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05 Dec 2018

Ryanair to go to court over compensation claims

The UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is taking legal action against Ryanair after the airline refused to compensate UK customers who were affected by flight disruptions over the summer.

This summer Ryanair was hit by its worse strikes ever, with pilots and cabin crew walking out over pay and conditions. As a result, they were forced to cancel flights, many of those included major holiday destinations such as Italy, Portugal and Spain.

Passengers who were affected have made claims for compensation. However, those were rejected by Ryanair, who argue that the strike action amounted to “extraordinary circumstances”, and therefore are not under the obligation to pay.

The CAA has opposed, their response stating that passengers are entitled to compensation under EU laws and the airline is obliged to pay EU261 allowances.

A report from the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) service showed the airline accounted for 30% of all appeals, accounting for the largest proportion of disputes.

In the first nine months of 2018, ADR received 22,159 complaints, but only processed 1,347 of 6,653 Ryanair cases.

Ryanair was signed up to abide by ADR decisions, but they have failed to informed the CAA that they have terminated their agreement.

“As a result of Ryanair’s action, passengers with an existing claim will now have to await the outcome of the Civil Aviation Authority’s enforcement action,” the CAA said.

The consumer group Which? welcomed the CAA’s move, with Rory Boland, travel editor, saying:

“Customers would have been outraged that Ryanair attempted to shirk its responsibilities by refusing to pay out compensation for cancelling services during the summer – which left hard-working families stranded with holiday plans stalled.

“It is right that the CAA is now taking legal action against Ryanair… to ensure that the airline must finally do the right thing by its customers and pay the compensation owed.”

By Lyba Nasir