Ryanair is continuing to misinform its passengers about their legal rights.
In continued problems for Ryanair, the airline announced that 150 out of the 400 flights scheduled to fly to and from Germany would be cancelled on 12 September 2018, due to a 24-hour strike by pilots and cabin crew.
Ryanair appears to be sticking to its position on not paying compensation to its beleagured passengers. A spokesperson for the airline said “Ryanair complies fully with EU261 legislation, under which no compensation is payable to customers when the (strike) delay/cancellation is beyond the airline’s control. If these strikes, by a tiny minority of Ryanair pilots, were within Ryanair’s control, there would have been no strikes and no cancellations.”
Ryanair’s position runs contrary to a ruling by the European Court of Justice from April 2018. The case of Helga Krüsemann and Others v TUIfly GmbH found that a strike by an airline company’s employees are not “extraordinary circumstances” for the purposes of compensation.
Back in August I, spotted more irregularity regarding Ryanair and compensation. As a general rule of thumb, travellers are due EU compensation if a flight is cancelled or arrives more than 3 hours late. However… for flights up to 3,500km in length, there are varying amounts of compensation when travellers are bumped from a flight due to overbooking and are delayed by UPTO 3 hours. This is also the case for flights where travellers have been given fewer than 14 days’ notice of a cancellation. (Travellers are not entitled to a full refund plus compensation, the compensation can only be claimed if you experienced the delay as part of your journey not sitting in your departure airport. If you didn’t travel, then you are not entitled to compensation.)
As of today (17 September 2018) the Ryanair EU Compensation claim form still provided the following misinformation:
“Delayed refers to flight delays over three hours. Claims will not be accepted for delays less than three hours”.
So, it appears that, in addition to Ryanair telling passengers they are not entitled to compensation due to pilot strikes, it is also denying them further rights for shorter journeys.
In August of this year I brought this to the attention of the CAA for action by the regulator. A spokesperson for the CAA said:
“We thank ‘The Complaining Cow website’ for highlighting this issue with Ryanair. The UK Civil Aviation Authority will be asking the airline to review the way it displays information to ensure consumers are fully aware of their rights.”
As of (insert date and time of posting this!) The site still says 3 hours. Be wary of being denied their rights by airlines such as Ryanair. It really is about time the CAA took control of the situation with Ryanair. Last year it took enforcement action for persistently misleading passengers with inaccurate information about their rights in respect of cancellations. The same is happening again, and although the CAA has issued a statement saying that Ryanair should be paying compensation, it has so far fallen short of taking enforcement action.
For more information about the Ryanair story, how you CAN claim, what you should quote to increase your chances of being successful and the issues around further action and ADR, see Landing in court with Ryanair.