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Russian Low-Coster Pobeda to Keep Charging Passengers With Backpacks

Maxim Stulov / Vedomosti

Russian budget airline Pobeda is to keep charging passengers who carry rucksacks on their flights, despite a court ruling against the policy.

Russia's Court of Arbitration announced on Friday that it had rejected the company's appeal against a ruling, which found that small backpacks should be as free hand luggage.

The case began after one female passenger argued that her small backpack should be counted as a handbag. Under Russian law, passengers are guaranteed 10 kilograms of luggage on flights free of charge, as well as a number of personal items such as handbags and briefcases.

Pobeda has claimed that the ruling will force the company to raise ticket prices, the Rosbalt news site reported. The company is now preparing a second appeal.

The budget airline, which is owned by Russian state carrier Aeroflot, made 37 million rubles ($570,000) in profit during its first year of operation in 2015.

Under the airline's rules, passengers must pay an extra fee if they wish to carry a number “special” items such as hand luggage, including backpacks, boxes, beach bags, or containers with food.

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