CAAA in Gatwick charges row

by Alister POOLE on June 6, 2011

The Civil Aviation Authority, or CAA, has forced Gatwick Airport into revising charges for baggage and checking-in.

The ruling follows Ryanair’s 2009 appeal, which argued that passengers travelling with only hand luggage, having already checked in online, shouldn’t be forced to pay the same as any travellers checking-in with hold baggage.

A spokesman from Ryanair said that Gatwick’s charging regime had become “discriminatory”, prompting a fresh appeal to the authoritative CAA.
At present, all passengers are charged to use check-in facilities, despite Ryanair passengers always check-in online and usually only travel with hand luggage, he said. Passengers on Ryainair flights, he continued, have therefor been subsidising check-in costs of other airlines that require their passengers to use inefficient and expensive facilities.

The CAA ruled in favour of Ryanair, stating that Gatwick didn’t fully comply with groundhandling regulations. When prompted, a CAA spokeswoman said that the airport has failed to use transparent criteria when setting its charges, which has forced the aviation body into ruling that Gatwick must make sure interested parties are consulted effectively so that pricing structures for bagging processing and checking-in are revised no later than the 1st of  April 2012.

The Ryanair spokesman confirmed that the airline has welcomed the CAA’s findings, which have come with far-reaching implications, while vowing that the carrier will enforce principles of non-discrimination whenever it feels that foul play is at hand.

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