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Profeco warns Mexico airline companies about “abusive practices” of charging for carry-on luggage

Mexico City, Mexico — The Federal Consumer Prosecutor’s Office (Profeco) has reiterated its call to Mexico airlines AeroMéxico, Viva Aerobús and Volaris to stop improper carry-on charges.

The Procuraduría Federal del Consumidor (Profeco) has warned the airlines about advertising flights with fares that do not include hand luggage, but charge additional fees when passengers arrive with carry-on baggage.

Profeco says the practice needs to stop to avoid legal action against them.

The federal agency became aware of the practice November 5, which is when the airlines were required to stop the “abusive practices” consisting of “the commercialization of flights with fares that do not include the right to transport hand luggage and establish additional charges for said luggage.”

In a statement, Profeco says it could constitute a practice that harms the interests and rights of consumers.

Article 47 Bis, section IX, third paragraph of the Civil Aviation Law establishes that “… the passenger may carry up to two pieces of hand luggage in the cabin. The dimensions of each one will be up to 55 centimeters long by 40 centimeters wide by 25 centimeters high and the weight of both should not exceed ten kilograms…”

In accordance with the criteria of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation, Profeco determines that “hand luggage” is constituted as an inherent element of the air transport service, since it is based on the consideration that the passenger requires certain minimal belongings.

For the Attorney General, therefore, the decision to transport checked luggage rests with the passenger, while the transport of hand luggage is inherent to the air transport service.

This practice could be considered abusive since hand luggage is an inherent element of the passenger’s air transportation service, and being charged as an additional service is improper, since it is not subject to negotiation.

Profeco says “it is noted that Aeroméxico, VivaAerobús and Volaris could engage in abusive commercial practices that violate the rights of passengers recognized in the Political Constitution of the United Mexican States, the Federal Consumer Protection Law and the Civil Aviation Law.”