Friday, 29 September 2017

Ryanair Capitulates

The high-fees low-fares budget airline Ryanair has been beaten into submission by the Civil Aviation Authority and issued new guidelines on the new level of compensation it will give passengers affected by its planned flight disruption.

It has narrowly avoided the threat of legal action the CAA promised by shooting an email to most of those affected by more than 20,000 flight cancellations.  The Irish airline also acknowledges it is required to offer those on cancelled flights full refunds or comparable tickets on rival carriers on its website now.

Civil Aviation Authority boss Andrew Haines said Ryanair had "capitulated".  Earlier this week, Mr Andrew 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.

Ryanair claims to have taken on more extra staff to process the expected increase in customer claims, however staff at the Dublin HQ say this isn't so, advising that employees have been forced to do different jobs for a short period of time.

The CAA forced the airline 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.  Mr 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.

"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." said Ryanair's Kenny Jacob. 

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