UK's Peel laments cabin-bag limit's effect on airport retail

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UK airports operator Peel Airports to explore ways to protect its retail sales, after claiming that budget carrier restrictions on hand luggage are eroding airport commercial revenues.

Liverpool Airport in the northwest UK is exploring local by-laws to see whether airlines have the right to interfere with airside commercial activity, following a budget carrier clampdown limiting passengers to one item of hand luggage, including airport purchases.

Speaking to ATI at the recent French Connect networking conference in Shannon, Peel Airports deputy CEO Neil Pakey said that retail specialist Alpha Airports had been monitoring the impact on sales by advising customers of luggage restrictions during payment. Any items which are returned to the shelves are logged, he says, and show lost revenue totalling "hundreds of pounds per day".

Pakey says Peel, which also runs Doncaster Sheffield and Durham Tees Valley airports, is checking by-laws to see if they offer any protection. He adds that a policy allowing a single item of luggage, plus airport purchases, would be a "sensible compromise".

"We are still talking with Ryanair and are hoping for a co-operative solution. They are asking us to bear with them for the time being. I don't think Ryanair had any intent to affect duty free sales. Maybe we can nip this in the bud; that's what we want to do," he says.