Ryanair faces legal action over refusal to compensate strike-hit passengers

Marco Green
December 5, 2018

The UK's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) - which is no stranger to disputes with the no-frills carrier - said its decision followed the company's move to terminate its working relationship with a body created to resolve customer complaints.

Passengers have made claims for compensation to the airline, but these have been rejected by Ryanair on the grounds that the disruption arose from "exceptional circumstances" and therefore exempt. Ryanair pledged to offer affected passengers alternative flights at the time.

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

The CAA's reprimand follows a similar row past year when Ryanair faced a PR disaster over its decision to cancel flights affecting 700,000 passengers because of a pilot rota blunder.

Ryanair, like other airlines, was signed up to abide by ADR decisions.

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Since the summer of severe disruption, Ryanair has been securing a series of agreements with unions across Europe over wages and benefits.

The UK's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said the low-priced airline has rejected compensation claims and has now ended its agreement with AviationADR - a CAA-approved body for alternative dispute resolution of passenger complaints. "We expect the UK CAA and courts will follow this precedent".

Rory Boland, Which? travel editor, said: "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".

This means passengers who have made strike-related compensation claims through AviationADR will have to wait for the CAA's legal action, which could result in court proceedings.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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