Ryanair, Europe's biggest carrier and one noted for selling seats cheap and then piling on fees has now found itself at odds with Spain, where a court ruled that its policy of charging even for carry-ons is "abusive" and "excessive." Under Spanish law, it's also illegal.
Up to last year, Ryanair allowed passengers to carry on, for free, one bag for the overheads and a smaller one to fit under seats. In July 2018, the airline changed its policy to charge for all carry-ons except for those paying extra for other services such as priority boarding. Spanish courts had previously ruled that since carrying bags is part of flying, it must be part of the fare.
In the current case, a passenger sued after Ryanair refused to refund a €20 Euro fee for a bag on a trip to Brussels from Spain. The court's ruling applies to all flights to and from Spain, but Ryanair says it will not obey the ruling, which is final and cannot be appealed.
In a statement, the airline said “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.” That leaves the ball in the government's court; it will have to decide how to enforce the ruling.