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Fines against Viva Aerobus mounting as airline continues charging for carry-ons

Company proclaims its innocence but Profeco stands firm

The stand-off continues between the federal consumer protection agency Profeco and the airline Viva Aerobus, which faces mounting fines as it continues to charge for hand baggage.

Viva Aerobus has accumulated more than 20 million pesos (nearly US $960,000) in fines for charging passengers for carry-ons weighing 10 kilograms or less.

Profeco first accused Viva Aerobus and two other airlines of committing the “abusive practice” of charging for hand baggage in November, and initiated proceedings against Volaris and Viva Aerobus. While Volaris and Aeroméxico have since fallen into line, Viva Aerobus continues to charge, saying that its practice does not violate the law.

“Unfortunately Viva Aerobus continues to be stubborn, but we are now applying sanctions,” Profeco chief Ricardo Sheffield said. “… We sent a warning and they will end up paying the fines.”

But Viva Aerobus continues to insist that their baggage fees are in line with the law.

“Viva Aerobus does not charge for ‘hand baggage.’ The airline respects the rights of passengers as established in the Civil Aviation Law, in which it is clearly specified that if the passenger decides to travel without baggage, they obtain a preferential rate as a benefit,” the company said in a December 3 statement.

“Rather than assisting the consumers, [Profeco’s actions] hurt them,” the airline said.

With reports from Reforma

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