Ryanair passengers whose flights have been cancelled because of strikes have been told that they have the right to seek compensation under EU legislation.
Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has issued a statement saying the airline is required to pay compensation to passengers when a flight is cancelled due to strike action by its employees
In a surprising turn of events, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has responded to concerns from Ryanair passengers, after Ryanair said that its customers were not due compensation following recent cancellations caused by strikes, emphasising that passengers have the right to seek compensation when flights are delayed by three hours or more or cancelled.
The CAA declared that in its view, taking into account previous court rulings, Ryanair was required to pay compensation to passengers when their flight had been cancelled due to strikes by airline employees, when customers had been informed of the cancellation with less than two weeks to go until the flight was due to depart.
It said this was the case even though the industrial action was not being carried out by Ryanair’s UK employees.
Ryanair reportedly told its customers only eight days ahead of time.
Strikes could affect more than 100,000 passengers
Another strike, this time for cabin-crew, is reportedly scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday this week (25 and 26 July), which will apparently affect around 100,000 passengers, as well as an additional pilot strike today (Tuesday 24 July), which could affect around 3,000 customers.
Ryanair said that flights were caused by “extraordinary circumstances”, for which no compensation was due
Ryanair has issued a statement saying that although it “fully complies with all EU261 legislation” (the EU legislation referred to by the CAA), it saw these flight cancellations as being caused by “extraordinary circumstances”, for which no compensation was due.
It emphasised that under EU261, no compensation was payable when the union was “acting unreasonably and totally beyond the airline’s control”.
Passengers told they must first submit their claim to Ryanair
The CAA told passengers that the first step was still to submit their claim to Ryanair. If they were then not satisfied with the response they received, they could appeal to the Alternative Dispute Resolution service. MoneySavingExpert say that if passengers had to do this, it could result in them facing “a longer, more uncertain wait” for any compensation that they may be due.
According to the Independent, if every customer affected by these strikes was to complain, it could cost Ryanair around £30 million.
Passengers whose flights have been cancelled due to these strikes should have received a cancellation notice via email or text message.