Ryanair ‘must compensate passengers’ after strike action

According to reports this morning, the Irish regulator has decided that Ryanair passengers are entitled to compensation after their flights were cancelled or delayed due to strikes in the summer.

The Irish Independent reports, that the Commission for Aviation Regulation has written to the airline about numerous separate complaints, relating to flight cancellations and long delays during last March, July and August.

“Based on information received to date, in each case, the commission has taken the view that Ryanair should pay compensation,” said a spokesperson for the regulator.

Passengers with new claims who were not satisfied with the outcome or have not received a reply from the airline within eight weeks, were advised by the regulator to contact its passenger advice and complaints team.

Passengers have made claims for compensation to the airline, but these were rejected by Ryanair on the grounds that the disruption arose from “exceptional circumstances” and was therefore exempt from paying compensation.

Ryanair was hit by its worst-ever strikes in the summer, as walkouts by pilots and cabin crew over pay and conditions forced it to cancel flights, including to major holiday destinations such as Spain, Italy and Portugal.

Earlier this month, Ryanair said: “Courts in Germany, Spain and Italy have already ruled that strikes are an ‘exceptional circumstance’ and EU261 compensation does not apply. We expect the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and courts will follow this precedent.”

However, now the CAA has found that the strikes were not exempt from EU rules and has reportedly begun enforcements against the airline to force them to pay compensation to customers.

Some 170,000 customers were hit by the industrial action across Europe.

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