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Spanish consumer group takes airlines to court

Fri 5th Aug 2011

Spain's Consumer and Users Organisation (OCU) is demanding that a number of airlines remove certain clauses and contractual smallprint that abuse the rights of passengers.

The association has named Ryanair, Iberia, Spanair, Air Europa and Vueling as being the worst culprits, and have called these clauses 'unbalanced and disproportionate'. The go on to say how it is unjust that passengers have to to apply to the courts individually if they feel that they need to take issue with the many loopholes surrounding booking costs and other fees.

The clauses that are the largest cause of concern relate to those which limit the number of children's seats on each flight; Hidden booking fees and credit card surcharges; and other 'administration fees'. The question was also asked why a credit or debit card surcharge fee had to be charged anyway, when the airlines did not permit any other method of payment.

Ryanair in particular attracted criticism for their excessive baggage regulations and resulting penalty charges for any passenger who was unable to meet them.

Earlier in July Ryanair took the FACUA consumer group to court on charges of defamation, after they claimed that the group unfairly said how the airline abused the rights of their passengers. The case was thrown out after a judge held that the airline was unable to prove that FACUA's claims were untrue.

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