THE Balearic Consumer Affairs ministry said yesterday that it will shortly be fining two “low cost” airlines operating on national routes following revelations of passengers being illegally charged for baggage.

Consumer director Diego Gonzalez, who declined to give the names of the two airlines in question said that the fines are being imposed because charging for baggage separately from the price of the aircraft seat is resulting in the final price being considerably higher than advertised. “These are falsely named low cost airlines,” said Gonzalez “because they end up being more expensive than any other.” He pointed out that the practice is illegal because the passenger should be able to take a luggage weighing in total between 20 and 30 kilogrammes within the price of the ticket. Gonzalez furthered that although the fines which his department is currently handling relate to national airlines, contact is being made with their counterparts in other countries which have “low cost” flights coming in and out of the Balearics to encourage co-operation in stopping the “baggage charge” practice. The move comes after six weeks of investigation being carried out by Consumer department at airline check-in desks. Irregularities have been detected in a further 18 airlines who sell tickets on the Internet which fail to make discounts for Balearic residents travelling to the mainland.