Ryanair strike: Passengers told to claim compensation over cancelled flights

Ryanair strike: Passengers told to claim compensation over cancelled flights

airline strike
More than 100, 000 Ryanair passengers are in line for hundreds of pounds in compensation after their flights were cancelled because of strikes.In an extraordinary intervention, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has issued a statement urging grounded holidaymakers to claim their entitlement under European air passengers’ rights rules – known as EU261. Compensation is set at €250 (£223) for flights of up to 1, 500km, and €400 (£357) for longer flights in Europe and North Africa. Pilots employed by Ryanair in Ireland stopped work on Friday, leading to 26 flight cancellations between the UK and Ireland that obliged nearly 5, 000 people to find alternative departures.
A cabin-crew strike scheduled for 25 and 26 July has resulted in cancelled flights for 100, 000 Ryanair customers. In addition, the airline has cancelled 16 flights ahead of another pilots’ strike on Tuesday – affecting around 3, 000 passengers.Ryanair immediately said it would reject any claims. The airline said it “fully complies with all EU261 legislation” but added,  “As these flight cancellations were caused by extraordinary circumstances, no compensation is due.“Under EU261 legislation, no compensation is payable when the union is acting unreasonably and totally beyond the airline’s control.”Airlines maintain that strikes qualify as ....

The European Court of Justice recently ruled that a wildcat strike was not a justifiable excuse for not paying.But Air France and British Airways, which have both experienced long drawn out disputes, have declined paying compensation to passengers whose flights are cancelled by industrial action.The CAA statement, however,  appears dramatically to change the legal landscape. A spokesperson said: “When a flight cancellation is caused by strike action by the airline’s employees, the airline is required to pay compensation to passengers in respect of the cancellation of the flight, if it has not warned passengers of the cancellation at least two weeks prior to the scheduled time of departure.” Ryanair told its customers no more than eight days ahead.The authority is telling passengers initially to submit their claim to the airline. “If they are not satisfied with the response, they can seek redress via the approved Alternative Dispute Resolution service, ” said the spokesperson.If every customer successfully claims, the cost to the airline will be around £30m.Ryanair is also incurring substantial costs in paying for hotels and meals for stranded passengers, as well as losing millions in peak-season revenue..
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