euro (10kg) one.