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Ryanair facing legal action for refusing to compensate strike passengers

Joanna Faith
Written By:
Joanna Faith

The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has started enforcement action against Ryanair after the airline refused to compensate passengers affected by strike action this summer.

The airline regulator said Ryanair had rejected claims for compensation made directly by passengers and that the airline had terminated its agreement with AviationADR, an alternative dispute resolution body.

The CAA said in its view, the strikes were not “extraordinary circumstances”, meaning consumers should be compensated.

Ryanair was forced to cancel hundreds of flights a day over the summer following a series of walk outs by pilots and crew members across Europe.

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.

“It is right that the CAA is now taking legal action against Ryanair on the basis that such strikes were not “extraordinary circumstances” and should not be exempt, to ensure that the airline must finally do the right thing by its customers and pay the compensation owed.”

Advice for passengers

Outstanding strike-related compensation claims made via AviationADR are currently on hold and passengers will have to await the outcome of the CAA’s enforcement action.

Passengers with new claims who are not satisfied with the outcome or who have not received a reply from the airline within eight weeks, should contact the CAA’s Passenger Advice and Complaints Team (PACT).

A Ryanair spokesperson said: “Courts in Germany, Spain and Italy have already ruled that strikes are an “extraordinary circumstance” and EU261 compensation does not apply. We expect the UK CAA and Courts will follow this precedent.”