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The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has today commenced legal action against Irish budget airline Ryanair (FR/RYR) over its refusal to compensation to passengers caught up in this summers strikes.
The move comes after hundreds of Ryanair passengers had their claims rejected by the airline who said that the strikes by its pilots and cabin crew was beyond its control and amounted to extraordinary circumstances which meant it was not covered by EC261, the EU rule that requires airlines to compensate passengers for late, delayed or cancelled flights.
The CAA however said that it did not view the strikes as extraordinary circumstances and passengers should be compensated.
Passengers who had their claims rejected took the matter to the AviationADR, a body approved by the Civil Aviation Authority, to provide alternative dispute resolution for passenger complaints but Ryanair has now informed the CAA that is has terminated its agreement with AviationADR leaving the CAA with no option but to begin legal proceedings against the airline.
According to the CAA, Ryanair accounted for 30% of all appeals following rejected compensation claims, between January and September 2018 it received over 22,000 complaints about Ryanair’s refusal to pay compensation.
For passengers with existing claims that are under dispute resolution, the CAA says: “Passengers who have made strike-related compensation claims via AviationADR are advised that these claims are currently on hold and will have to await the outcome of the Civil Aviation Authority’s enforcement action.”
Passengers with new claims which have been rejected or who have not received a reply from the Ryanair within the time period (8 weeks) should contact the Civil Aviation Authority’s Passenger Advice and Complaints Team (PACT) via their website at https://www.caa.co.uk/Passengers/Resolving-travel-problems/How-the-CAA-can-help/How-the-CAA-can-help/
What is EC261?
EC261/2004, to give it its full name, is an EU legislation which means that passengers are allowed to make an EC261 claim when flights are delayed by three hours or more, cancelled or when they are denied boarding by the airline.
For a full list of your rights check out the CAA’s advice at https://www.caa.co.uk/Passengers/Resolving-travel-problems/Delays-cancellations/Your-rights/Your-rights-when-you-fly/