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Recently I was denied a receipt, when I had to pay a fine to an LC company for not complying with all their rules.

I can understand the strict rules in order to keep competitive prices. In other hand they fail a lot on their obligations. I needed a receipt as a proof of payment and that was denied. After insisting I was told I could get one e-mailing the company (interesting situation… how could I prove the payment?) Other, more extreme situations happen, like lack of support to passengers when there are large delays on flights.

It's becoming more and more frequent. Rules are becoming a lot more strict with airlines (not only with LC). The customer is the weakest link and is in a very vulnerable position on an airport, specially if already standing next to the gate. What can one do in such a situation?

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O that is simple, don't fly Low cost. –  andra Feb 28 '13 at 21:03
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@Karlson: Ah, but guess what? They often have extra fees for payment by credit card. –  Nate Eldredge Mar 1 '13 at 0:22
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I'm confused. We all hate the draconian rules the LCCs have, but they're there in plain text to read beforehand. What exactly are you defending yourself against? It was you who put yourself in said delicate position, no? Myself and all my friend in London reguarly swore we would never fly again with RyanAir with their fees, rules and so on, but then we'd see their cheap ads and go "oh one more time". You get what you pay for, unfortunately. However, a receipt should have been provided. I'd definitely contact their complaints department, or include them in a tweet - surprisingly effective! –  Mark Mayo Mar 1 '13 at 8:41
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These rules are one reason why LCC are cheap. The people who read the rules profit from those who don't. I don't see anything unfair here, and especially nothing to defend against. –  feklee Mar 1 '13 at 22:51
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I'm surprised by how many comments blame the user before blaming companies that only care about profit, and have absolutely no moral concerns about using very confusing rules with the sole aim of tricking people. The incredibly low prices of these companies make it impossible for others to compete with them, so it's chosing between a borderline scam (shady rules, confusing terminology, difficulty to access information) or EU350 to fly 100 miles. Also, isn't denying a receipt illegal in most countries? –  Yisela Mar 5 '13 at 22:32

3 Answers 3

Normally what you describe falls under Consumer Protection laws in the country where this occurred.

Given that this is Spain you should be able to find relevant information on the European Consumer Center in Spain site.

But generally speaking you should use electronic payment methods if you want to keep track of your payments and have record of it in case things go awry.

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best way is to read the terms of your contract and learn to understand them, then handle accordingly.
There's a 50 Euro fee for oversized bags, you either don't bring an oversized bag or you bring the money, it's that simple. Nothing to understand, nothing to "defend yourself against".
If you're one of those people who're prone to want to board an aircraft with tons and tons of stuff that's over the amount allowed on your ticket and then get upset when confronted with that, I can't have any sympathy with you and your ilk as you're a main reason for delays, overloaded overhead bins, diversions because of fuel shortages (yes, the airline needs to carry extra fuel for contingencies, but you wanting to take 100lbs of carryon luggage and stuff it in bins designed to take the luggage of 3-4 people rather than just you is NOT a contingency), frustration among your fellow passengers who have to sit with their luggage in their lap for hours because yours takes up the space designed to hold their bag, etc. etc. etc.

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I read the rules and I am aware of them though they are not so clear as the companies state. Websites can be very obscure in the buying process. I am not talking about situations where people are taking 100 bags into the plain. I am just talking in abuse from someone in a dominant position beyond what's reasonable. I think you miss the point here. –  nsn Mar 1 '13 at 10:37
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@jwenting - I did ask for a supervisor, but then you have peer pressure from the other passenger that just want to go into the plain (and I really understand them) and you risk missing the flight. That's what I mean when I say you're in a vulnerable situation. –  nsn Mar 1 '13 at 10:56
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This is somewhat naive. Low-cost airlines frequently 'announce' that they will impose a fee, or refuse compensation, when the law doesn't allow them to ( www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1267804/Iceland-volcano-Ryanair-WILL-pay-compen‌​sation-ash-victim-passengers.html); they will continue to get away with it till somebody challenges them. –  TimLymington Mar 2 '13 at 13:20
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and the gate is not the place to do so... Challenge them in court, or tell your representatives in government about it and have them get your government to file charges against the airline. To simply ignore the rules of your contract and then whine and complain about being refused boarding is beyond silly. –  jwenting Mar 2 '13 at 16:21
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@nsn: strictly speaking, it's not an abuse if it's in the contract you signed when you buy your ticket, however unreasonable you think that may be. It would be an abuse if they say your bag is 53cm when it's actually 49cm, or if they claim that the size limit is 50cm while on your ticket it says 55cm, or if regulation specifies at least 55cm but your carrier uses 50cm. If you don't like it, you shouldn't have signed the contract in the first place. Many higher cost carriers ignored minor infractions of their rules, that does not mean that you should be entitled to do that with other carriers. –  Lie Ryan Mar 4 '13 at 20:31

Actually I just remembered that I once noticed that one of the cheap airlines defined the maximum dimensions of the hand luggage which was 5cm smaller than the equivalent in British Airways. In this case even if the passenger has "hand-luggage approved" suitcase, there is a fair chance it will be too big for the cheap airline. This is probably what happened in the case described in the question.

How to defend yourself? I guess you need to read all the small print, but I understand it is very time consuming, especially that these things change.

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With Wizzair, you have to pay 10 € for your cabin luggage if it's larger than 42 x 32 x 25 cm (but it still must be smaller than 56 x 45 x 25 cm). They did worse than Ryanair, it's not easy! –  travelot Mar 5 '13 at 10:05
    
@travelot, I have seen this one as well! –  Grzenio Mar 5 '13 at 10:38

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