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Italy investigates airline Vueling over luggage pricing

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AFP/The Local - [email protected]
Italy investigates airline Vueling over luggage pricing
Vueling's lugguge pricing varies depending on whether it is paid for via the company's website or app, Italy's consumer watchdog said. (Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP)

Italy's competition watchdog said on Wednesday it was opening an inquiry into Spanish airline Vueling for a lack of transparency in the way it charges customers for hand luggage.

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The low-cost carrier "does not provide clear information on the fact that the price of additional hand luggage varies "depending if it is bought through the company's website or via the Vueling app, the AGCM said in a statement.

In addition, it said that Vueling used information on the type of device used to purchase the luggage to build a customer profile, which affects the price.

Founded in 2004, Vueling is part of International Airlines Group (IAG), which also owns British Airways and Iberia.

Last month, Italy's consumer watchdog also opened a probe into Ryanair for allegedly abusing its dominant market position in Italy.

The Italian government moved this summer to crack down on airlines using algorithms to profile users and inflate prices.

But the law was watered down in September after pushback from low-cost airlines, particularly Ryanair, which threatened to cut flights to Sardinia and Sicily in response.

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Italy’s competition watchdog in December launched an investigation into claims that airlines had deliberately raised fares on routes linking mainland Italy with Sicily during the Christmas holidays.

The investigation involved Ryanair, Wizzair, easyJet and ITA Airways, the state-owned successor of former flag carrier Alitalia.

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