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The UK’s aviation regulator, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has made a statement setting out & clarifying the right to compensation for UK passengers caught up in the recent Ryanair strikes.
The Irish budget airline has been hit by strikes from Pilots in Ireland and Cabin crew in Belgium, Spain and Portugal leading to hundreds of flight cancellations.
In a statement, the Civil Aviation Authority said: “Passengers have the right to seek compensation under EU legislation when flights are delayed by three hours or more, cancelled or when they are denied boarding.
“We note that the recent industrial action is not by Ryanair’s UK employees, but it is the view of the UK Civil Aviation Authority, taking account of previous Court rulings, that 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.
“In the case of the most recent industrial action involving Ryanair, passengers must first submit their claim to the airline and if they are not satisfied with the response, they can seek redress via the approved Alternative Dispute Resolution service.”
Ryanair has reportedly been rejecting claims stating that the circumstances are outside their control but in reality, that can only really apply to major external events and adverse weather, but Civil Aviation Authority is effectively saying that it’s your staff, they are in your control.
It’s not the first time that the Civil Aviation Authority has stepped in to provide advice to passengers caught up in problems with Ryanair. Last year Ryanair was threatened with legal action by the regulator when it misled passengers over their rights after the airline cancelled thousands of flights when a scheduling error that left it short of pilots available to fly its normal schedules.
If you were caught up in the recent strikes you can make a claim to Ryanair by using this form https://eu261expenseclaim.ryanair.com/ and if your claim is rejected, you can refer the matter to the Civil Aviation Authority here https://www.caa.co.uk/Our-work/About-us/Alternative-Dispute-Resolution/
EU261 Regulation, as stated on Ryanair’s Website
If your flight is cancelled or delayed more than 3 hours on arrival, EU Regulation 261 (Passenger Rights) provides the following options to customers:
(a) Full Refund – we will provide a full refund of the unused flights in your booking. (If you chose to make alternative transport arrangements i.e. car hire, trains, ferries etc. these are not covered under EU261 and therefore expense claims should be directed to your travel insurance company.
(b) *re-routing, on the next available flight to your final destination, or
*If, you select option (b) – EU261 Regulation requires us to provide:
I. meals and refreshments in reasonable relation to the waiting time;
II. two telephone calls, fax messages or e-mails;
III. reasonable hotel accommodation where a stay of one or more nights becomes necessary;
IV. reasonable transport between the airport and place of accommodation (hotel or other).
Customers who wish to submit a travel/transport/refreshments expense claim or EU261 disruption compensation following a flight cancellation or delay over 3 hours on arrival – Click here to access our online expenses claim form.
( c) re-routing, on a future flight, to your final destination at a later date at your convenience.