Ryanair backs down over pas­sen­ger rights for can­cel­la­tions

Ryanair has bowed to reg­u­la­tor de­mands and spelled out more op­tions on of­fer to pas­sen­gers af­fected by its planned flight dis­rup­tion.

The Malta Business Weekly - - FRONT PAGE -

It has avoided pos­si­ble le­gal ac­tion by email­ing those af­fected by more than 20,000 flight can­cel­la­tions. On its site, Ryanair ac­knowl­edges it is re­quired to of­fer those on can­celled flights full re­funds or com­pa­ra­ble tick­ets on ri­val car­ri­ers. Civil Avi­a­tion Au­thor­ity boss An­drew Haines said Ryanair had "ca­pit­u­lated". Ear­lier this week, Haines said he was "fu­ri­ous" the air­line had not been com­ply­ing with the law by fail­ing to of­fer to re-route pas­sen­gers on ri­val air­lines. In the air­line's first wave of can­cel­la­tions Ryanair of­fered af­fected pas­sen­gers a £40 voucher per can­celled flight as a way to say sorry. The bud­get air­line said it had taken on more ex­tra staff to process the ex­pected in­crease in cus­tomer claims. Ryanair was forced by the CAA to clar­ify that pas­sen­gers af­fected who pre­vi­ously "may have cho­sen an op­tion that was not suit­able for them as a re­sult of any mis­un­der­stand­ing of their EU261 rights" were en­ti­tled to change their mind, for ex­am­ple by opt­ing for a flight on an­other air­line in­stead of a re­fund. If no Ryanair flight was avail­able to get cus­tomers to their tick­eted des­ti­na­tion, cus­tomers can now opt for a com­pa­ra­ble flight on Easyjet, Jet2, Vuel­ing, Ci­ty­jet, Aer Lin­gus, Nor­we­gian or Eurow­ings, the air­line clar­i­fied. Haines con­firmed Ryanair had con­tacted the avi­a­tion watch­dog late on Fri­day af­ter­noon and said: "Our job is to pro­tect pas­sen­gers' rights and en­sure that all air­lines oper­at­ing in the UK are fully com­pli­ant with im­por­tant con­sumer laws. "Where we find that an air­line is sys­tem­at­i­cally flout­ing these rules, we will not hes­i­tate to take ac­tion, to min­imise the harm and detri­ment caused to pas­sen­gers, as we have done with Ryanair in re­cent days. It ap­pears that Ryanair has now ca­pit­u­lated. "We will re­view their po­si­tion in de­tail and mon­i­tor this sit­u­a­tion to en­sure that pas­sen­gers get what they are en­ti­tled to in prac­tice," Haines added. Ryanair's Kenny Ja­cobs said: "We are com­mit­ted to pro­cess­ing all such claims within 21 days of re­ceipt and hope to have all such claims set­tled be­fore the end of October." Ryanair can­celled up to 50 flights a day through to the end of October, af­fect­ing 315,000 pas­sen­gers. It then can­celled an­other 18,000 flights be­tween Novem­ber and March, af­fect­ing the travel plans of an­other 400,000 pas­sen­gers. The dis­rup­tion was brought about be­cause of an er­ror with pi­lot hol­i­day ro­tas and Ryanair said can­celling flights would "elim­i­nate all risk of fur­ther flight can­cel­la­tions". The bud­get air­line said it has up­dated the Fre­quently Asked Ques­tions sec­tion of its web­site to re­flect all of these changes.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malta

© PressReader. All rights reserved.