The Ryanair clause that allows baggage to be sent on a flight other than the passenger’s is void. This has been declared by the Supreme Court in a judgment in which it has also declared void the stipulation that subjects disputes arising in relation to the air transport contract to Irish law. The resolution can be consulted at this link .
The high court has thus resolved the appeals filed by the airline and by the Organization of Consumers and Users, which has taken Ryanair to trial, against a ruling of the Provincial Court of Madrid.
The entity that defends the rights of the users requested the declaration of the abusive nature of other general contracting conditions imposed by the airline, in addition to these two that from now on will be considered as unenforceable.
Specifically, the Ryanair clause stated that “checked baggage will be transported on the same plane as yours (passenger), unless we decide for security or operational reasons to do so on another flight.
If your checked baggage is sent on a flight after yours, we will send it to you, unless the applicable legislation requires you to be present for customs control reasons ”.
However, the Supreme Court understands that this provision is “so generic” that it leaves the will of the carrier to move or not the checked baggage on the same flight, under the invocation of “vague and absolutely unspecific security or operational circumstances.”
For this reason, it says that when the contract provides for a possible modification by the employer, “the consumer must be informed, before the contract is signed and in clear and understandable terms, of the main conditions for exercising this right to unilateral modification” .
But “the mere generic reference to safety or operational reasons does not provide the consumer, at the time of hiring, sufficient information on the conditions and assumptions in which the employer may exercise this right to unilaterally modify his obligation to transport the passenger together. and your luggage.
Nor does it specify when the luggage will be delivered, in the event that this power is exercised. And indirectly, it also supposes to assume the power to interpret the contract, facilitating the exemption of responsibility of the carrier ”.
Submission to Irish Law
Regarding the declaration of invalidity of the clause of submission to Irish law, the magistrates say that “Irish law causes a significant imbalance between the rights and obligations of the parties” and that “it hinders the exercise of legal actions or of resources by the consumer ”. This provision has as a result “that the Spanish consumer must be informed of the content of Irish law if he wants to know his rights and contractual obligations.”
In addition, the high court argues that the aforementioned clause “is incomplete and may mislead the consumer” because it implies that only Irish law applies to the contract, without informing them that it also protects them from the protection guaranteed by the provisions imperatives of the law of passenger air transport.
Despite the declaration of invalidity of these two clauses, the Supreme Court has rejected that other stipulations are abusive, such as those relating to charges for reservations that are not paid with Ryanair’s free payment method or the clause that transmits the charge to the user for flight delay or cancellation.
It also rejects that the company’s prohibition to include money, jewelry, precious metals, keys, cameras or computers, among other objects, is null and void.