Ryanair (FR, Dublin Int'l) was told on November 20 by a Spanish court that its policy of charging a hand luggage fee was "abusive" and should not be levied any more in the country, according to a report on Reuters.

Ryanair charges some of its passengers an additional fee on top of its ticket price for taking more than one small personal bag into the cabin. However, the judge presiding over the case ruled that the hand luggage, by size and weight, could be easily carried in the cabin, and pointed to a Spanish regulation that allows passengers to take hand luggage on board at no additional cost. The judge went further, saying the charge "curtailed the rights that passenger has recognised by law" and declared it invalid in Spain.

The ruling, which cannot be appealed against, was handed down to the Irish ultra-low-cost carrier (ULCC) following a complaint from a passenger who was travelling between Madrid Barajas and Brussels and was forced to pay EUR20 euro (USD22) to bring her 10kg luggage on board. The court ordered the airline to refund her the EUR20 euro (USD22) plus interest, but rejected her demand for compensation of a further EUR10 euro (USD11) for the suffering she experienced.

In response to the Spanish court's decision, the ULCC said in a statement: “This ruling will not affect Ryanair’s baggage policy, either in the past or in the future, as it is an isolated case that misinterpreted our commercial freedom to determine the size of our cabin baggage.” The airline declined to comment on whether it was planning to appeal to the European Court of Justice on the decision.