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Ryanair criticised for new hand luggage rules 

Ryanair’s new policy on hand luggage hasn’t gone down too well, including at Canary airports, and one organisation has called for a boycott on the airline.

Spain is being urged to limit the number of slots given to Ryanair and give them to other companies in protest at the new rules.

The Spanish Association of Users, Employers and Profe-ssionals of Air Transport, ASETRA has criticised the new charges as “looting” passen-gers.

The organisation has attacked the new Ryanair baggage policy as “dispropor-tionate” and is calling on Spain’s Ministry of Develop-ment to cut back on the airline’s slots over the country.

Ryanair passengers will still be able to travel with two items of luggage but the larger bag will be placed in the hold unless they pay for priority boarding.

Only the smaller bag – which can be the size of a handbag or laptop bag – will be allowed in the cabin. Priority boarding costs from £5.

Asetra says the new charge is unacceptable and “a clear abuse”. It is calling on the Spanish Government to favour other airlines which have the real interests of Spanish travellers and their economic situation at heart.

The association is also outraged at Ryanair’s intention to charge anyone 50 euros if they fail to abide by the new rules, slamming the decision as “a coercive message” and “violating good faith”.

“This new condition vio-lates the rights of passengers at a time when Ryanair enjoys a dominant position in the Spanish air transport market,” says Asetra. “This prevents users from choosing other airlines in some routes that the Ryanair company exclusively carries out and thus limits their ability to choose.”

Asestra believes the new Ryanair rules can be challeged in the European courts or via the Spanish Agency for Aviation Safety.

They are encouraging any traveller who bought their ticket before the new rules were announced last September to take legal action on the basis of a “change of contract in the agreed conditions.”

In the event that they are prevented from travelling with a carry-on suitcase for not paying the fee, it urges them to demand compensation, as set out in the European Regulation EC 261/2004.